This is the page for all my resources and documents for the book of Psalms. The first section contains documents that survey the entire book. The second section contains a link to a survey video for the book from the Old Testament Survey course. The next section is broken down by each passage in a general outline of the book. Click the label of any passage to expand for access to documents and information about each individual passage. Feel free to use and distribute any information you find helpful as long as you give credit where appropriate.
General Documents
Survey Video
Individual Passages
Click on each passage to expand for more or less information
Book 1:
  • Psalm 1
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-5 The Two Ways
    1-3 Blessed is the man who...
    1-2 What he does:
    1 Neg: Blessed is the man who does not conform to wickedness
    1a Blessed is the man who...
    "Blessed" means more than just happy, it means a deeply rewarding, prosperous life, with a depth and longevity to the prosperity.
    1b Does not walk in the plan of the guilty ones
    1c And does not stand in the conduct of the sinful ones
    1d And does not sit in the dwelling place of rebellious ones
    2 Pos: But rather loves God's Law
    2a The instruction (Torah) of Yahweh is a delight to him
    The books of Moses and probably also wider instruction from Scripture and received tradition and immediate communication
    He sees it as a delight, contrast a burden that it is often thought to be. It is a liberating thing, teaching to live a truly fulfilled life.
    "Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you - Is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God's Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand - your best companion and hourly guide? If not, the blessing of Psalm 1 does not belong to you." - Spurgeon
    2b And in His instruction he meditates night and day
    He internalizes Torah, so that it can be automatically lived out. It has to be imprinted on the mind and emotions, to become an automatic part of the thinking and willing and doing. cf. Psa. 2:1; 19:14; 38:28; 71:24; 63:6; 77:12; 143:5
    3 The result:
    3a He will be like a tree transplanted by canals of water
    Symbolic of solidarity, firmness, ability to withstand trouble, symbolized by the withering of drought, on the contrary, he is fruitful and prosperous
    3b-d Which prospers in every way
    3b it will give its fruit in its time
    3c and its leaves will not wither
    3d and all which he will do will succeed
    4-5 The Wicked do not prosper
    4 The wicked are blown away
    4a Not so the Wicked
    4b But rather they are like chaff which the wind drives it away
    Picture of the winnowing process where the plant is thrown in the air, and the heavier grain falls back to the ground while the lighter stalk blows away in the wind.
    Symbolic of insubstantiality and emptiness.
    There is nothing in their lives of enough weight to keep them from being blown away in a storm.
    5 Their result: They are judged and excluded
    The ironic opposite of verse 1 where the righteous is seen as a minority excluded or tempted by the majority of the wicked. In this case, the wicked is excluded from the assembly of the righteous which is the only assembly that endures.
    5a Therefore, the guilty ones will not stand in the judgment
    5b and the sinners in the assembly of the righteous
    6 Summary: The end of the two ways
    6a The righteous: For Yahweh knows the way of the righteous one
    And intimate experiential knowledge. God is involved in the way of righteousness
    6b The wicked: But the way of the guilty ones will perish
    The opposite of being acknowledged by God
    "These are people who say to God (in the words of Job 21:13) 'Depart from us! We do not desire knowledge of thy ways.' God, correspondingly, pays no attention to their way, but allows them to walk to their destruction." Provan p. 129.
    The Psalms start, not with a prayer, but with a blessing
    A blessing on the righteous, those who fear the Lord
    "blessed" is not depending on the way I feel or think in the moment, but an abiding state of reality b/c it is grounded in God Himself
    Blessed are those who do not live in the worldview and lifestyle of the wicked - those who are under the influence of the unrighteous world
    In v. 2 you expect a contrast like "but who walk in the way of the godly, who stand in the way of the righteous, who sits in the seat of the worshipful..."
    But the author makes a strong point by contrasting the way of the wicked with those who delight in God's Word
    Our attitude toward God's revelation is an important mark of our spiritual/moral state according to the Psalmist
    We are greeted first in the Psalms, not as a worshiper, but as a reader of the Law, to learn how to live
    We are greeted first as an individual - responsible to God for ourselves, though the communal will be emphasized as well throughout Psalms
    This Psalm (with Psalm 2) sets the tone for the entirety of the book of Psalms
    Every Psalm that follows assumes a disciplined community of piety
    Who take God's revelation seriously
    Who believe that honoring and obeying God is a joy and the key to well-being
    There are a scattering of Psalms throughout that revisit these themes - worship never escapes obedience
    This offers an orienting perspective from which the rest of the Psalms can be read and prayed
    God will set everything right.
    The righteous will be blessed
    and the wicked will be judged
    Moral absolutes are the norm
    Moral confusion is an aberration
    The internal struggle where we struggle between good actions and bad is NOT normal
    Inner conflict and contradiction is not blessed
    Grey thinking may be necessary as we live between the times
    Eternity will be a blessed return to black and white absolutes
  • Psalm 2
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-6 God and the enemies
    1-3 The Enemies:
    1-2 They do:
    1-2b They rebel
    1 They plot
    1a Why are the nations restless?
    1b And the peoples plotting in vain?
    The word translated "plot" is the same word translated "meditate" in 1: - they grumble
    2a-b They rebel
    2a The Kings of the land take their stand
    2b and the ones ruling conspire together
    Military metaphors, taking a stand or taking up battle positions and holding a counsel of war
    An assembly of the wicked and an offering of counsel reminiscent of Psa. 1:1
    2c Against Yahweh and against His anointed one
    "enemies" is a theme in Psalms
    A common OT theme is rulers of surrounding nations who think they are gods and set themselves up against the true God
    "anointed/Messiah/Kingship" is a theme in Psalms
    -cf. 1 Sam. 10:1, 16:3, 1 Kgs 1:39 for the anointing of an Israelite King
    "Here we see the Israelite king and vice-regent, the representative of God on earth - a king, yet not autonomous, but very much under divine law." Provan, p. 130
    3 They say:
    3a Let us tear apart their bonds
    3b And let us throw their ropes from us
    "Let us break their control," "Let us be our own bosses"
    We are all tempted to do this - to say "not your will, but mine"
    We all have the option to be building our own kingdom - trying to rule our own little world as a god
    Or we can be about building God's Kingdom
    4-6 God:
    4-5 He does:
    4 He scoffs at their rebellion
    4a The One sitting in the heavens laughs
    4b The Lord mocks against them
    The nations' rebellion is ridiculous
    How could they ever expect any hope of success?
    How many tanks, planes, and nuclear missiles would it take to defeat the Lord who created everything?
    How could the creature defeat the creator?
    The whole idea is just stupid
    5 He threatens/punishes them
    5a Then He will speak to them in His wrath
    "God's judgment/wrath" and "God's poetic justice" are themes in Psalms
    5b And in His burning anger He will terrify them
    6 He says:
    6a I have installed my King upon Zion
    -cf. v. 2 for "King"
    "Zion/Temple" as God's dwelling place is a theme in Psalms
    6b [I have established him on] my Holy Mountain
    This is God's response to the words of the enemies in v. 3
    They asserted their autonomy, but God reaffirms His sovereignty and the rule of His chosen King
    7-12 The King and the enemies
    7-9 God's prescription/regulation
    7a-b Intro formula:
    7a Let me recount the prescription/regulation of Yahweh
    7b He said unto me...
    7c-9 The prescription/regulation which God said:
    7c-d You are my chosen representative
    7c You are my son,
    An (as yet) unnamed person
    Themes of "Kingship" and "Corporate solidarity" in the Psalms
    7d today I fathered you/have become your father
    The king is in a special relationship with God
    This language affirms that in some way the king can be thought of as divine
    Yet it is short of the language of absolute deification
    Therefore it is appropriate for its first application to the earthly king as God's representative
    And it is also appropriate for its ultimate application to the True Son of God
    Quoted in Acts 13:33, Heb. 1:5, 5:5 and applied to Jesus
    8 I will give you the world as your inheritance
    8a Ask from me and I will give the nations as your inheritance
    8b The extremities of the earth as your possession
    Because God rules/owns the whole earth, this is the same inheritance passed to His 'Son'
    9 You will defeat them
    9a You will break them with a staff of iron
    9b like a vessel of a potter you will shatter them
    Quoted in Rev. 2:27 and applied to Jesus as the universal King of Kings
    "But before he can rule the earth, the son must first break all opposition with his 'rod of iron,' smashing them as easily as one breaks a piece of pottery. It is very much the biblical order of things that there can be no peace without justice, and that justice requires the use of force. The king must conquer the wicked before he can rule." -cf. Isa. 11:1-9; Rev. 19:11-21 Provan p. 130
    10-12 The enemies response [very good advice to enemies]:
    10-11 Repent and serve Yahweh
    10 Repent
    10a And now kings be attentive, prudent
    10b Be corrected, chastened rulers of the earth
    11 Serve Yahweh
    11a Serve Yahweh with fear
    11b And shout in exultation with trembling
    12 Serve the Son or you will perish
    12a-b Kiss or perish
    12a Kiss the Son
    Kissing the feet is a well-known act of self-humiliation and homage
    12b Lest he will be angry and you will perish in the way
    wise up - be smart and repent
    Serve God with reverence and submit to His representative
    "Way" is a theme in Psalms
    -cf. esp. Psa. 1
    12c-d Wrath or refuge
    12c Because his wrath will burn quickly, easily
    12d Blessed are all the ones taking refuge in Him
    Blessed are those who repent, wrath to those who don't
    -cf. Psa. 1:1 forming an inclusio around the first 2 Psalms, marking them as a unity
    "blessing/prosperity" is a theme in Psalms
    "refuge" is a theme in Psalms
    The Psalms were probably put in their final arrangement (with this Psalm at the beginning) after the fall of Jerusalem and exile, when there were no longer Israelite kings.
