Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
Questions & Observations
Q. (Psalm 22): I can feel the fear in David’s words. It’s an intense, gripping fear that grows as he writes. He is battling with the knowledge of God that his ancestors have taught him and the enemies that are closing in on him as he lies in pain. What keeps him going is that he trusts in his ancestors’ teachings to trust in God and he will deliver. Then, he says he will be that same soldier of God for future generations. Rob, is this an accurate depiction of this Psalm?
A. I think there is the type of struggle you mention, but this Psalm is mostly about a man who is being unjustly persecuted by evil men. He knows that God will deliver him, and he will, as you suggest, be a witness to the power of God when God delivers him. It is certainly a powerful psalm, and the first line (22:1) is what Jesus cried from the cross during his crucifixion (Matthew 27:45-46). In an era without names for these Psalms (there was no such thing as Psalm 22 in those days), this would be like singing the first line of a well-known song today (like if I sang “oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light). By saying these words, Jesus was connecting with the spirit of this Psalm, and everyone at the crucifixion would have understood that Jesus was proclaiming his innocence before God.
Q. (23): This is probably the most recited scripture at funerals. I have a Bible that a pastor left at my grandma’s bedside when she passed. He had it tagged with the 23rd Psalm. It is so beautiful and gives such serenity to how God cares for us now and forever. Comments, Rob?
A. One of my favorite Max Lucado books is written on the 23rd Psalm, called Traveling Light. I would highly recommend it.
Q. (24:1-2): I am often awestruck by God’s magnificent artistry — those words don’t give Him justice — yet I have never thought about the fact that everything in the universe does belong to God. How far away that is from standard thinking that everything belongs to someone — another amazing fact to contemplate! Vs. 3-6 make me want to teach God to my kids … and for that fact, as many people as possible! In Vs. 7-10, I imagine the crowd going wild as God is carried into a stadium filled with praising Christians. Wouldn’t you say, that it’s also the other way around, that God is there to support us?
A. Part of the beauty of the Trinity doctrine is that we are allowed to have more than one understanding of God. God is the magnificent artistic Creator, AND the God/man who walked the earth and knew all of our pains (including rejection and loneliness as we discussed in Psalm 22), And He is the very Spirit of life in each of us that brings us closer to our heavenly home.
Q. (25): What’s the deal with the note at the beginning of this Psalm?
A. The editor is letting us know that this Psalm, along with several others, is an acrostic, in Hebrew of course. Each line of the poem begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. There are 22 letters in Hebrew, and so we will see a number of Psalms with 22 lines for this reason. We will see this appear in other places in scripture as well, such as Lamentations and Proverbs. Something to watch for, but it is almost a shame that we miss out on the poetry of the use of Hebrew letters.
Q. (25:11-15): I would say that David is describing God’s handing out of wisdom to His followers.
A. I think it is saying that God is faithful to His people, and provides for their every need, whether it is knowledge, rescue, or anything else.