You thought that I was one just like yourself (Psalm 50)

Psalm 50 opens with an announcement of coming of God to call the people of the covenant to account. On the day of judgment God shines forth and “does not keep silent” but speaks forth. The reader of this psalm should remember the nonsilence of the heavenly Judge with some trepidation on arrival at verseContinue reading “You thought that I was one just like yourself (Psalm 50)”

My voice to the Lord (Psalm 142)

How shall I use my voice? The opening lines of Psalm 142 are striking, with their repeated “qoli le-Adonai”: “My voice to the Lord . . . my voice to the Lord.” I have a voice too. How will I use mine? To whom will I direct mine? I am not in the situation ofContinue reading “My voice to the Lord (Psalm 142)”

How to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122)

Zion, Zionism, and Christian interpretation of the Psalms of Ascents.

How to pray for government leaders: a biblical model (Psalm 72)

Talk to God. Praise God ALONE. Prayer for the leader is focused on the leader’s serving the good of the poor of your people.

You, me, them: the moral mindset of Psalm 26

Worship and prayer depend on a certain self-location vis-à-vis the divine “You” and the profane “they/them.” In the attached display of the ESV text of Psalm 26 I have used blue highlighting for the divine “You,” green for the worshipful and morally resolute “I,” and yellow for the profane “they/them.” It would be a mistakeContinue reading “You, me, them: the moral mindset of Psalm 26”

This is my story, this is my song: the story we enter when praying Psalms 95–97

In the book of Psalms, the entries in the 90s are grand, profound, and glorious. Is this because the reader who enters into them gets grand and glorious feelings, or because the aesthetic quality of their poesy is high, or because they refer to realities that are objectively awesome? (And I realize that “objectively awesome”Continue reading “This is my story, this is my song: the story we enter when praying Psalms 95–97”