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



Monday, July 31, 2006

Psalm 144

Yea God!

Summary:
Praise God. He gets me ready to right.

It's amazing how he cares about us at all!

Come show your power, and rescue me. I will sing to you and you will save me. Our kids crops and animals will be healthy.

Key verses:
3. O Lord, what is man that you care for him,
the son of man that you think of him?
5. Part your heavens, O Lord, and come down

My thoughts:
I feel that this is probably a thoroughly random psalm. Like... what is it's overall point? Does it have a theme? I get bored of psalms which are simply randomly collections of sayings which vaguely praise God.

Psalms is almost over...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Psalm 143

Hear and obey

Summary:
Hear me and don't judge me. I am chased. We used to be so close.

Come quick, God, and teach me to do what's right.

Key verse:
10. Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

My thoughts:
That's a nice wee confession of David there. This Sunday in church I heard about an international speaker who was paid $10,000 to speak at a conference in Australia. When he spoke he said three words - "Hear and obey" - then sat down. After a long awkward silence, he saw their agitation and said "Oh... I can see you want to complicate things...".

Our role is simple. Do God's will.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Psalm 142

There is freedom

Summary:
I cry to you, because you know what to do when life sucks. No-one else cares about me. So hear me, and set me free.

Key verse:
7. Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.

My thoughts:
It is helpful to know that whatever happens to you, God will still be with you. Even death cannot separate us. Maybe we should all be taking more risks.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Psalm 141

Keep me proper!

Summary:
I call and you come. Look after me and keep me from evil, but keep me disciplined by good people.

The wicked and powerful will fall, but I look to you.

Key verse:
2. May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

My thoughts:
I think verse 5 is a key understanding that we need to have these days. We need to openly accept rebuke and discipline when it comes from the right sources, even as adults. Everyone's gut reaction is to get defensive.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Psalm 140

Violence on the violent

Summary:
Save me from those who try so hard to bring me down. Keep me from them because their traps are everywhere.

Hear me God! Don't let the bad guys get their way.

Let violent men die violently. I know you'll work it out God!

Key verse:
1. Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men;
protect me from men of violence

My thoughts:
I love the juicy descriptions of how violent men should stuff. It rings of the lex talionis, that is "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", which I guess is an old testament understanding on this.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Psalm 139

God the knower

Summary:
You, God, know me better than I do. My words and actions.

You are so amazing. I can't get away from your Spirit anywhere! Even if I sought darkness, you would make it light.

You made me. You pieced me together, and planned my life as you did it.

Kill the wicked and lead me in the right way.

Key verses:
7. Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
14. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful
24. See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

My thoughts:
This entire psalm could be 'key verses' as it's so famous!

This psalm really emphasises the intimate relationship we have with God. We wonder whether God really really cares us about us insignificant individuals. This psalm tells us that God know only cares about insignificant individuals but knows all of out most intimate and minute details. Truly and awesome and omnipotent God.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Psalm 138

God's purpose

Summary:
I'll praise you in front of everyone cos you heard me.

May the kings praise you.

Though my life is hard, you look after me.


Key verse:
8. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me

My thoughts:
Let's remember that God is in control. He has a purpose for us, and we don't need to freak out about it, because he will fufill his purpose.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Psalm 137

Exile

Summary:
We cried at Babylon, as they demanded happy songs from us. How can we pretend to be joyful?

If I forget my home, may I become useless.

Those who mocked up when Jerusalem fell are doomed.

Key verse:
1. By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
4. How can we sing the songs of the Lord
while in a foreign land?

My thoughts:
This psalm has been made famous by popular music. It is actually refreshing to have a psalm which is a bit more creative and explores some new ideas in different ways. This psalm really expresses the cultural torment of exile.

How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? We are citizens of heaven under Christ, which makes us foreigners here to some extent. The world will never completely understand the mindset of heaven. Yet we are called to praise God whilst we are exiled here.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Psalm 136

Eternal love

Summary:
Give thanks to God. His love is forever.

He made the world and brought us out of Egypt. His love is forever.

He got rid of kings before us and remembers and feeds us. His freaken love is forever.

Key verses:
Every verse - His love endures forever.

My thoughts:
The phrase "His love endures forever" appears 26 times in this psalm.

A lot of the concepts of the psalm are very similar to psalm 135

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Psalm 135

Our God kicks yo ass

Summary:
Praise God cos he rocks and chose us. He has complete power over all.

He defeats kings and pharoahs, and gives us their land.

The other nations have useless idols. The followers of such idols are just as useless.

Praise God!

Key verse:
5. I know that the Lord is great,
that our Lord is greater than all gods.

My thoughts:
Israel's distinction from other places in their religion caused a definite sense of superiority.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Psalm 134

Praise God... again

Summary:
Praise God in the temple!

Key verse:
2. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the Lord.

My thoughts:
I'm not sure if this a a specific sentiment about the validity of Jerusalem over other places of worship, or whether it is simply a call to worship.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Psalm 133

Unity

Summary:
Unity rocks. It's like freaken sweet oil.