    Therefore, this Psalm looks back in a sense to when Israelite kings ruled
    This also looks forward to a new kingly figure to rule in the future
    Psalm 2 therefore gives us a clue to the prophetic reading of Psalms.
    But only if we keep in mind that history runs in one direction only.
    The OT is interpreted and explains the NT by the NT fulfilling the OT, not vice versa
    Analogous fulfillment - the ultimate fulfillment resembles the expectation and prefigurement because God's character is the same
    This is how this Psalm was read in NT times
    Psalm 1+2 belong together as a whole that introduces the Psalms
    Psalm 2 begins with 'meditates' language and ends with 'blessed' (which acts as an inclusio)
    Psalm 1 is individual, Psalm 2 is about nations/kings (corporate solidarity)
    Psalm 1 describes 2 ways for an individual, Psalm 2 describes 2 ways for a nation
    Therefore, the King in Psalm 2 is assumed to be walking in the way of righteousness.
    If any king is not walking in the way of righteousness, then he is not a 'son' and should not presume upon any of God's promises.
    The same goes for the nation as a whole, no matter what the nation's heritage.
    Wicked governments will be swept away as sure as wicked individuals
    Psalm 2 is also an orientating perspective which gives us a key to reading the rest of the Psalms -
    God always wins - blesses the righteous and punishes the wicked.
    This also leaves a tension in the rest of the Psalms (as well as our lives) -
    When will this promise be fully realized? When will God bring final judgment and vindication?
    God's people are warned to not be too anxious for God's judgment, because we too are sinners in need of mercy,
    Yet we are invited to desire God's judgment, because righteousness will win in the end.
  • Psalm 3
  • Psalm 4
  • Psalm 5
  • Psalm 6
  • Psalm 7
  • Psalm 8
  • Psalm 9
  • Psalm 10
  • Psalm 11
  • Psalm 12
  • Psalm 13
  • Psalm 14
  • Psalm 15
  • Psalm 16
  • Psalm 17
  • Psalm 18
  • Psalm 19
  • Psalm 20
  • Psalm 21
  • Psalm 22
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    To the choirmaster/preeminent one
    According to "deer of the dawn
    A song (Mizmor) of David
    1-2 Cry for help
    1 "Why?"
    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from the words of my groaning?
    2 I cry out
    O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, and am not silent
    -cf. 17:6, 18:3
    3-5 Confession of trust
    3 God's nature
    Yet You are enthroned as the Holy One
    You are the praise of Israel
    4-5 God's history [track record]
    In you our fathers put their trust
    "Here the word 'trusted' tolls like a bell three times. In a situation of great danger, the psalmist speaks to God about the effectiveness of trust. Following the second tolling of the bell a new verb is sued, 'to cry,' which pushes the sense of trust beyond an inward, passive state - in which sense it is often understood today - into active trust, faith in action." Anderson, Out of the Depths. p. 25.
    they trusted and you delivered them
    They cried to you and were saved;
    in You they trusted and were not disappointed.
    6-8 Description of suffering
    6-7 Mocked
    But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by men and despised by the people.
    All who see me mock me;
    since he delights in him
    8 Their taunt
    "He trusts in the LORD;
    let the LORD rescue him.
    Let him deliver him,
    since he delights in him."
    quoted in Matt. 27:43
    9-10 Confession of trust
    Yet You brought me out of the womb;
    You made me trust in you even at my mother's breast.
    From birth I was cast upon you;
    from my mother's womb you have been my God
    11 Petition for rescue
    Do no be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.
    12-18 Description of suffering
    12-13 Enemies
    Many bulls surround me;
    strong bulls of Bashan encircle me
    Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
    14-15 Suffering
    I am poured out like water
    and all my bones are out of joint.
    My heart has turned to wax;
    it has melted away within me.
    My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
    -cf. John 19:28
    you lay me in the dust of death.
    16a Enemies
    Dogs have surrounded me;
    a band of evil men has encircled me,
    16b-18 Suffering
    they have pierced my hands and my feet.
    -cf. Zech. 12:10, John 20:25, Matt. 27:35
    I can count all my bones;
    people stare and gloat over me.
    They divide my garments among them
    and cast lots for my clothing.
    quoted in John 19:24
    19-21 Petition for rescue
    19 General
    But you, O LORD, be not far off;
    O my Strength, come quickly to help me
    20-21 Specific - Rescue from enemies
    Deliver my life from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.
    Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
    22-23 Vow to praise
    I will declare your name to my brothers;
    in the congregation I will praise you.
    quoted in Heb. 2:12
    You who fear the LORD, praise him!
    All your descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
    24 Assurance
    For he has not despised or disdained the sufferings of the afflicted one;
    he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help
    25 Vow to praise
    From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly
    before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.
    26-31 Testimony/Assurance
    26-29a All the earth will praise Him
    26 The poor
    The poor will eat and be satisfied;
    they who seek the LORD will praise him -
    may your hearts live forever!
    27-28 The whole earth
    All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD
    and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,
    for dominion belongs to the LORD
    and he rules over the nations.
    29a All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    29b-31 All generations will praise Him
    29b-c Past:
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him -
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
    30-31 Future:
    Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord
    They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn -
    for he has done it.
    The biggest/most developed parts of this Psalm are the Description of Suffering and Testimony
    The confession of trust in vv. 3-5 seems in a questioning mood, "yes them, why not me?"
    Based on history
    But there is an implicit appeal - "Just as you came through for them, I expect you to come through for me"
    Of course, this Psalm is quoted by Jesus on the cross
    -cf. Matt. 27:46
    It was not just a cry of forsakenness, but pointing to this Psalm
    It was a legitimate cry of forsakenness. Jesus' anguish was genuine.
    He experienced the physical pain of crucifixion, but also the infinitely greater suffering of being rejected by His Father and experiencing His wrath.
    But this was more than just a cry of anguish, it was also an intentional quote of this Psalm, to point the hearer to think about the Psalm as a whole and all that it says.
    It was not just pointing to predictive prophecy in this Psalm as a proof text
    This Psalm contains predictive prophecy specifically about the crucifixion which Jesus was experiencing when He quoted from this Psalm
    v.8 is quoted in Matt 27:43 when people mock Jesus while He is on the cross
    vv. 14-15 describe the physical experience of crucifixion
    v. 16 describes His hands and feet being pierced, cf. John 20:25, Matt 27:35
    v. 17 describes the people gloating over Him, cf. Luke 23:35
    v. 18 is quoted in Matt. 27:35, John 19:24 when they divided his clothes and gambled for His garment
    This certainly verifies that the crucifixion was predicted by God
    But this is not the ultimate reason that Jesus quoted Psa. 22
    The people who witnessed the crucifixion already believed in predictive prophecy and did not need to be convinced.
    Jesus was drawing attention to more than prophecy by quoting Psa. 22
    It points to the message and movement of this Psalm as a whole
    The Psalm as a whole speaks of God bringing rescue out of an impossible situation
    It is a typical Lament, moving from pain, to hope
    The experience of intense suffering for those who trust in God eventually turns to the experience of vindication, joy and worship
    So, by quoting this Psalm, Jesus was pointing to His eventual vindication and victory, leading to all nations worshiping God
    Notice the drastic shift of gears between v. 18-19
    The whole Psalm is a movement from orientation through suffering to reorientation
    It starts (after the initial cry for help) with an expression of trust that God never fails and the righteous always win
    It then describes the current experience of suffering and that the bad guys are currently winning
    But then it changes to describe the (eventual) victory and vindication of the righteous because God will eventually act at the proper time to rightly judge and to display His justice so that all will acknowledge His greatness and goodness
    Notice that even in suffering, Jesus has absolute assurance from the cross - cf. v. 24
    Jesus saw the resurrection and wanted to communicate that
    His cry was a cry of dereliction, but at the very same time a cry of hope and a cry of triumph
    The book of Hebrews makes this same connection by talking of Jesus being perfected through suffering and immediately quoting from the 2nd (happy) part of this Psalm
    The beginning of this Psalm are some of the most despairing expressions in the book of Psalms
    The end of this Psalm (vv. 25-31) are some of the happiest verses in Psalms
  • Psalm 23
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1 Theme statement
    1a The Lord is my shepherd
    "Shepherd" has the connotation of protection, provision, guidance, and even discipline (for the sheep's good).
    -cf. Ezek. ch. 34, John ch. 10
    1b I shall not be in need/lack
    2-3 Trust in orientation
    2a In pastures of grass He will cause me to rest
    2b Upon quiet waters He will lead me/cause me to rest
    3a My soul He will restore
    3b He causes me to rest in courses of righteousness
    Not our own way, but His way is the road to blessings
    He leads us there
    3c For the sake of His Name
    Not primarily for our sake
    The universe centers around Him (not us)
    4 Trust in Disorientation
    4a Even if I walk in the darkest valley
    Sometimes the good shepherd will lead us to bad places
    Typically the bad places are necessary roads that lead us to better places
    4b I will not fear evil/misfortune
    4c Because You are with me
    The presence of the shepherd takes away fear
    -cf. 27:1
    4d Your rod and staff they console/comfort me
    "rod" = club for protection or discipline
    "staff" = stick for guidance and direction
    5 Trust in Reorientation
    5a You arrange before me a table in the presence of the ones oppressing me
    5b You anoint my head with oil
    5c My cup is (filled to) complete abundance, saturation
    Overflowing, spilling over with blessings
    6 Summary
    6a Surely goodness and covenant faithfulness will pursue me all the days of my life.
