My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Friday, June 30, 2006

Psalm 113

God is just awesome

Summary:
Praise God forever! All day long! No-one is like our God over all the nations. He lifts up the poor and the barren have children.

Key verse:
3. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.

My thoughts:
The motif of barren women is common is the Bible, and one of God's common, yet greatest gifts is to remove barrenness. It is one of the things which is directly mentioned in the curses in the fall.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Psalm 112

Fearless

Summary:
We should fear God. Then our children'll be strong and wealthy.

Then darkness will have light for us. It'll just be awesome, and there'll be no other fear. The wicked will be jealous.

Key verse:
8. His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

My thoughts:
Similar to the previous psalm, what I really read out of this psalm is that by fearing God (see verse 1) we can do away with all other fears.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Psalm 111

The wisdom of fearing God

Summary:
I'll praise God in front of other because of the awesome things he has done. People remember with them. The nations know his power; he feeds the hungry. His works are awesome.

Fearing him is the beginning of wisdom.

Key verse:
10. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

My thoughts:
This and psalm 112 are related psalms which are acrostic.

The concept of fearing God is an interesting one, and a lot of people like to tone down the Bible, thinking that it simply means respect. While this is partially true, I think the use of the word fear is important.

Satan does not control the fate of our souls. We have nothing to fear of Satan nor men nor animals. Fear God, for he has control of your soul.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Psalm 110

The Messiah

Summary:
God says to David's Lord "if you follow me then you'll conquer the nations". He will make you powerful. God won't changed his mind. That Lord at his right hand will conquer.

Key verse:
1. The LORD says to my Lord:
"Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet."

My thoughts:
I take this to be a very messianic psalm. Like many messianic prophecies it is first fulfilled in the kings of Judah, but then ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. The Lord is the Messiah. I recommend reading this whole psalm.

Jesus refers to this psalm in Luke 20:42. It is also in Acts 2:34 and Hebrews 1:13. It was obviously a key tool for understanding Christology in the early church. Jesus uses it to confuse his opponents. Other passages use it to show Jesus' unique role at God's right hand.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Psalm 109

Help me God! Just don't help them!

Summary:
God, don't be quiet whilst evil men accuse me. Maybe they be found guilty. May they die young and have poor children and no wealth. May their sins be remembered. May their curses come back on them.

But be nice to me, God, because I'm needy. Make sure everyone knows that it is you who brought the justice.

Key verse:
31. For he stands at the right hand of the needy one,
to save his life from those who condemn him.

My thoughts:
This psalm has quite an impressive list of curses!

There's a bit of confusion from verse six as to whether this is the psalmist calling on God to condemn the wicked, or whether this is the wicked condemning the psalmist.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Psalm 108

God, the owner of nations

Summary:
will praise you God! I'm not changing my mind!

Get my instruments, so I can praise you. Your love is awesome. Save us when we need it. God owns all of the nations, so give us victory in battle!

Key verse:
4. For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

My thoughts:
Not much to say on this psalms except from the first verse. Notice how David decides to praise God; his heart is steadfast. Often it truly is a decision which you just make rather than 'feeling' like doing it.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Psalm 107

God who redeems all who call out

Summary:
May those God has saved say how good he is.

They were hungry, but they called out, and God put them on an easy path.

They should thank God, cos he's into doing that sort of stuff. Even those he's punished will be saved if they call out.

They should thank God. Even the sailors in a terrible storm are saved - the sea is calmed - when they call on God.

They should thank God. He can make anything of anything, and have helped his people settle.

Key verses:
8, 15, 21, 31. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men.

My thoughts:
The sea image here is quite cool especially in reference to Jesus calming the waters in the gospels.

There is quite an emphasis in this psalm on God's willingness to redeem even those who are suffering because of their own sin. God is very merciful.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Psalm 106

God the punisher

Summary:
Thank God cos he's good. We can't thank him enough.