Key verse:
1. How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!

My thoughts:
Yea. Unity is pretty sweet. Except with those presbyterians... they are beyond unity...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Psalm 132

David's oath

Summary:
David had a hard life. He vowed to build your temple and worship you there.

God chose David's line to rule, and Jerusalem to be his home. The anointed one will come from here.

Key verse:
18. I will clothe his enemies with shame,
but the crown on his head will be resplendent.

My thoughts:
This is a very messianic psalm.

It is interesting that this psalm, unlike the original text in 2 Samuel 7, places qualifications on whether David's line will last forever. However, David's line continued into Jesus, the eternal one, despite the sins of David's sons.

A resplendent crown is an interesting name for a crown of thorns.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Psalm 131

Quietness

Summary:
I am a humble and quiet man. Trust God, O Israel!

Key verse:
2. I have stilled and quieted my soul

My thoughts:
This psalm is 3 verses... I think every psalm since 119 has been less than 9 verses, which makes it really easy to catch up!

I think the ability to be humble and quiet and thoughtful should come before any attempt of confidence or activity. Often is Christianity we are asking people to be really out there, but maybe we need to value quietness a bit more. I'm probably a big victim of this.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Psalm 130

God who forgives

Summary:
Hear me God. If you held my sins against me, then I'd be screwed. But you don't!

I wait on God. He redeems us.

Key verse:
3. If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?

My thoughts:
I think the key verse for today is one of the first things that a Christian has to realise. Our society basically wants to tell people that they are good people, and that if there is a God, they could justify themselves before him. Christianity flies into the face of this. It is a lot of humble with respect to God. It is not humanist.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Psalm 129

Stupid haters of Israel

Summary:
Israel has always been oppressed, but God helps us against the evil people. May they be cursed.

Key verse:
5. May all who hate Zion
be turned back in shame.

My thoughts:
Israel is just a hated country. It's kinda unbelievable that even today everyone around Israel just hates it. Sometimes they don't exactly bend over backwards to make friends though.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Psalm 128

A fruity wife

Summary:
If you fear God, then you and your family will be blessed.

Key verse:
3. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house

My thoughts:
Mmmm.... fruitful vine....

Friday, July 14, 2006

PSalm 127

Let God do it for you!

Summary:
All your works are worth nothing unless God is with you. He provides us with healthy children.

Key verse:
1. Unless the Lord builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.

My thoughts:
We can do so many amazing things and have much success and wealth, but to God it all means nothing. The example of having children shows that despite how great you are, God can still stop you from having children. God is in control of the important things, and nothing you can do off your own back can solve that.

This psalm also views sleep as a blessing and a gift. Who said the Bible ain't smart?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Psalm 126

Joyous return

Summary:
We were so happy when God brought us back to Jerusalem. He does awesome stuff! Though we may leave in tears, we will return in joy!

Key verse:
6. He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.

My thoughts:
As much as the exile was a defining moment for the Jewish people (to the point that those who were left in Palestine weren't considered Jewish anymore), the Jews as we know them today would not exist had they not returned to Jerusalem. It was an amazing victory for the Jews.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Psalm 125

Strength like Jerusalem

Summary:
If you trust God, you will be as strong as Jerusalem, which is protected by God.


God, do good to the good and bad to the bad.

Key verse:
2. As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.

My thoughts:
Given that Jerusalem has been sacked at least 17 times in its history, I'm not sure whether 'strength like Jerusalem' is something to strive for...

Anywho... I'm loving how short these psalms are. Really helps with the whole catching up plan!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Psalm 124

God holds our bail

Summary:
If God wasn't with us, we would've been screwed. Thanks God! We've escaped!

Key verse:
7. We have escaped like a bird
out of the fowler's snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.

My thoughts:
Jewish history is one of survival against ridiculous odds. It is amazing that they have continued as a such a small yet such a significant society in human history. It is bizarre, and I believe that it truly is a God thing.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Psalm 123

The humble grumble

Summary:
We look to you like a dog to its owner. Be nice to us.

Key verse:
2. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he shows us his mercy.

My thoughts:
This is a nice humble prayer, but nevertheless a persistent one. We have to know where we stand compared to God, but also not be afraid to be persistent!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Psalm 122

Oh Jerusalem!

Summary:
It rocks to go into your home in Jerusalem, God!

Jerusalem rocks. Everyone goes there. That's where the kings are.

Let's have peace there

Key verse:
6. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

My thoughts:
Who said the Bible didn't speak to today's issues! Keep praying folks!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Psalm 121

God is watching over us

Summary:
I look up and know that God is my helper. He looks after us and keeps us from harm.

Key verse:
2. My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

My thoughts:
The word for 'watching' is repeated many times in this psalm. It puts across an image of God who is carefully observing what in going on in our lives. It is very personal.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Psalm 120

In a bad land

Summary:
Save me from the liars! They punish me. I've lived here too long...

Key verse:
6. Too long have I lived
among those who hate peace.