    "pursue" is a very active word
    God is doggedly active in blessing His people
    The Good Shepherd actively cares for His sheep
    6b I will dwell in the house of Yahweh to the length of my days
    This is not wishful thinking, but a true glimpse of reality
    God really is for us - in all seasons of life
    -cf. Rom. 8:31-39
    This Psalm is know for its beautiful and beloved imagery for God’s care and provision
    The metaphor of the shepherd in vv. 1-4 changes to the metaphor of a gracious host in vv. 5-6
    In vv. 1-3 the Psalm speaks to God in the 3rd person ("The Lord," "He," "His") which changes to the 2nd person ("You," "Your") in vv. 4-6
    These two transitions overlap at verse 4, which is the center focus of the Psalm
    Trust in times of disorientation is emphasized
    Anyone can trust in good times
    Trusting in dark times is where we truly know God the most deeply
  • Psalm 24
  • Psalm 25
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    Superscription Of David
    1-3 Statement of Trust
    1b-2a Trust
    1b Unto You, Yahweh, I lift up my soul
    2a My God, in You I trust
    2b-c Prayer
    2b Do not let me be shamed
    2c And do not let my enemies rejoice over me
    3 Reason:
    3a Everyone waiting/hoping for You will not be shamed
    3b But they will be shamed, the ones dealing treacherously without cause
    The awkward word order is to closely display the original wording and parallelism
    4-5 Prayer for Guidance/Revelation of God's Nature
    4-5b Prayer
    4a Your ways, Yahweh, make me know
    "The deepest need of the supplicant is for understanding" Tate WBC p. 384
    We cannot pray effectively until we know the God we pray to
    4b Your paths, teach me
    5a Cause me to walk in your truth
    5b And teach me
    5c-d Reason:
    5c Because You are God of my salvation
    5d I am waiting/hoping for You all the day
    6-10 Prayer to remember Chesed
    6-7 Prayer
    6 Remember Your compassion
    6a Remember Your compassion, Yahweh
    6b And Your Covenant faithfulness, because they are eternal
    7 Not my sin
    7a Sins of my early life and my transgressions, do not remember
    7b According to Your Covenant faithfulness, You Yourself, remember me
    The "You Yourself" is emphatic in the original language, emphasizing God's personal involvement in the Psalmist's life
    7c For the sake of Your goodness, Yahweh
    8-10 Basis for Prayer = God's Character
    8-9 He is good and upright
    8a Good and upright is Yahweh
    8b-9 Therefore:
    8b He will teach sinners in the way
    9a He will lead afflicted ones in justice
    9b He will teach afflicted ones His way
    10 All His paths are Covenant faithfulness
    10a All the paths of Yahweh are Covenant faithfulness
    10b And truth, firmness to the one keeping His Covenant and His testimony
    11-14 Prayer for Forgiveness
    11 Prayer
    11a For the sake of Your Name, Yahweh
    11b Pardon my evil, because it is great
    12-14 Basis for Prayer = God's character
    12a Who is this one fearing Yahweh?
    12b-14 His reward
    12b-13 Part 1:
    12b He will teach him in the way He chose
    13a His soul in goodness it will abide
    13b And his seed will inherit the land
    14 Part 2:
    14a Intimacy is to the one fearing Him
    14b And His Covenant, He teaches them
    15-17 Prayer for Rescue, Help
    15 Trust
    15a My eyes are continuously upon Yahweh
    15b Because He, He will bring my feet out of the snare
    Again "He" is emphatic - Putting the focus on God and His activity
    16-17 Prayer
    16a Turn to me and be gracious
    16b Becaues I am lonely and afflicted
    17a The distresses of my heart enlarge
    17b Bring me out from my distress
    These four lines form a chiasm, with the lines forming an a-b-b-a pattern - also known as sandwich structure
    This serves to emphasize the two center lines
    18-19 Prayer for Help
    18 Part 1:
    18a See my affliction and my trouble
    18b And take away all my sin
    19 Part 2:
    19a See my enemies
    19b Because the violent hatred of those who hate me increases
    20-21 Summary
    20 Part 1:
    20a Guard my soul and rescue me
    20b Do not let me be shamed because I seek refuge in You
    21 Part 2:
    21a Let integrity and uprightness guard me
    21b Because I wait/hope for You
    22 Ransom Israel, O God, from all his distress
    Notice the Deep theological language
    "Chesed/Covenant Faithfulness"
    Notice the weaving together of themes
    God's mercy and covenant faithfulness interact
    Sin and forgiveness
    God's revealed standards of right and wrong
    Waiting for the Lord/Lifting up of soul
    Notice the repetition of language
    Notice the interplay back and forth of petitions and reasons
    The psalmist reasons with God in prayer
    He argues with God why God should answer the prayer
    The reasons are based on God's character, not on our character or our need
    On our own, we have no right to ask
    On our own, we have no reason to demand, or to expect God will hear
    We come with empty hands, with nothing to offer
    We rely solely on God's mercy and covenant faithfulness
    Our only hope for answered prayer is that God is the kind of God that He is
    Therefore, beware of a presumptuous attitude in prayer - that we can claim or proclaim or declare something on our own
    But based on His character, and the relationship He has given us, we can pray very bold prayers
    We are asking the Generous One, based on His infinite ability
    We will never cause something to happen by our ability or status
    The psalmist prays backward for help/forgiveness for past sins
    The psalmist prays forward for present and future guidance
    The psalmist prays in faith and trust because God is faithful and trustworthy
    The psalmist prays to know God and His Ways, Nature and Character
    "The deepest need of the supplicant is for understanding" Tate WBC p. 384
    We cannot pray effectively until we know the God to Whom we pray
  • Psalm 26
  • Psalm 27
  • Psalm 28
  • Psalm 29
  • Psalm 30
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1 Superscription
    1a A psalm, a song
    1b For the dedication of the temple
    1c of David
    2-3 Introduction
    2a Proclamation of praise
    2a I will exalt You, O LORD
    2b-3 Summary of reason
    2b For You lifted me out [of the depths]
    2c and did not let my enemies gloat over me
    3a Lord my God, I called for You to help
    cf. Psa. 5:3, 18:7, 42, 28:2, 72:12, 88:14, 119:147
    3b and You healed me
    4-6 From the pit to rejoicing
    4 Report of need
    4a LORD, You brought me up from the grave.
    4b You spared me from going down into the pit
    -cf. Psa. 28:1, 143:8, Isa. 13:15, 19, 38:18
    5-6 Testimony
    5a His pious ones sing to the LORD
    5b And they give thanks with respect to His holiness
    6a For [it is] a moment in His anger
    6b But a lifetime in His goodwill/favor
    "lifetime" both as days of life (lifespan) and quality of life (welfare and happiness)
    "goodwill" -cf. Psa. 5:13, 30:6, 8, 51:20, 89:18, 106:4
    6c weeping may remain for a night
    6d but rejoicing comes in the morning
    7-8 Theme section
    7 Secure
    7a In my ease/security, I said
    7b "I will never be shaken"
    8a-b Theme
    8a LORD, when You favored me
    8b You made my mountain stand firm
    8c-d Insecure
    8c but when You hid Your face
    8d I was dismayed
    9-12 From the pit to joy
    9 Report of petition and rescue
    9a To You, O LORD, I called
    9b to the Lord I cried for mercy
    10 Vow to praise
    10a What gain is there in my destruction
    10b in my going down to the pit?
    10c Will the dust praise You?
    10d Will it proclaim Your faithfulness?
    11-12 Report of petition and rescue
    11a Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me
    11b LORD, be the One Who helps me
    12a You turned my wailing into dancing
    12b You removed my sackcloth
    12c and clothed me with joy.
    13 Thanksgiving and praise
    13a That glory/honor may sing to You
    "poetic of the seat of honor in the inner man, the noblest part of man" BDB
    -cf. Gen. 49:6, Psa. 7:6, 16:9, 108:2, 57:9
    13b And he will not be silent
    13c O LORD, my God, I will give You thanks forever
    Notice the Formal elements
    1. Proclamation of love and praise
    I will exalt you, O Lord - v. 1
    2. Summary of reason - describing release from crisis
    for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me - v. 1
    3. Report of need/trouble
    depths, enemies - v. 1
    healed - v. 1
    grave, pit - v. 3
    weeping - v. 5
    wailing, sackcloth - v. 11
    contrasts time of security with when You hid your face, I was dismayed - v. 6-7
    4. Report of petition and rescue
    O LORD my God, I called to You for help and You healed me - v. 2
    O LORD, You brought me up from the grave; You spared me from going down into the pit - v. 3
    To You, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:...Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help - vv. 8-10
    5. Testimony
    Sing to the LORD, you saints of His; praise His holy Name...rejoicing comes in the morning - vv. 4-5
    6. Renewal of vow to praise
    Implicit in Will the dust praise You? Will it proclaim...? - v. 9
    that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give You thanks forever - v. 12
    7. Expression of thanks and praise
    You turned my wailing into dancing...I will give You thanks forever - vv. 11-12
    Notice the repetition of contrasts
    anger - favor
    weeping - rejoicing
    wailing - dancing
    sackcloth - joy
    Notice the contrast between then - now
    Notice the repetition of key words:
    grave- pit
    destruction - pit
  • Psalm 31
  • Psalm 32
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1a Superscription
    Of David
    A Maskil [contemplative poem]
    1b-2 The Forgiven one is blessed
    quoted by Paul in Romans
    1b Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven
    1c whose sins are covered
    2a Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him
    2b and in whose spirit is no deceit
    3-4 Hiding sin causes soul rot
    3a When I kept silent,
    3b my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long
    4a For day and night your hand was heavy upon me
    4b my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer
    5 Confession of sin brings healing
    5a Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    5b and did not cover up my iniquity
    5c I said, I will confess my transgression to the LORD
    5d and You forgave the guilt of my sin
    6-7 Confession leads to blessing and praise
    6 General
    6a Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to You while YOu may be found
    6b surely when the mighty waters rise,
    6c they will not reach him.