Don't forget me, God, when you go blessin'

We're all sinners, just like our ancestors. You did everything for them; all those miracles. They briefly praised you but them forgot. So you began to punish them. You punished many people in many ways. Only Moses' words stopped God from killing them all.

They did many wrong things over much time. God had had enough and gave his people to the surrounding nations, but he did not forget his covenant.

Save us, God!

Key verse:
40. Therefore the Lord was angry with his people
and abhorred his inheritance.

My thoughts:
This is kinda the antithesis of the previous psalm. Again we have God showing himself throughout history, but, as a sort of cruel epilogue to the last line of psalm 105, this explains how God's people did not keep his law, and what God did in response.

This forms an important part of Judah's exilic theology. They were in exile because of sin.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Psalm 105

God of history

Summary:
Praise God and tell the world what he's done! Sons of Abraham, don't forget him. He is the God who remembers his covenant made with Abraham. The covenant to hold Canaan. They started with few in the land, but by God's will and through Joseph they went to Egypt and became numerous.

Through Moses and Aaron they were led out by miracles. Egypt wanted them gone!

Then God gave them the land that they might keep his law.

Key verse:
8. He remembers his covenant forever,

the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,

My thoughts:
Israel, unlike many other people's of faith, holds to it's God as the one who is revealed through history. This is continued in Christianity. We do not hold a faith revealed by 'timeless' nature. We do not hold a faith which comes from the pinnacle of nature. Our faith is based in the historical event of Jesus.


This revelation through history is clear in this psalm.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Psalm 104

God the keeper of his creation

Summary:
Praise God. He uses all of nature - light, clouds, wind and earth - to show his majesty.

He created the world with commands and authority. He provides water and resources for his creation and looks after it.

You have done so much! And so wisely! The sea to provide food... those who go there freak out if you forget them.

I'll praise God forever, but the sinners will die.

Key verse:
30. When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.

My thoughts:
This is probably one of my favourite psalms about creation. It really praises God for his intimate role in not only the beginning of creation but the sustenance of it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Psalm 103

God our lover

Summary:
Praise God, and don't forget what he does. He forgives, he heals, he redeems, he satisfies.

He doesn't stay angry long; he doesn't like it!

He loves us so much, and has done so much for us. He last for a fleeting moment, but his love is forever.

Everyone praise him!

Key verses:
8. The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
11-12. For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
17. But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord's love is with those who fear him

My thoughts:
Bam! When you don't expect it you get a simply amazing psalm which just explains how much God loves us in plain language. Read this psalm. It is good and clear and powerful.

There are so many ways to view God, so many aspects of him we can meditate on or study. But at the centre of all this we should see God as the God who love us so much. Jesus, the very centre of our faith, is simply a message that God loves us.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Psalm 102

God the rebuilder

Summary:
Hear my cries, God. I'm running out of time. I'm thin. I'm not even eating anymore.

I can't sleep, and everyone is mocking me.

God, you're freaken God, not matter how desperate I become. I know you won't stand for this much longer. You'll rebuild Jerusalem, because you love her. You will be praised for it!

I live for a short time. You live forever.

Key verse:
8. All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who rail against me use my name as a curse.

My thoughts:
Hmmm... the destruction of Jerusalem seems to be a massive source if depression for the Jews. Many psalms are about it...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Psalm 101

I'll be good... honest!

Summary:
I will praise you and will carefully live without fault. I'll have nothing to do with evil, and will stop those who do evil. I will bless the righteous.

Key verse:
4. Men of perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with evil.

My thoughts:
This sounds to me like one of those "I'll be good from now on" promises that we all so often make to God. There are significant point in life where we must repent and focus on living a godly life, but when making that 'decision' becomes a routine, then it becomes meaningless.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Psalm 100

God who made us

Summary:
Praise God, and know that he made us. We are his. Come to him with praise, cos he's good.

Key verse:
3. Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his

My thoughts:
It's helpful to have a good perspective on where we stand compared to God.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Psalm 99

God of the mountains

Summary:
God is king on his throne. He is awesome here in Jerusalem and the nations will praise him too. Worship him cos he's good to us.

