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 116:1-2, 115:10): I often wonder why we pray to God and praise Him so much. Why does He seek praise, or does He? Why are we told in scripture to do so? I am sure there are a lot of reasons. One I think of is to keep our eyes on God. We should want to thank God in prayer for all of our blessings. Here in 116:2, it says that He bends down to hear what we say. The Creator of the Earth and all of its complexities eagerly has time for us. That means that He does care and it is worth our time. Also, in 115:10, we are told that God is our helper and our shield. That’s a pretty good armor! But, does God desire praise? I know I do when I feel I’ve done a good job or just need a pat on the back or a little reassurance.
A. The parent metaphor is an apt one here. Do I “require” the praise of my little girls? Do I require them to say, “You are such a great Daddy!” No! No (healthy) parent does that! But does it bring delight to my heart to hear the love of my daughters? You bet it does. As a strong proponent of free will, I believe that God does not force us to love Him, but is honored most when we make the CHOICE to love Him.
Worship of God is never for His benefit (God needs nothing for us, He is a complete entity and Triune community unto Himself), but always for ours. Worship is one of the key ways that we as people can see the “true” way things are, as we see things being told to us in these Psalms. Worship, like prayer, is never about changing God, but rather using the truth that God is in charge and we are not to change us.
Q. (116:3): What is going on here?
A. The writer was facing death, and uses the metaphor of being “snared” in the ropes of a personified death, as an animal in a trap.
Q. (118:24): Amen! This should wake me up every morning!
A. The church I grew up in started every service with it. You could do a lot worse than this verse.