My thoughts:
It's often hard to keep a strong relationship with God when you are surrounded with those who don't care about God. This is what the psalmist is experiencing here.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Psalm 119

The word

Summary:
All followers of the law rock. Their life is sweet. I wish I was like them.
By your law we can be pure. I will do this.
Create a good life for me and help me see. Unlike the rulers I will meditate on your word.
Dust is one the same level as me. Help me to understand and teach me the right way.
Expound truths for me; teach me!
Follow me with your love, and keep me in your truth.
God's promises are what keep me going amidst the arrogant.
His words are the ones I've always followed.
I had a horrible past life, but it was good, because it led me to follow your word.
Just as I am made by you, may other see my hope.
Keeping me waiting ain't cool! As I am about to give up, I look to your promises.
Lasting forever are your words. Save me as I follow them.
My love is for your law! I'm the smartest cos I think on them.
Now your word guides me, though I sometimes control my own life.
Oh, how your law and the double-minded are opposites. I choose your law.
Perfection is my goal, so look after me!
Quite enlightening is your law to the simple. I cry when they neglect your law!
Righteous are you, but sometimes I get tired with the pressure of my zeal.
Save me and hear me when I call!
Take me from this suffering! I've followed your law! Can't you see how bad it is?
Under rulers I am persecuted, but I'll wait for you to save me.
Very far I have strayed, but come find me. Help me do what is right.

Key verse:
105. Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.

My thoughts:
Yea... so at 176 verses, this is the longest chapter in the Bible.

This poem is made up of 22 sections, one for each letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Notice how my summary has twenty-two lines. You might notice something else about them too.

The poem is acrostic, so each section has all of its lines starting with the same letter, going through each letter of the alphabet. Imagine having to do the x's or z's in English. Well, Hebrew has some similar ones. Barely any words start with zayin or samekh, for example.

Anywho... this amazing psalm is all about God's word. It was probably read rather than sung, and it really is just that. An ode to the words God had spoken in the law. For both Christians and Jews (and Muslims), God's written words are very very important.

Words are good. Often we can boil down everything in philosophy to complete uncertainty. Descartes' "cogito ergo sum" "I think, therefore, I am" is a statement that we can't know anything except that we exist. By choosing to believe a particular scripture as a base for knowledge, we can have something a source of knowledge, which is good. Word is good.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Psalm 118

The rejected capstone

Summary:
Let everyone say that God's love lasts forever.

God heard my cry... no mortal can touch me. He's more reliable then people. With God at my side, I crush nations, even though they surround me and are about to destroy me. It doesn't matter. God heard me.

His right hand is amazing, and I live, which is kinda better than dying.

I will come through the gates which only the righteous can, and praise God. The rejected one is the most important.

God. You just rock in so many ways. We just have to praise you!

Key verses:
22. The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone

24. This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it

My thoughts:
This psalm is awesome, and is very significant for Christianity. Verse 22 is about Jesus, ultimately. He is the rejected one who God made the capstone.

Also the symbolism of God's right hand can be now seen in light of Jesus, and verses 24 and 26 have made their way into the Anglican liturgy (and probably the Catholic one too... they're pretty much the same...)

Well... this is the halfway point of the Bible. I've got this far. It's probably take me a while to do Psalm 119. It's long...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Psalm 117

So I'll let my words be few...

Summary:
Everyone! Praise God! He's loving and faithful!

Key verse:
2. great is his love toward us


My thoughts:
Ah Psalm 117. If you want to start memorising chapters of the Bible start here!

This is the shortest chapter in the Bible at 2 verses. Funnily enough the longest chapter is psalm 119, and the middle chapter of the protestant Bible is psalm 118.

Anywho... sometimes you don't need a lot of words to say what you mean.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Psalm 116

My God who heard me.

Summary:
I love God cos he heard me crying. I was about to die, but I called on him. Now I can rest because he saved me.

You delivered me, God, and I'm still alive!

How can I repay God? I will fulfil all my vows and be his servant.

Key verse:
12. How can I repay the Lord
for all his goodness to me?

My thoughts:
It is comforting to have the other side of all the "Please help me, God!" psalms. God is the God who delivers, not just one we call to and he does nothing.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Psalm 115

The known God

Summary:
The glory is yours, not ours. Others wonder where their gods are, but ours is in heaven. Their gods are but mute images. Their followers are also mute.

Trust God, our shield. He will bless us. We who are alive praise him.

Key verse:
2-3. Why do the nations say,
"Where is their God?"

Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.

My thoughts:

We often think of God as the unknown God, and it's true that there is a strong element of mystery to who God is, but let us not forget that he is not hiding. He wants us to know him. We can know things about God for certain, we don't need to always stab in the dark.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Psalm 114

God over nature

Summary:
When Israel left Egypt, Judah and Israel became God's home. The seas fled before them and mountains crumbled.

Nature trembles before God.

Key verse:
5-6. Why was it, O sea, that you fled,
O Jordan, that you turned back,

you mountains, that you skipped like rams,
you hills, like lambs?

My thoughts:

I love how the psalmist mocks nature for being scared of God; questioning the mountains as to why they fled. It's pretty sweet.