He is the God of Moses and Aaron. He answered them. Worship him at that holy mountain.

Key verse:
1. The Lord reigns,
let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
let the earth shake.

My thoughts:
This psalm seems to have a dual nature to me. Verses 1-5 are worshipping God as King in Jerusalem, but verses 6-9 are worshipping God as the one who speaks at Mount Sinai. Perhaps the point is that the God now worshipped at Mount Zion is the same God of Moses and Aaron at Mount Sinai.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Psalm 98

The God who wants to be known

Summary:
Praise God cos he rocks. He's made himself known to us, and hasn't forgotten his promises.

Let absolutely everything praise God!

Key verse:
7. Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.

My thoughts:
I love how this psalm praises God for letting himself be known. So often we don't realise that God could have chosen to be the absent God, the deist God who sets things in motion but then leaves, not wanting to know his creation or wanting his creation to know him. This is not our God. Our God has gone to extreme length, even to death, just so that we may know him. We don't find God, he reveals himself. We worship the God who reveals himself.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Psalm 97

God is freaken' awesome

Summary:
God's awesome. He's brighter than a freaken' light bulb. He makes, like, mountains melt. He sure kicks the ass of those idols and their worshippers...

Everyone is happy because of it. Well Judah is anyway. And they are righteous because of it.

Key verse:
10. Let those who love the Lord hate evil

My thoughts:
It's always good to associate following God with wanting to get rid of the evil which is in our world.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Psalm 96

A new song

Summary:
Sing God a new song, and praise him. Tell others about him.

He's so splendid and kingly. Let he be praised as he deserves. Shout it to the world.

All things, both heaven and earth, will praise him.

Key verse:
11. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it;

My thoughts:
A new song. God supports creativity in worship, and we should never feel constrained into one type of worship.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Psalm 95

God the praiseworthy King

Summary:
Come on! Let's all praise God! He's an awesome King above all others.

He controls all the ups and downs of creation. He is our God, and we his people.

Let's not test him as we did in the past. He was angry with those generations.

Key verse:
1. Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

My thoughts:
In these psalms (90-99) there is a particular emphasis of God as King. There are many understandings of what God is like, and this is a popular one. God is seen an enthroned on the ark of the covenant, and his kingships seems to be somewhat at odds with the kingships of Israel and Judah.

Jesus fills a very kingly role, and as both man and God he fulfils the earthly kingship in David's line and God's role of the King of heaven.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Psalm 94

God the Avenger

Summary:
God, you are vengeful, so bring justice!

The wicked mock you and your people. They oppress us! They are fools who think that the creator doesn't understand his creation. God will bring justice eventually.

If it wasn't for God, I'd be lost. He is my fortress.

Key verse:
9. Does he who implanted the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?

My thoughts:
There's a saying "Vengeance is God's", and I think this should be true. We are not the ones to take revenge, but God, who knows and understands all, should do so.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Psalm 93

Straight to the point

Summary:
God is king and always has been. The seas worship him, and he is unchanging.

Key verse:
2. Your throne was established long ago;
you are from all eternity.

My thoughts:
Sweet five verse psalm! Must be close to my shortest chapter ever! I remember a six verse chapter.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Psalm 92

God is pretty much awesome...

Summary:
Praising God rocks. The idiots don't understand, and they don't last for long. But God lasts forever.

You've blessed me, God, and defeated my enemies. The righteous grow like trees. Good trees... not those sucky ones.

Key verse:
12. The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon

My thoughts:
I'm pretty sure Ben ripped off the first few lines of this for one of his songs... I wish I wrote the Bible. Imagine the royalties...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Psalm 91

God the protector

Summary:
God looks after those who follow him. You don't have to fear, despite what's going on around you. He's send angels to guard you, and keep you safe from wild animals.

He protects us because we love him.

Key verse:
14. "Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name."

