Wednesday, November 13, 2013

CCVI - Psalms 2-18

As stated in the introduction to Psalms in the last post, the first forty-one Psalms carry the theme of man’s struggles on earth.  We should be on this theme for no more than three posts, including this one.  I am not going to comment on each post, but rather will pull what I consider significant verses within various Psalms in this section.  I encourage you to keep reading ahead of my blog postings.

Psalm 2 speaks of the kings and other rulers of the earth, feeling like they do not need God, as they themselves are self-sufficient, especially when they band together.  This is folly, as proven throughout the History of civilization.

Psalms 3-6 were written by David.  He was fearful for his life at this time, ironically at the hands of his own son Absalom.  {Note that these psalms are not placed in chronological order.}  He prays for God to show Himself to the many enemies who are hunting David down, confident that if his enemies saw the living God on David’s side they would retreat from their attack on him.  {What must be going through David’s mind when his own son is trying to kill him?  I cannot imagine.}  In Psalm 5 David pleads for God to give victory to all people who are righteous and honor God.

Psalm 7 shifts from Absalom to specifically Cush, the Benjamite.  {As a reminder, Cush was a close confidante to King Saul, and stirred up Saul’s anger toward David.  Cush was a trouble-maker, and gained authority among Saul’s councilors.}

Scholars consider Psalm 8 to have been written when David was a young boy.  In this psalm he speaks of human beings being a little lower than angels.  We will later learn that this statement is not necessarily true.  {Anything about angels draws my attention.  I am intrigued by them.  I think I get this from my beloved wife Peggy, who has always been fascinated by these lovely and interesting creatures.}

Psalms 9-10 are considered to have originally been one psalm.  This makes sense because together, they form an “acrostic poem”.  Acrostic poems use the Hebrew alphabet in order, as they begin each stanza.  Psalm 10 shows a continuation of this in the Hebrew language.  It is also thought that these two psalms were written right after David killed Goliath.  {I have a hard time seeing this in these two psalms, but these scholars are more knowledgeable than I.}  In the latter part of Psalm 10 David comments that the wicked don’t even give God a thought.  He is amazed with this.

Many of these “psalms of despair” are written by David when he was being hunted by Saul, who wanted to kill David.  He is in deep despair and is desperate for God to help him.  He is hiding from Saul and living in a cave much of the time.  {No wonder he was depressed.}  In Psalms 12 and 14, David sounds a bit like Elisha.  He talks like there are no more good people on the earth, ie (12:1-2) “…no one is faithful anymore;  …those who are loyal have vanished from the human race; Everyone lies; (14:3) “All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one”.

Interesting in Psalm 15 David refers to the Tabernacle as a “tent”.  This must have been when David pleaded for God to allow him to build God a proper house, but He would not allow David to be the one to build it.  God had pre-selected David’s son Solomon for this task.

Psalms 16 and 17 still seem to be written when Saul was wanting to kill David.

I’ll finish this post with Psalm 18.  This is a lengthy psalm, but it is a good read.  It seems to have been written right after David was delivered from Saul.  In this psalm, David breaks out in praise and thanksgiving to God for delivering David from his enemies.  This is a good read because you can feel David’s love for God in this psalm.  In the beginning verses he is trying to describe God’s power, (which is impossible).  In the middle verses of this psalm, David is not boasting because he has been faithful in righteous living, but rather he is encouraging the righteous to “stay the course; God hears your prayers; He will come through for you as He did for me if you remain faithful to Him”.  In the latter verses David praises God with whatever words his human mind can come up with.

The next post will continue with Psalm 19.

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