    7 Personal
    7a You are my hiding place
    7b You will protect me from trouble
    7c and surround me with songs of deliverance
    8-10 The moral: Don't be a fool - the Two Ways
    8 I will teach you
    8a I will instruct you
    8b and teach you in the way you should go
    8c I will counsel you
    8d and my eyes will be on you
    9 Don't be a fool, but repent by your own choice
    9a Do no be like the horse of the mule
    9b which have no understanding
    9c but must be controlled by bit and bridle
    9d or they will not come to you
    10 The two ways
    10a Many are the troubles of the wicked,
    10b but the LORDS's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him
    11 Praise
    11a Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous
    11b Sing, all you who are upright in heart!
    Repentance is necessary to purge the poison of sin
    take drastic measures to deal with sin
    Be killing sin or it will be killing you. - John Owen
    Kill it or it will multiply
    Amputating a limb is a painful, uncomfortable process, but it is sometimes necessary to save the life.
    Just as Jesus said it would be better to enter life maimed than to enter hell whole (Matt 5:29-30)
    Take whatever steps necessary to deal with sin in your life
    This is not a one time experience, but should be a regular habit of repentance
    our Lord and Master Jesus Christ . . . willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. - Martin Luther
    Confession leads to healing
    Confession is painful, but it is good medicine
    Repentance seems hard, but we must trust God that it is worth it
    A serious attempt to repent and really to know one’s own sins is in the long run a lightening and relieving process. Of course, there is bound to be a first dismay and often terror and later great pain, yet that is much less in the long run than the anguish of a mass of unrepented and unexamined sins, lurking in the background of our minds....Repentance is not something God demands of you before He will take you back and which He could let you off if He chose; it is simply a description of what going back is like. C.S. Lewis
    The one who confesses finds God as a refuge
    There may be consequences to our sin (hiding our sin makes the consequences worse in the long run)
    But when we confess, we run to God Who protects us from the worst consequences
    The two 'coverings':
    We either cover our sin (v. 5)
    Trying to hide it like Adam and Eve trying to cover themselves with fig leaves
    This is never successful in the long run.
    Or trying to atone for our own sin by our good works
    This is also impossible, because the guilt of even the smallest sin is beyond our ability to atone for.
    Or God covers our sin (v. 1)
    The one who confesses is truly covered with atonement
    The Two Ways:
    -cf. Psalm 1 - the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked
    The way of the wicked = hiding
    The way of the righteous = trusting God with confession
    Don't be like a stupid animal that must be forced, but freely confess
    The sinner who confesses and seeks God is equated with the righteous one in v. 11
  • Psalm 33
  • Psalm 34
  • Psalm 35
  • Psalm 36
  • Psalm 37
  • Psalm 38
  • Psalm 39
  • Psalm 40
  • Psalm 41
Book 2:
  • Psalm 42-3
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1 Superscription
    For the pre-eminent one
    a contemplative poem
    of the Sons of Korah
    2-6 First Stanza
    2-5 Cry out in honesty
    2-3 I thirst for God
    2a Like a deer is longing for streams of water
    2b So my soul is longing for You, O God
    3a My soul is thirsty for God, for the living God
    3b When will I enter and see your face, O God?
    I long for God because I miss Him,
    like a starving man longs for food
    4 I suffer in the midst of enemies
    4a My tears have been my bread, day and night
    day and night -cf. v. 8
    4b When they say to me all day long, Where is your God?
    -cf. v. 10
    The enemies taunt the Psalmist because of His faith in God and His experience of distance from God
    5 I pour out my soul as I remember
    5a These things I remember as I pour out my soul concerning me.
    remember -cf. v. 6
    on concerning me -cf. vv. 5, 6, 7, 11, 43:4
    The sorrow is made worse when the Psalmist remembers how good it was in the past
    5b That I passed along in the throng
    5c I would lead them slowly, deliberately until the house of God
    until -cf. 43:4
    house of God - theme of Temple, Zion, God's dwelling place in Psalms
    5d With a voice of a ringing cry and thanksgiving
    5e The crowd of those celebrating
    6 Cry out in hope - Refrain
    We need both honesty and hope
    Honesty with no hope leads to despair
    Hope with no honesty leads to self-deception disconnected with a hurting world
    6a Why are you cast down/despairing my soul?
    Why despair?
    When we realize Who God is, giving in to this kind of doubt and despair is unreasonable and unfaithful.
    Tell yourself not to listen to circumstances, but to listen to the truth.
    Preach the Gospel to Yourself every day - Lloyd Jones
    When you can't see God's hand, trust His heart. - Spurgeon
      And you murmur concerning me?
    6c Hope in, Wait for God
    Theme of lifting up of the soul, clinging to God in the Psalms.
      Because I will still thank/praise Him
        My salvation and my God
    7-12 Second Stanza
    7-11 Cry out in honesty
    7 My soul is downcast as I remember
    7a My soul is downcast concerning me
    7b Therefore, I will remember from the land of Jordan
    7c And Hermon, from the mountain of Mizar
    Hermon - mountain at the extreme border, or outside the border of the promised land
    from the mountain of Mizar or from the small mountain
    8 I am overwhelmed with trouble
    8a Deep chaos in addition to deep chaos calling
    In Hebrew cosmology, tehom [deep] is the primeval chaos of the sea which is overcome by God's creative ordering and limiting.
    The deep is feared and is an enemy which is overcome by God's saving activity
    8b The sound of your waterfalls
    8c All of your breakers and your waves
    Figurative of calamities and chastisements - BDB
    The Psalmist uses the illustration of waterfalls and sea breakers to demonstrate the chaos he is experiencing
    8d They pass over (concerning) me
    9 [An interlude of hope]
    9a By day, Yahweh will command His covenant love
    Hebrew chesed - often translated loving kindness, unfailing love, grace
    9b In the night, His song is with me
      A prayer to the God of my life
    Very similar (one letter difference) to living God in v. 3
    10 I am forgotten by God, oppressed by enemies
    10a I say to God my rock
    10b Why have you forgotten me?
    10c Why do I walk in darkness, oppressed by an enemy?
    -cf. 43:2-3
    11 I suffer in the midst of enemies
    11a When my bones are shattered
    11b My foes reproach me saying all day long, Where is your God?
    12 Cry out in hope - refrain
    -cf. v. 6
    12a Why are you cast down/despairing my soul?
      And you murmur concerning me?
    12c Hope in, Wait for God
      Because I will still thank/praise Him
        My salvation and my God
    1-5 Third Stanza
    1-4 Cry out in honesty
    1 Prayer for vindication
    1a Vindicate me O God
    1b Plead my case against an ungodly nation
    1c Deliver me from a man of treachery and injustice
    2 I am forgotten by God, oppressed by enemies
    2a For You are God of my refuge
    2b Why have you rejected me?
    2c Why do I walk in darkness, oppressed by an enemy?
    3 Prayer for light and truth to guide
    3a Stretch out Your light and Your faithfulness/truth
    Heb. emeth, often translated faithfulness, or truth, often paired with chesed (42:8) when referring to God as having grace and truth
    -cf. Exo. 34:6, Psa. 25:10, 85:10, 89:15, Isa. 16:5, John 1:17
    3b These, let them guide me
    3c They will bring me unto Your holy mountain
    3d And unto Your dwelling place
    4 An expression of assurance
    4a And let me go in unto the altar of God
    4b Unto God, my gladness and my joy
    4c I will thank/praise You with a lyre, God, my God
    5 Cry out in hope - refrain
    -cf. 42:6, 12
    5a Why are you cast down/despairing my soul?
      And you murmur concerning me?
    5c Hope in, Wait for God
      Because I will still thank/praise Him
        My salvation and my God
  • Psalm 44
  • Psalm 45
  • Psalm 46
  • Psalm 47
  • Psalm 48
  • Psalm 49
  • Psalm 50
  • Psalm 51
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-2 Superscription
    1a To the preeminent one
    1b A Song of David
    2a When Nathan went in to him
    2b Just as he went in to Bathsheba
    went in - possibly an ironic wordplay with the previous clause. But this verb is so common, it is not certain
    3-4 Opening Plea for forgiveness
    3a Show me grace O God, according to Your covenant faithfulness/love
    3b According to Your compassion, blot out the guilt of my transgression
    -cf. Psa. 9:6, 51:11
    4a Thoroughly was me from my evil
    4b And from my sin, purify me
    5-8 Confession
    5-6b Confession
    5a Because my transgressions, I myself, I know
    This horrible English is meant to show the word order and emphasis in the original Hebrew, as throughout
    I is emphasized - David highlights that he personally acknowledges his transgressions
    5b And my sin is before me continually
    David is expressing what we would call a guilty conscience
    His sin is a continual reality in his thoughts
    6a Against You, You alone, I sinned
    Of course, in one sense, there were other victims of David's sin - e.g. Bathsheba, Uriah, etc.
