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A study of the Psalms based upon the Liturgy of the Hours including canticles from outside the Book of Psalms

Psalm 146 - Part 3: Praise God Who Keeps Faith Forever

June 27, 2019

In this conclusion of our study of Psalm 146, we begin again with some comments on the Flame of Love devotion and how they relate to a question asked previously about this psalm.  We continue to explore the psalmist's praise of God for His fidelity and providence but also examine how this providence does not imply a faultless world without suffering.  Rather, we can expect the contrary.  We cross reference Psalm 107 to see some of the good effects of this suffering.  We examine God's giving of sight to the blind and His defense of the vulnerable which results in a concluding burst of praise.

Psalm 86: Trusting God Who Delivers and Sustains Us

July 11, 2019

Our study of Psalm 86 returns us repeatedly to the idea of recognizing our neediness and God's loving willingness to always sustain us.  We discuss Mary's need for a Savior even though she did not sin and our complete dependence on God for our very existence as well as our spiritual perfection.  We touch briefly on consecration to God and the difference between sin as a way of life and individual sins.  We focus on Bible Study as a means rather than an end and some of the messianic inferences in this psalm.

Psalm 130: Hope In God’s Forgiveness

July 25, 2019

Our study of Psalm 130 examines the importance of recognizing the depth of our sin, addresses prayer and reparation for the sins of others, explores perspectives on hope, and discusses the meaning of redemption.

Psalm 141: Resisting Evil Within

July 25, 2019

Our study of Psalm 141 looks at the dangerous and difficult situation where those within the Church are doing wrong.  We discuss the image of the Evening Sacrifice as well as the bodily expression of worship.  We look at the challenges to our speech in environments when surrounded by wrong both for compromise and retaliation.  We examine some ways we can unwittingly participate in the ways of the wrongdoers around us.  We discuss the dangers on both sides — the danger of falling into compromise with wrong and the danger of falling into excessive judgment of others.  We explore the image of pouring oil on one's head in the Israelite culture and some of the difficulties in the text of this psalm.  We conclude with a brief look at how we will indeed reap what we sow.

Phili 2:6-11: The Self-Emptying and Exaltation of Jesus

August 8, 2019

In our study of Philippians 2:6-11 — one of the most theologically and morally profound passages in the Bible — we discussed its origin as a hymn and its context in the church and epistle of Philippi.  We examined the stark contrasts of the hymn, e.g., God to slave and abasement to lordship.  We considered Jesus' letting go and pondered its relevance for our lives.  We digressed into impossibility by definition, i.e., that some things are impossible for God not because of a shortcoming of God but because impossibility is part of the definition, e.g., something cannot be and not be at the same time, and applied this to God not being able to die until He took on humanity.  We spent considerable time on the obedience, voluntary submission, and voluntary humility of Jesus and the implications for our lives.  We explored just how highly the Father has exalted Jesus, noticed a disagreement among scholars on interpreting one of the verses, and returned to the voluntary submission of Jesus along with our submission to Him in order to fully do the same.

Psalm 142: Sharing Our Worries With God

August 22, 2019

In our study of Psalm 142, we begin by noting how the Hebrew of the psalm is much later than David even though it claims to be a psalm of David and how the psalmist sees his present distress in the life of David.  We then do the same and discuss honestly sharing our complaints, difficulties, and pain with God.  We see how the psalmist, Jeremiah, and even Jesus Himself does this all the while completely trusting in God.  We also note some of the messianic overtones of the psalm, explore how our suffering and deliverance can be important to others, and conclude by considering the bounty of God toward us and our great hope in Him.