Category Archives: Psalms

Psalm 1 – Why Does It Get to Go First?

How do you start a book like Psalms? Do you start it with praise or prayer? Do you shout it or whisper? Or maybe you just start it with silence. Psalm 1 A Psalm of silence 1 [be silent] Psalm 1 would go down as the shortest and easiest chapter in the Bible to memorize.Continue Reading

Why Does Psalm 139 All of a Sudden Shift From a Sweet, Best of all Time Psalms to a Vicious Tirade About Enemies?

Psalm 139 1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5 YouContinue Reading

Jesus, Hanukkah, and the 23rd Psalm

In that fuzzy time after Malachi wrapped up the Old Testament and the Gospel narrative began was a time we call the intertestamental period. The most significant historical development during that time was the rise to power of a young man named Alexander the Great. Alexander conquered much of the known world by the ageContinue Reading

Loophole Theology

The book of Judges concludes with some of the most brutal and atrocious stories in the entire Bible. A Levite and his concubine travel through Gibeah, while staying the night there the men of the town surround the house where they are staying. They bang on the door, demanding the man come out so theyContinue Reading

Making Spiritual Disciplines More Than Just Another “To Do”

Spiritual disciplines aren’t just one more thing to keep us busy. They don’t exist to occupy our mind. We don’t do them as penance. Spiritual disciplines are here for us as tools to focus on God, put him first and find our ultimate delight and fulfillment solely in God. Too often in the past, IContinue Reading

Shame: Us, God & Psalm 25

In the beginning, God made everything unashamedly good,  “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Gen 2:25). Fast forward one chapter…the fruit, a serpent, temptation…being like God?, a bite…another bite, fear & shame. It went like this, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for foodContinue Reading

Experiential Study of the Psalms

We studied the Psalms in our 20s & 30s class a few months ago. In doing so, we made an attempt to not just talk about the psalms but to allow the voice of the psalms to speak into the class itself. We wanted to hear what they say and then reflect on them ratherContinue Reading

Teaching the Psalms: Experience First, Discuss Second

When I started teaching the psalms a few months ago I started with a pretty standard teaching method, discuss your topic for a while and then dig into some examples. After doing this a few times I realized it didn’t really work as well for the psalms. You get a bunch of people talking aboutContinue Reading

Who Do You Find in the Psalms?

I have been teaching the psalms over the last two months with our 20s & 30s class. After the first three weeks I noticed something that had never occurred to me before. It hit me that a lot of the ways people approach the psalms have a lot to do with finding ourselves in theContinue Reading

Psalm 23 from the Jewish Publication Societies Translation of the Psalms

The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me to water in places of repose; He renews my life; He guides me in right paths as befits His name. Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness, I fear no harm, for You areContinue Reading

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