    But he emphasizes that sin is primarily against God Himself, to the extent that none else matters in comparison
    Every sin is cosmic rebellion
    6b And what is evil in Your eyes, I did
    6c-d Agreeing with God
    6c So that You are just in Your word
    Either causal (so Williams para. 366) I did evil in Your eyes because Your words are just...
    or result expressed ironically as intended purpose (so BDB) I did evil in order that/with the result that You are just in Your words.
    6d You are pure in Your judgments
    7-8 Confession
    7a Behold, in iniquity I was brought forth
    7b And in sin my mother conceived me
    8a Behold, truth/faithfulness You desire in the inner parts
    8b An in the closed up part wisdom You teach me
    9-11 Prayer for Cleansing
    9a Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean
    hyssop is a plant used in cleansing rituals, as prescribed by the Law of Moses
    David is praying that the means of cleansing revealed and promised by God be applied in his case
    9b Wash me and more than snow I will grow white
    10a Cause me to hear exultation and joy
    10b They will rejoice, the bones You crushed
    11a Hide Your face from my sins
    11b And all of my evils, wipe out
    12-14 Prayer for Restoration
    12a A clean heart, create in me, O God
    12b A steadfast spirit, renew/repair in my inward part
    steadfast - Established, firm, steadfast, directed aright, cf. Psa. 119:5, 57:7
    13a Do not send me away from You
    13b And Your Holy Spirit, do not take from me
    14a Return to me the joy of Your salvation
    14b And a willing spirit, support/uphold
    15-19 Testimony
    15 Declaring the Name - pt. 1
    15a I will teach transgressors Your ways
    15b And sinners, unto You will return
    16a-b Theme Verse
    16a Deliver me from bloodguilt
    16b O God, God of my salvation
    16c-17 Declaring the Name - pt. 2
    16c My tongue will cry out aloud Your righteousness
    17a My Lord, my lips will open
    17b And my mouth will declare Your praise
    18-19 The right kind of sacrifice
    18a For You do not delight in sacrifice
    18b And when I give a whole burnt offering, You will not be pleased
    19a The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit
    19b A broken and crushed heart O God, You will not despise
    crushed -cf. v. 10
    You will not despise -cf. Psa. 73:20
    20 Prayer for Zion
    20a Do good in Your grace to Zion
    -cf. Psa. 5:13, 30:6,8, 89:18, 106:4, 69:14, etc.
    20b Build the walls of Jerusalem
    21 Vow to praise
    21a Then You will take pleasure in righteous sacrifices
    then - logical sequence, not temporal
    21b And perfect whole burnt offerings
    21c Then they will go up on Your altar, young bulls
    The order of the typical parts/progression of thought is significant
    Confession and asking forgiveness comes before prayer for cleansing
    Prayer for cleansing comes before prayer for restoration, etc.
    David is not just asking for forgiveness, there is a lot more going on
    Asking for a change of life, a new life
    Going to the root of the problem and dealing with it
    Confession is more than just a listing of sins
    It is not just confessing that we sin, but that we are sinners
    We are not good people who do bad things, but bad people
    It is acknowledging our badness and inability
    Acknowledging that sin is against God
    Acknowledging God as the standard, and that he is right
    Acknowledging God's standards as right and at the same time so far beyond us
    conceived in sin is not about the mother, but the child
    It is not saying that the mother is sinful in conceiving a child
    But that the child [David] was sinful from the time he was conceived
    lit. I was born in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me
    NIV I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
    This is the doctrine of original sin
    Proclivity towards sin is characteristic of our life
    Original sin is the only doctrine that can be directly scientifically proved. - G.K. Chesterton
    If we don't acknowledge the reality of sin in our own life, we are self-deceived
    We need honesty in this area if we are to have hope
    Sin is not the worst thing in the world, denial of sin is. - Fulton Sheen
    Prayer for cleansing/forgiveness
    That we would truly be clean, not just declared clean
    Not pretending that it didn't happen, but truly forgiven even though it did happen
    And prayer for restoration
    We don't come back as 2nd class citizens, on probation
    But we are truly restored, it is in the past and gone.
    God is the only One Who can actually do the restoration
    It takes a miraculous work of new creation
    Same word as used in Gen. 1:1, Supernatural creation that only God can do
    In the same way, God grants the ability to enjoy and sustain new life
    It says joy of YOUR salvation
    Keep me in your presence
    Don't take Your Holy Spirit away
    Grant me a willing spirit - to sustain me
    David does not promise to be more willing
    But He prays that God would make him more willing
    We work out our salvation because God works in us both to will and to do (Phil. 2:12-13)
    to sustain - so that I don't do it again
    The one who is forgiven much, loves much (proclaims much)
    Our forgiveness leads to our testimony
    We should not be shy about proclamation
    He teaches others God's ways
    Sinners will turn back to God because of David's testimony
    Theme verse, v. 14a-b in the center
    This is a chiasm - emphasizes God Who saves me at the center
    Broken and contrite heart is better than sacrifice
    honest confession is important
    Blessed are they who mourn for they will be comforted
    -cf. the Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:10-14)
    Prayer for Zion
    This is an important theme
    Does this seem out of place in a penitential Psalm
    The theme of corporate solidarity helps explain it
    David was king - as goes David, so goes the nation
    Their destinies are entwined together
    Zion is the fullness of blessing and prosperity - including forgiveness and restoration -cf. Jer. 31
    Vow to praise
    The proper response is worship
    It comes from gratitude more than from duty
    Confession is important for the church
    Too often this is downplayed in the modern church
    But it is absolutely indispensable
    Not just for the corporate church, but also for the individual Christian
  • Psalm 52
  • Psalm 53
  • Psalm 54
  • Psalm 55
  • Psalm 56
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1 Superscription
    1a to the preeminent one/choir director
    1b Upon "the dove of distant silence"
    Possibly a song title, which gives the tune with which to sing the Psalm
    1c A Miktam of David
    A technical term of uncertain meaning
    Possibly inscription
    Always appears with of David
    1d When the Philistines seized him in Gath
    -cf. 1 Sam. 21:10-15
    2-3 Cry for help/Description of suffering
    2a Be gracious to me O God, because mankind crushes me
    2b All day long, the fighting ones oppress me
    cf. Psa. 35:1
    3a The ones who lie in wait crush me all day long
    3b Because many are the ones who war against me arrogantly
    4-5 REFRAIN - Confession of trust
    4a Whenever I fear, I will trust in you
    5a Through God, I will praise His Word
    Means or instrument, through God's help
    5b Through God, I will trust, I will not fear
    5c What will mankind do to me?
    as in what can it do?
    expressing disdain for the possibility that weak flesh will be able to do anything to the Psalmist who trusts in God
    6-7 Description of suffering
    6a All day long, they vex my affairs
    6b All of their plans against me are evil
    7a They quarrel, They themselves lie in wait/lurk
    7b They watch my footsteps as they lie in wait for my soul
    8 Petition for Rescue
    8a On account of wickedness, bring [me] to safety from them
    8b Bring down people with wrath, O God
    9 Appeal to God's Nature/Covenant
    9a You Yourself have taken account of my aimless fugitive wanderings
    9b Put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your scroll?
    10 Expression of assurance
    10a They my enemies will turn back
    10b In [that] day I will call
    10c This I know: that God is for me
    11-12 REFRAIN - Confession of trust
    11a Through God, I will praise His Word
    -cf. v. 5
    11b Through Yahweh, I will praise His Word
    12a Through God, I will trust, I will not fear
    12b What can a man do to me?
    13 Vow to Praise
    13a Your vows are an obligation to me O God
    13b I will fulfill thank offerings to You
    14 Expression of assurance
    14a Because You deliver my soul from death
    14b Are not my feet free from stumbling?
    -cf. Psa. 116:8
    14c To walk before God in the light of the living
    walk - of friendly relation to God, cf. Gen. 17:1, 24:40
    As token of Divine favor, cf. 1 Sam. 2:30, Psa. 116:9
  • Psalm 57
  • Psalm 58
  • Psalm 59
  • Psalm 60
  • Psalm 61
  • Psalm 62
  • Psalm 63
  • Psalm 64
  • Psalm 65
  • Psalm 66
  • Psalm 67
  • Psalm 68
  • Psalm 69
  • Psalm 70
  • Psalm 71
  • Psalm 72
Book 3:
  • Psalm 73
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1a Superscription
    A psalm
    of Asaph
    1b-c The confession
    1b Surely God is good to Israel
    1c to those who are pure in heart
    2-12 The problem
    2-3 Envy of the wicked
    2a But I, my feet slipped a little
    2b My steps almost slid away
    I was almost slipping away - KB
    Similar to the movie scene when a car or person teeters on the edge of a cliff and it is unsure whether they will fall or not
    3a For I was envious of the arrogant ones
    3b [when] I saw the prosperity of the wicked ones.
    4-9 The description of the wicked
    4-5 They don't have problems
    4a There is no pang to their death
    4b And their belly is fat
    5a They are free from the trouble of mankind
    5b They are not plagued along with humanity
    6-7 They are proud
    6a Therefore, pride is their necklace
    6b They clothe themselves with garments of violence
    7a From their unresponsive eye comes iniquity
    7b The imaginations of [their] heart overflows
    8-9 They are rebellious
    8a They mock, and speak with malice
    8b From high arrogance they speak oppression
    9a They set their mouths against heaven
    9b and their tongues do the same thing on the earth
    do the same thing - lit. walk
    possibly means behavior, lifestyle - their tongues behave this way on earth
    possibly means follow i.e. does the same thing
    10-12 People follow them in their rebellion
    10 People follow them
    10a Therefore he turned people to him
    10b And waters of abundance are pured out for him
    11-12 What these people think
    11 God won't judge
    11a They say, How can God know?