My thoughts:
This is probably one of the passages where the idea of a guardian angel comes from. The Bible doesn't seem big on the concept of each individual having a personal angel, however it does have concepts of angels protecting people in general. However, see Acts 12:15.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Psalm 90

Eternal God

Summary:
God, you've been God and have been our home forever.

You take the dead and see our sin. A thousand years is a day to you.

We might live 80 years, but that's nothing to you! Make us happy!

Key verse:
4. For a thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.

My thoughts:
Today's key verse is often quoted in reference to the 7 days of creation in Genesis 1 in light of recent scientific evidence. The implication being that 7 days could really be thousands of years. It's an interesting thought, but doesn't really mean a heck of a lot.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Psalm 89

A covenant with David

Summary:
I will praise you, who established his covenant with David forever.

Nothing is like God is the heavens or anywhere. You made and control all things, and are righteous. The faithful follow you.

You chose your warrior David, and looked after his house. You will make him great, and he will praise you. Though he sins, I will love him forever.

But you have rejected your covenant with David! His enemies have had victory over him. How long, God? What happened to your former love?

Key verse:
49. O Lord, where is your former great love,
which in your faithfulness you swore to David?

My thoughts:
This psalm is written very much in the light of 2 Samuel 7. The psalmist has hope in God's promises despite what he sees around him.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Psalm 88

In the grip of hell

Summary:
Saving God, I call to you in my depression. I might as well be in the grave.

You have thrown me away and taken my friends. Your wonders may be great but the dead can't see them.

Are your love and faithfulness known in hell? I am rejected and suffer constantly.

Come to think of it, I do have one friend left. Darkness is my only friend.

Key verse:
18. You have taken my companions and loved ones from me;
the darkness is my closest friend.

My thoughts:
This psalm is somewhat unique in the sense that it remains depressing. It does not finish with hope, but with continued despair.

I have never thought of this psalm this way, but it can possibly be seen as a vision of 'hell' seen by the psalmist. 'Hell' is an ambiguous word and the Hebrew words suchs as 'grave' 'death' or 'destruction' all have similar connotations. The language seems closely related to these ideas, and the concepts of rejection by God and of darkness seem very congruent with a biblical model of 'hell' rather than the television cartoon model.

This would explain the lack of hope. Just a thought.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Psalm 87

Sweet sweet Zionites

Summary:
Glory to the holy mountain of Zion!

Everyone in the world knows who was born at Zion, because they're special.

Key verse:
6. The Lord will write in the register of the peoples:
"This one was born in Zion."

My thoughts:
Mount Zion, in Jerusalem, obvious becomes very special in Jewish minds, but it also seems that there is a special significance placed on those who live there.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Psalm 86

The good God

Summary:
I need help, so help me, your servant. Show mercy and give me joy.

You are a forgiving God, so hear me. You are better than any god, and all the nations will worship you.

Teach me, and I'll always follow you. You are a good God!

Key verse:
15. But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

My thoughts:
David seems to like the 'Lord' and 'servant' language to describe his relationship with God. You can also see this in 2 Samuel 7. Notice the difference between the word LORD meaning the name Yahweh, and the word Lord, which is the Hebrew adonai, meaning Lord. David prefers the word adonai.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Psalm 85

God the forgiver... hopefully...

Summary:
You forgave us, God, and weren't angry anymore.

Do it again, God, and don't be angry forever. You promise peace, and I will trust in that. Things are going to get a whole lot better.

Key verse:
7. Show us your unfailing love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

My thoughts:
It's nice to know that God's ultimately got it all in his control.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Psalm 84

The house of God

Summary:
I love your house, God! I heart cries for you. I want to live there and be close to you.

If people have strength in you they will be blessed.

One day in your house is better than years anywhere else. You, God, are so good.

Key verse:
10. Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

My thoughts:
As I read this psalm, I can't help but have that song running through my head.

Better is one day in your courts
Better is one day in your house
Better is one day in your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

Yea. It's quite a cool wee psalm though.