Friday, November 22, 2013

CCX - Psalms 51-72

Psalm 51 is one of the most often used Psalms.  David wrote this after Nathan the prophet had made David realize that not only he had sinned, but the horrid nature of his sins.  David had committed adultery with the beautiful Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah.  Uriah was a soldier who was away in battle with the Philistines at this time.  Bathsheba told David that she had become pregnant.  David immediately had Uriah brought home so he could lie with Bathsheba, making Uriah believe the baby was his.  But Uriah would not take such pleasure while his fellow soldiers were suffering in battle.  David then proceeded to order his military commander to send Uriah on a suicide mission in battle, making sure he would be killed.  So David committed a number of sins:

1) He coveted
2) He committed adultery
3) He lied and deceived
4) He plotted evil
5) He committed murder
When Nathan had exposed David’s sins to him, David at first was not repentant or even apologetic.  But as time went on he began to realize what he had done.  He truly repented and wrote this psalm.  It is a psalm of confession and regret.  He wants God to forgive him and cleanse him of his sins (vs 2).  In verse 7 we see the familiar phrase used by Christians today, “….wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”  He uses all three terms for wrong-doings:  Sin, Transgressions, and Iniquities.  I feel one of the most important things in the psalm is found in verses 16 and 17.  David understands God.  He always did.  Burning sacrifices was not enough and David knew it.  He understood that physical sacrificing of animals was not what God was interested in.  God wants our hearts.  {The Pharisees never understood this.}  David found forgiveness from God when he felt true remorse for what he had done.
Psalm 52 shifts back to the time when Saul was trying to kill David, then in psalm 53 we see the opening verse saying, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.””  Unfortunately we have many today that not only think this, but say it aloud.
Psalms 54-57 are written during the time David is running from Saul.  These psalms speak of people (including some friends) betraying David, and also of David so desperate that he ran to Gath, a Philistine city. 
Psalm 58 breaks in as one of the psalms that actually asks God to punish wicked people.  David thinks this way when he gets weary from seeing the wicked seemingly winning so often.
In Psalm 64 David mentions how the words of people (including his friends) are more painful than arrows piercing his flesh.  {David always seemed bothered by people saying bad things about him.  He, like us, places a disproportionate value on what others think and say about us.  I am reminded of the seventy-year-old gentleman who said, “When I was about sixty years old, I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me.  I’ve been happy ever since”.}
Psalms 67 and 68 seem to be songs to be sung by the nation of Israel when masses of people are assembled for observances.
Then Psalm 69 turns rather dark.  Many scholars attribute this psalm to Jeremiah, rather than David.  I’m not sure, but the entire psalm is written while the writer was in despair and desperate for deliverance.
If you have a good memory you will recognize much of Psalm 70 to be like Psalm 40.  The author of Psalm 71 is not certain, but it was written by a man who was old.  This is considered a “Psalm for Old Age”.
I’ll conclude this post with Psalm 72.  It says right beneath the Psalm number the words, “Of Solomon”.  I think it would be a mistake to assume it was written by Solomon.  As I read it, I see David writing it about Solomon and how he envisions his son’s reign as king of Israel.  In this psalm he speaks of righteousness, justice, prosperity, long life, peace from enemies, fame, wisdom, honor, compassion, and other attributes he wishes for his son.
Next post:  NIV Book III of Psalms

No comments:

Post a Comment