    11b And Is there knowledge with the Most High?
    12 The wicked are worth following
    12a Behold, these are wicked ones
    12b They are continually at ease, they increase in wealth.
    13-14 Ironic restatement of the problem - God's ways don't pay
    13a Surely in vain I have made/kept my heart pure
    13b And [in vain] I have washed my hands in innocence
    14a And I was plagued all day long
    14b And my punishment in the morning
    15-20 Solution - coming to his senses
    15 Realizing the error of this mindset
    15a If I said, I will announce/tell this kind of thing,
    15b Behold, I would have dealt treacherously with your children
    i.e. If I would actually have given in to this attitude and lived it out, I would have betrayed God's people
    16-17 How the realization came
    16a When I tried to understand this
    16b It was trouble in my eyes.
    17a Until I entered the sanctuary of God
    17b [then] I understood their destiny
    destiny lit. what happens afterward, cf. v. 24
    18-20 Their destiny
    18a Surely you place them on a slippery place
    18b You caused them to fall to deception
    19a How they have come to desolation in a moment
    19b They come to an end, they are finished because of sudden terrors!
    20a As a dream when one awakes
    20b so when you arise, O Lord
    20c You will despise them as fantasies
    Either image like a shadow lacking reality (implied from parallelism with 20a)
    Or idol as in idolatry (implied in the rest of the Psalm)
    21-28 Recounting the change
    21-22 I was stupid to doubt
    21a When my heart was embittered
    21b And I was pierced/dismayed in my secret parts
    to be pierced through one's internal organs, be poignantly disturbed - KB
    22a I was brutish and I was not understanding
    22b I was a brute beast with you
    23-24 But now I see the reality
    23a Yet I am always with you
    23b You grasp [me] by my right hand
    24a You will guide me by your counsel
    24b And afterward You will take me into glory
    afterward - same word as destiny in v. 17
    The Psalmist contrasts two ways and their two different destinies
    25-26 The confession
    25a Who is mine in heaven [except You]?
    Possibly possessive Who is mine?
    Possibly interest/advantage Who is for my sake?
    Possibly assistance/partisanship Who is on my side?
    25b And I don't desire anything in the earth in addition to You
    26a My flesh and my heart will fade away
    26b [but] God is the rock of my heart and my portion forever
    27-28 The bottom line
    27a For behold, those who are far from You will perish
    27b You will annihilate all who are unfaithful to You
    28a And for me, nearness to God is good
    28b I have made my refuge in the Lord Yahweh
    28c To announce/tell all of Your deeds
    Same word as v. 15
    Instead of acknowledging and announcing the mindset of the wicked, the Psalmist acknowledges and announces the great deeds of the Lord.
    Notice the word surely in v. 1, 13, and 18. It is used for emphasis and to highlight the themes of the Psalm
    He was taken in by appearances, almost to the point of failing
    our society is all about appearances, image, reputation, and publicity
    God does not look at the outward appearance, but the heart (1 Sam 16:7)
    Things don't have to look spiritual and good to genuinely be spiritual and good
    Things that look like failure are not always so
    Many actually are taken in to the point of following in rebellion
    Be careful by which standard you evaluate things
    Too many believers look at celebrities, rich and famous and envy them.
    Too many in our culture idolize and follow people into ideologies that are ungodly
    Too many ignore godliness because it does not look hip and cool
    Too many churches try to be hip and cool and forget what is truly important
    We need to be very careful of being taken in by appearances. Look for the reality behind appearances.
    It is an issue of heart
    Our heart/attitude is the battleground between two destinies
    -cf. v. 1 the pure of heart
    -cf. v. 7 the imaginations of their heart
    -cf. v. 13 I have kept my heart pure in vain
    -cf. v. 21 my heart was embittered
    -cf. 26 my flesh and heart may fail, but You are the strength of my heart
    He came to his senses when He entered the temple
    The temple was the place where he was reminded of the reality of God and the fantasy of all of these other things by comparison
    In the temple, the Psalmist saw beyond appearances to reality
    He saw that the difference was in timing
    Even if the wicked were prospering, the prosperity was temporary
    Something that lasts only a moment is not as real as something that lasts forever
    Good looks, popularity, etc. can be deceptively fleeting, and are not as important as we often make them
    destiny - what comes afterward
    The same word is used in v. 17 and v. 24
    lit. what comes afterward i.e. the ultimate result of what came before
    There are two destinies described:
    The destiny of the wicked is to slip and fall (v. 18), to end in terror (v. 19), to be despised by God (v. 20), to disappear like a dream when you awake (v. 20), and to be destroyed (v. 27)
    Contrast the destiny of the wicked with the temporary appearance of their blessing
    The destiny of the believing Psalmist is to be with God (v. 23, 28), to be led/guided by God (v. 23-24), to be taken to glory (v. 24), and to have God as his portion (v. 26)
    We desperately need this kind of reality check on a regular basis
    We get it in Psalms 1&2
    We get it when we go to church, have devotions, etc.
    We get it whenever we somehow experience the reality of God, his presence, power and purposes
    And it shows the shallowness of worldly things by contrast
  • Psalm 74
  • Psalm 75
  • Psalm 76
  • Psalm 77
  • Psalm 78
  • Psalm 79
  • Psalm 80
  • Psalm 81
  • Psalm 82
  • Psalm 83
  • Psalm 84
  • Psalm 85
  • Psalm 86
  • Psalm 87
  • Psalm 88
  • Psalm 89
Book 4:
  • Psalm 90
  • Psalm 91
  • Psalm 92
  • Psalm 93
  • Psalm 94
  • Psalm 95
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-5 First Stanza
    1-2 Call to worship
    1a Come, let us cry out for joy to the Lord
    cry out - pi. in contrast to qal means to let out an entire series of cries of jubilation, to rejoice. - HALOT en loc.
    1b let us raise a shout to the Rock of our salvation.
    2a Let us draw near to His presence with thanksgiving
    2b and let us raise a shout of triumph to Him with song
    3-5 Reason to worship - He is Creator over all
    3a For the Lord is a great God
    3b And the great King over all gods
    4a In Whose hand are the unexplored depths of the earth
    4b and the peaks of the mountains belong to Him
    5a Who, the sea belongs to Him, for He Himself made it
    5b and His hands formed the dry land
    6-7c Second Stanza
    6 Call to worship
    6a Come, let us worship and let us bow down
    6b let us kneel before the Lord the One Who made us
    7a-c Reason to worship - He is Covenant Lord
    7a because He is our God
    7b and we are the people of His shepherding
    7c and [we are] the flock of His hand/care
    7d-11 Third Stanza
    7d-9 Call to worship
    7d Today, if you hear His voice
    8a do not harden your hearts
    8b as [your fathers did at] Meribah
    8c as [your fathers did] that day at Massah in the desert
    9a where your fathers tested
    9b they tried/examined me
    9c they had also seen my deed/work
    10-11 Reason to worship - He leads faithful people to His rest
    10a [For] forty years I felt loathing against that generation
    10b I said, They are a people of erring/wandering heart,
    10c and they did not know my ways.
    11a Which I declared on oath in my anger,
    11b They shall never enter my rest/resting place
    Notice the typical pattern of Hymns
    call to praise and reasons for praise
    matching of praise with the reasons that God is worthy of praise
    The third stanza seems to break the mold
    The form helps us to understand what's going on in the third stanza
    The challenge to not harder your heart is a call to worship
    We worship by trusting in God's ability and faithfulness
    This is the opposite of the way that the Israelites treated God at Meribah and Massah -cf. Exodus 17:1-7
    The reason to worship is twofold:
    1. Warning of God's displeasure/wrath - here described as exclusion from God's wrath
    2. Invitation to enter God's rest - the fullness of all that God has planned for His people.
  • Psalm 96
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-2 Call to Praise
    1a Sing to Yahweh a new song
    1b Sing to Yahweh all the earth
    2a Sing to Yahweh, bless His Name
    -cf. 1 Chron. 16:23ff.
    2b Herald His salvation as glad tidings from day to day
    3 Missionary Praise
    3a Relate/recount/rehearse His glory among the nations
    3b [Relate] His wonderful deeds in all peoples
    4-6 Reasons for Praise
    4a Because Yahweh is great and very worthy to be praised
    -cf. Psa. 28:2, 145:3
    4b He is to be feared above all 'gods'
    -cf. Psa. 47:3, 68:36, 76:8, 89:8, Deut. 7:21, 10:17
    5a Because all of the 'gods' of the people are idols/worthless things
    5b But Yahweh, He made the heavens
    6a Splendor and majesty are before Him
    Splendor -cf. Job 40:10, Psa. 111:3
    majesty -cf. Psa. 104:1, 29:4, 145:5
    6b Strength and beauty are in His Holy Place
    7-9a Call to Praise
    7a Ascribe to Yahweh, tribes of people
    7b Ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength
    8a Ascribe to Yahweh the glory of His Name
    8b Offer a tribute and enter His courts
    9a Worship/bow down to Yahweh in holy splendor/attire
    holy splendor/attire - lit. splendor of holiness
    either priestly attire (BDB) or splendor of God's 'attire' (KB)
    9b-10 Missionary Praise
    9b Writhe in agony from His face/away from Him all the earth
    10a Say among the nations, Yahweh reigns
    10b Thus the world will be established, she will not be shaken
    10c He will judge the peoples with uprightness
    11-12 Cosmic Praise
    11a Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad
    11b Let the sea thunder and its fullness
    12a Let the field and everything in it exult
    12b Then all of the trees of the forest will give a ringing cry before the Lord
    13 Reasons for Praise
    13a Because He is coming
    13b Because He is coming to judge the earth
    13c He will judge the earth with righteousness
    13d And [He will judge] peoples with His truth/faithfulness
    Notice the standard formal elements - call to praise and reasons to praise
    Notice the grand scope of the Psalm
    It goes beyond personal praise to call the entire nation to praise
    And it calls all nations (missionary) and all the earth (cosmic) to praise the Lord
    Notice that this is tied to reasons which are just as grand and cosmic in scope
  • Psalm 97
  • Psalm 98
  • Psalm 99
  • Psalm 100
  • Psalm 101
  • Psalm 102
  • Psalm 103
  • Psalm 104
  • Psalm 105
  • Psalm 106
Book 5:
  • Psalm 107
  • Psalm 108
  • Psalm 109
  • Psalm 110
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1a Superscription
    Of David
    A Psalm/Song
    1b-3 First Oracle
    1b-d Oracle
    1b Introductory Formula: Oracle/utterance of the LORD to my Lord:
    There are two different words translated Lord in this verse
    The first is the Personal Name of God, probably pronounced 'Yahweh'
    The second is the word master, ruler, leader
    Jesus quotes this verse referring to the Son of David being greater than David
    1c-d Oracle
    1c Sit at my right hand
    1d until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.
