Reading: Psalms 108-110
Click on the link for the reading to read the Psalms for this week. As we read, let us not do so in haste. Take time to read each Psalm at least three times: once to understand the content, once as a poem or song to feel the meaning, and once as a prayer to appropriate the Psalm into your life. There will often be a hymn attached at the bottom of the page that helps bring meaning to one of the Psalms for the week.
PSALM 108: With God We Shall Do Valiantly
The psalm has apparently been composed by joining Psalm 57:7-11 (108:1-5) and Psalm 60:5-12 (108:6-13). Verses 5-6 of the psalm form a section of petition consisting of the last verse of the quotation from Psalm 57 and the first verse from the quotation from Psalm 60. The appropriation of old Psalms to apply the message to new situations shows the vitality of the older psalms in the life of Israel. And Psalm 108 retains its vitality today in the life of God’s people. By following initial praise with the ongoing petition, the psalm teaches us that the people of God never live beyond trouble and the need for God’s help.
PSALM 109: They Curse but You Bless
This is a strange psalm indeed! While it begins and ends with elements typical of a prayer for help, verses 6-19 is a song of hate. However, it is quite possible that verses 1-5 are telling us that the Psalmist, although innocent, has been put on trial in the Temple before priestly judges. He comes before God as one who is “poor and needy” (verse 22). When we hear Psalm 109 as a victim’s appeal for justice, then what we thought was a poisonous yearning for revenge becomes more like a just claim submitted to the real judge: God. Note that the anger is expressed, but it is expressed in prayer. This angry, honest prayer removes the necessity for the psalmist to take actual revenge upon the enemy.
PSALM 110: Sit at My Right Hand
In reciting the Apostles’ Creed to declare our faith, we say over and over again, “I believe in Jesus Christ . . . who sits at the right hand of God.” This statement is based on the repeated citation of Psalm 110:1 in the New Testament) (Matt. 22:44; Mark 14:62, 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:34-35, 7:55; Romans 8:34; Eph. 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb. 1:3, 1:13, 8:1, 10:12; 1 Pet. 3:22). In the early church, Psalm 110 was considered the Messianic text above all others. Luther called it “the main Psalm to deal with our dear Lord Jesus Christ.” The original addressee was a Davidic king whom the prophet calls “my lord” because the prophet is the king’s servant, a subject, and an official. In the Old Testament, the Davidic king was the primary figure who was called “the Messiah,” that is, the one whose investiture in office involved anointing. Verse 1 is an instruction to assume the throne, and the psalm was possibly composed to be used in inaugural ceremonies for the king at the point of his enthronement.
This is the Psalm in hymn form. Read or sing it through with melody to give the Psalm another dimension.
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