    This verse is quoted in Matt. 22:44, Mk. 12:36, Luke 20:42, Acts 2:34-5, Heb. 1:13
    -cf. Matt. 26:64, 1 Cor. 15:25, Heb. 1:3, 10:12-13, 12:2, Eph. 1:20
    2-3 Related Promises
    2 First:
    2a The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion
    -cf. Psa. 2:6-8, 45:6
    2b Rule in the midst of your enemies
    -cf. Gen. 49:10
    3a-b Second:
    3a Your troops will be willing on your day of battle
    3b Arrayed in holy majesty
    -cf. 1 Chron. 16:29, Psa. 96:9
    3c-d Third:
    3c from the womb of the dawn
    probably refers to the source of the dawn, or early morning as the source of the dew
    3d the dew of your youth is for you
    dew is part of Jacob's blessing in Gen. 27:28 and is often mentioned as a sign of blessing
    4-7 Second Oracle
    4 Oracle
    4a-b Introductory Formula
    4a The LORD has sworn
    The LORD is the Personal Name of God - Yahweh
    4b and will not change His mind
    In one sense, this phrase is unnecessary because when God swears to do something, He always keeps His promises
    But in the parallelism, the second line amplifies and underscores God's promise and the absolute certainty, with no possibility of failure
    4c-d Oracle
    4c You are a priest forever
    4d in the order of Melchizedek
    quoted in Heb. 5:6, 7:17, cf. Gen. 14:18, Heb. 6:20
    5-7 Related Promises
    5 First:
    5a The Lord is as your right hand
    the Lord is the noun master, ruler, lord not God's Personal Name
    -cf. Psa. 16:8, 109:31
    5b He crushes kings on the day of His wrath
    -cf. Psa. 2:5, 12, Rev. 11:18
    6 Second:
    6a He will judge the nations
    -cf. Joel 3:12
    6b heaping up the dead
    -cf. Isa. 66:24
    6c He crushes many heads/leaders of the land/earth
    -cf. Psa. 68:21
    7 Third:
    7a He will drink from a brook beside the way
    -cf. Judges 15:18-19
    7b therefore, he will lift up his head
    -cf. Psa. 3:3, 27:6
    Notice the place of this Psalm in the overall book of Psalms
    Book 3 (Psalms 73-89) ends with a royal Psalm, but a royal Psalm of desperation (Psa. 89 - "Why has God's promise to David apparently failed?")
    Much of book 4 (Psalms 90-106) is about God as King of Israel and of the world
    And in Book 4, there is less mention of Israel's human kings as God's representative
    Book 4 seems to sense a lack of an earthly king and transfers kingly rule exclusively to God.
    Psalm 110 (near the beginning of Book 5 (Psalms 108-150)) reverses that attitude of apparent defeat with a solid promise
    The promise is that an earthly king would continue forever in a priestly role. This is assured by an oath from God The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind
    Notice that this Psalm is a reaffirmation of the earlier promises of Psalm 2 and 2 Samuel ch. 7
    God promises His earthly King that He would give him a scepter to crush his enemies
    God promises that a descendant of David would rule on His throne forever
    This Psalm echoes these promises and even goes beyond them in scope and magnitude.
    Notice that the first oracle (vv. 1-3) uses the word your to focus on the human King
    Notice that God accomplishes the promises, not the human king
    The Psalm does not focus on the human king winning battles, but on God giving victories
    God puts the enemies under the King's feet. This is not the King's doing
    Notice that the people will be the King's willing subjects, not forced slaves
    What is the significance of Melchizedek?
    Melchizedek is only mentioned in 3 places in the entire Bible (Gen. ch. 14, Psa. 110 and Heb. chs. 5-7)
    In the Genesis story, He has higher ranking than Abraham (as emphasized in Hebrews [remember that David's 'Lord' is greater than David in v. 1])
    Hebrews makes the application that his priesthood is therefore higher ranking than the priesthood of Aaron and his descendants
    Melchizedek is the king of Salem, which is Jerusalem (long before the Israelites made Jerusalem the capital)
    Salem means peace, therefore, he is king of peace
    Melchizedek means King of Righteousness
    Melchizedek is a priest - an intermediary between God and mankind
    Melchizedek brings the roles of king and priest together in one person. In Israel, these two roles were always separate
    And Melchizedek is completely separate from the normal priestly system in OT Israel, which is emphasized in Hebrews to prove that his priesthood is not temporary like Aaron's priesthood.
    The book of Hebrews makes it clear that the ultimate fulfillment of everything about Melchizedek is found in Jesus
    Jesus is higher than David, Abraham and Aaron, etc.
    Jesus is the true Prince of Peace and King of Righteousness
    Jesus is the ultimate intermediary between God and mankind
    Because Jesus is an eternal priest, His priesthood is eternally effective, cf. Heb. chs. 5-7
    Notice that God will be victorious
    His enemies will be completely crushed
    They will become a footstool for His King.
    -cf. 1 Cor. 15:24-28 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
    Notice that the King will be God's representative, enjoying God's favor - again, perfectly fulfilled by Jesus.
  • Psalm 111
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1 The praise of the LORD
    1a Praise the Lord
    1b I will extol/thank the Lord with all my heart
    cf. Psa. 9:1
    1c in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation
    2-4a The works of the Lord
    2a Great are the works of the Lord
    -cf. Psa. 92:5, 143:5, 139:14
    2b Being inquired about by all who delight in them
    3a Splendor and majesty characterize His deeds
    -cf. 145:5
    3b And His righteousness stands forever
    -cf. Psa. 112:3, 9, 119:142, Isa. 51:8
    4a He has made His wonders to be remembered
    -cf. Psa. 26:7, 78:4
    4b-5 The character of the Lord
    4b The Lord is gracious and compassionate
    -cf. Exo. 34:6-7, Deut. 4:31, Psa. 86:5, 15, 103:8, 145:8, 112:4
    5a He gives food to those who fear Him
    -cf. Psa. 34:9-10, 145:15, Matt. 6:26
    5b He will remember His covenant forever
    -cf. Psa. 105:8, Deut. 7:9, Luke 1:72
    6-9 The character of the works of the Lord
    6a He has declared the power of His deeds to His people
    6b To give to them the inheritance of the nations
    -cf. Psa 105:44
    7a The works of His hands are true/faithful and just
    -cf. Psa. 33:4, 89:14, Deut. 32:4
    7b All His precepts are true/confirmed/trustworthy
    -cf. Psa. 93:5
    8a They are supported forever and ever
    -cf. Psa. 119:89, 160, Isa. 14:8
    8b [They are] done in truth/faithfulness and uprightness
    -cf. Psa. 19:9, Rev. 15:3
    9a He sent redemption to His people
    -cf. Luke 1:68
    9b He commanded His covenant forever
    9c Holy and awesome/fearful is His Name
    -cf. Psa. 99:3, Luke 1:49
    10a-b The fear of the Lord
    10a The fear of the Lord is the chief part/beginning of wisdom
    -cf. v. 5, Psa. 19:9, 112:1, Prov. 1:7, 9:10, Job 28:28, Eccl. 12:13
    10b All who do them have prudence/insight
    -cf. Deut. 4:6
    10c His praise is established forever
    Notice the repeated words and concepts
    deeds/works (vv. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7)
    remembrance (vv. 4, 5)
    gracious giving (vv. 5, 6) faithfulness/truth (vv. 7, 8)
    justice/righteousness (vv. 3, 7)
    uprightness (vv. 1, 3, 8)
    forever (vv. 3, 5, 8, 9, 10)
    covenant (vv. 5, 9) fear [of the Lord] (vv. 5, 9, 10)
    The fear of the Lord is the chief part/beginning of wisdom
    Fear of the Lord is a theme of the book of Proverbs cf. 1:9, 9:10
    fear of the Lord (cf. v. 5, 10)includes profound respect and honor , but is never wholly free from terror, nor should it be.
    God is a consuming fire Whom we should be afraid of displeasing [of course, He is also a gracious Father Who has given His love when we deserve His wrath (v. 4)]
    chief part/beginning is not just the start of something, which can then be left behind
    It is the most basic part, like the alphabet for reading or numbers for arithmetic
    You start with the fear of the Lord, but you never leave it behind
    Any 'wisdom' without the fear of the Lord is not really wisdom
    Notice that this Psalm begins and ends with praise
  • Psalm 112
  • Psalm 113
  • Psalm 114
  • Psalm 115
  • Psalm 116
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    The Skeleton of this outline it taken from Anderson, Out of the Depths. p. 108f.
    1-2 Introduction
    1a Proclamation of praise
    1a I love [the LORD]
    1b-2 Summary of Reason
    1b Because Yahweh heard my voice
    1c [He heard] my supplication for mercy
    2a Because He inclined His ear to me
    2b And I will call out [to Him] in all my days
    3-9 Retrospect
    3-4 Past Experience
    3 Report of need
    3a Cords of death encompass me
    3b the distresses of Sheol found me
    3c I found trouble and distress/sorrow
    4 Report of petition
    4a And I will call on the Name of Yahweh
    -cf. v. 13, 17
    4b O Yahweh, save/deliver my soul!
    5-7 Trust in God
    5-6a Testimony
    5a Yahweh is gracious and righteous
    5b And our God is compassionate
    6a Yahweh is guarding the simple-minded
    6b-c Report of rescue
    6b I was low
    6c And He saved me
    7 Testimony
    7a Return, O my soul, to your resting place
    7b Because Yahweh has dealt bountifully with you
    8-9 Divine Answer
    8 Summary of reason
    8a Because You rescued my soul from death
    8b [You rescued] my eyes from tears
    8c [You rescued] my feet from stumbling
    9 Response
    9 I will walk before Yahweh in the land of the living
    10-19 Conclusion - vow to praise
    10-11 Report of need
    10a I believed, therefore I was saying,
    10b I am very bowed down/afflicted
    11a In my dismay/alarm I myself said
    In my alarm - temporal, when I was alarmed
    The I is emphatic - I myself
    11b All men are liars/lying
    12-14 Vow to Praise
    12 Question:
    12a How can I bring back/return/repay to Yahweh
    12b [for] all His goodness/benefits to me?
    13-14 Answer:
    13a I will lift up the cup of salvation
    13b and I will cry out in/to the Name of Yahweh
    -cf. v. 4, 17
    14a I will fulfill my vows to Yahweh
    14b in the presence of all His people
    -cf. v. 18
    15-16a Testimony
    15 Precious in the eyes of Yahweh is the death of His pious ones.
    16a O Yahweh, for I am Your servant
    16b-d Expression of thanks and praise
    16b I am Your servant
    16c The son of Your maidservant
    16d You have freed me from my bonds
    17-19b Vow to praise
    17a I will sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving
    17b and cry out in/to the Name of Yahweh
    -cf. v. 4, 13
    18a I will fulfill my vows to Yahweh
    18b in the presence of all His people
    -cf. v. 14
    19a in the courts of the house of Yahweh
    19b in Your midst, O Jerusalem
    19c Praise Yahweh
    Notice how God's character is described
    He is gracious and righteous, He is compassionate, He guards the simple (v. 5)
    He is giving (v. 7)
    He is worthy of praise (v. 19)
    Notice the central stanza/Centered verse: When I was in great need, He saved me(v. 6)
    Notice the fitting response
    Gratitude, thanks and praise are a fitting response to God's rescue
    These things did not come first, but God's action was prior
    Notice that the way to repay is not to try to pay Him back, but to depend on Him more
    Notice that the way to repay Him is to acknowledge Him before others
    Notice that thanks flows naturally in testimony about God's rescue, not begrudgingly
    Notice the Ethic of gratitude - doing good out of gratitude, not in order to earn favor
  • Psalm 117
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1 Call to Praise
    1a Praise Yahweh all nations
    Hebrew Hallelujah which is literally a call to praise connected with the Name Yahweh
    1b Laud Him all peoples
    2a-b Reason to Praise
    2a Because His covenant faithfulness is strong/superior unto us
    2b And the faithfulness/trustworthiness of Yahweh is forever
    Notice the typical pair of chesed (covenant faithfulness) and emeth (faithfulness/trustworthiness)
    -cf. Exod. 34:6 etc.
    2c Concluding Call to Praise
    2c Praise Yahweh
    Hebrew Hallelujah
  • Psalm 118
  • Psalm 119
  • Psalm 120
  • Psalm 121
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1a Superscription
    A Song of Ascents
    1b-2 Question & Answer
    1b-c Question
    1b I lift up my eyes to the mountains
    1c Where does my help come from?
    2 Answer
    2a My help comes from Yahweh
    2b The One Who made heaven and earth
    3-8 Yahweh will guard (watch over) you
    3-4 He won't sleep
    3a He will not give your foot to slip
    3b The One guarding you will not be drowsy
    4a Behold, He will not be drowsy
    4b and The One guarding Israel will not sleep
    5-6 He shades you
    5a Yahweh is the One guarding you
    5b Yahweh is your shadow at your right hand
    6a By day, the sun will not strike you
    6b nor the moon [will strike you] by night
    7 He protects you
    7a Yahweh will guard you from all evil/harm
    7b He will guard your life/soul
    8 He will guard you
    8a Yahweh will guard when you go out and when you enter
    8b From now and until forever
    In a contest of gods, our God always wins
    lifting up eyes to the mountains is a military metaphor
    The Psalmist is waiting for reinforcements, looking for the calvary to arrive
    He asks where this help will come from
    Our help comes from the top
    The One Who created everything is the One who helps us
    He has the sovereign power and authority to be infinitely helpful
    There is nothing He cannot do and no one who can stand against Him
    Our God watches over us, He guards us in every situation, at all times
    Our God NEVER fails
  • Psalm 122
  • Psalm 123
  • Psalm 124
  • Psalm 125
  • Psalm 126
  • Psalm 127
  • Psalm 128
  • Psalm 129
  • Psalm 130
  • Psalm 131
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1a Superscription
    A song of ascents
    Of David
    1b-2 I am not self-sufficient
    1b-c I am not proud
    1b My heart is not proud, O Yahweh
    1c And my eyes are not haughty
    1d-2 But I am like a child
    1d-e I don't go beyond my position
    1d I will not deal with/concern myself with great things
    lit. I will not walk in
    fig. of humility BDB
    1e Or in things too wonderful for me
    2 But I am dependent
    2a Certainly, I have stilled and quieted my soul
    The term translated Certainly is an oath formula
    2b Like a weaned child with its mother
    On weaned child see the comments below
    2c Like a weaned child is my soul upon me
    3 Trust in the Lord
    3a Israel, wait for/hope in Yahweh
    3b From now and until forever
    The Psalmist does not pry into the mysteries of the universe
    He refuses to go beyond his station and ability
    He recognizes that there are great matters, which are too wonderful for him
    He is not trying to be in control of everything, knowing that there are some things beyond his control
    He is admitting that he does not have everything in hand
    He refuses to overestimate his own importance, and leaves room for God to be God
    But he sees himself as a gamul
    gamul is the Hebrew word for a child who has just been weaned from mother's milk to solid food
    In the OT culture, this was a child around 2-3 years old - a toddler
    Toddlers of this age are often clingy to their parents, rarely venturing away from them
    Toddlers of this age are also dependent on their parents, and go to their parents for everything
    Toddlers of this age do not worry about their next meal, because their parents provide
    Toddlers of this age do not worry about international politics because their parents will protect them, etc.
    Therefore, he takes a posture of trust and dependence on God
    Like a gamul with its mother, the Psalmist relies on God
    He clings to and trusts in God to take care of the things beyond his ability
    The world is a big and complicated place - there is no way we can figure it out on our own
    We desperately need to cling to God
    God is able to take care of all the issues in this world that are out of our control
    Whenever we are tempted to be anxious about the economy or world politics, etc.,
    We should remind ourselves that God has these things under control, even when we cannot understand
    We are like a toddler in our understanding of most of the universe
    But no concern, because we have a loving Father, who will take care of it
    Cast your cares on Him because He cares (1 Pet. 5:7)
  • Psalm 132
  • Psalm 133
  • Psalm 134
  • Psalm 135
  • Psalm 136
  • Psalm 137
  • Psalm 138
  • Psalm 139
  • Psalm 140
  • Psalm 141
  • Psalm 142
  • Psalm 143
  • Psalm 144
  • Psalm 145
  • Psalm 146
  • Psalm 147
  • Psalm 148
  • Psalm 149
  • Psalm 150
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1 Call to Praise
    1a Hallelujah [Praise Yahweh!]
    1b Praise God in His Sanctuary
    1c Praise God in His heavenly fortress
    lit. in the expanse/firmament of His strength/fortress
    Possibly in His mighty firmament
    Possibly in His heavenly fortress
    2 Reasons to Praise
    2a Praise Him for His mighty deeds
    2b Praise Him in accordance with the magnitude of His greatness
    3-5 How to Praise - Every Instrument
    3a Praise Him with the blast of the horn
    3b Praise Him with the harp and lyre
    4a Praise Him with tambourine and dance
    4b Praise Him with strings and reed pipe
    5a Praise Him with the sound of cymbals
    5b Praise Him with crashing cymbals
    6 Call to Praise - Everything with breath
    6a Let every breathing thing Praise Yah!
    6b Hallelujah [Praise Yahweh!]
    Notice that this last Psalm is completely praise - as the doxology that wraps up the entire book of Psalms
    Notice the dramatic, extravagant scope of the praise in this Psalm
    Notice that it is all encompassing - Every instrument (and appropriate activity) should be used for praise
    Notice that it is all encompassing - Everything that has breath should praise God
    Notice the twofold reason for praise - His works and His Nature
    Praise the Lord! - It is extremely important and appropriate