Psalm 136; Psalm 146; Psalm 147; Psalm 148; Psalm 149; Psalm 150
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Psalm 136 is a liturgy of Praise to God as Creator and Redeemer. A Levitical priest singer likely led the recital, while either worshippers or a Levitical choir responded with the refrain. Fun Bible factoid here - the response "His love endures forever" is repeated 26 times in this Psalm, which is the numerical value of God's name "Yahweh" - back when Hebrew letters were also used as numbers. A lot of intricacies went into the Psalms... some of which do get lost in translation from Hebrew to English. Below is an image of the Hebrew letters yud, hey, vav, hey -- often depicted in English as YHWH or Yahweh -- spelling the name of God.
Psalm 136 is also a Michael W. Smith song! :) C'mon, you know the one - verse 1 - "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever." (and Smitty carries on - "for he is good, he is above all things, his love endures forever. Sing praise. Sing Praise! Forever God is faithful, forever God is strong...")
I love Psalm 146 verse 9 today: "The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows." If God protects foreigners, orphans and widows, should we protect these folks in our communities as well? How in your life today are you caring for orphans and widows and foreigners? Below is Psalm 146 verses 5 through 10 in another language (can anyone identify this language? I'm sure one of our readers can...), but I think we'll get the point of this image with these 5 verses (re-read verses 5 through 10 again and reflect on this image for a moment):
Psalm 147 was thought to have been written for Levitical singers on the happy occasion of the dedication of the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem - see Nehemiah 12:27-43. Psalm 147 was divided into two Psalms - verses 1 through 11 and 12 through 20 - in the Septuagint, the pre-Christian Greek translation of the Old Testament. However, the Hebrew text has the Psalm as one whole Psalm. Verses 10 and 11 are an incredible middle point of this Psalm that stood out to me today: "The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of a man. Rather, the LORD's delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love." These verses remind me that God really is not impressed with our shows of "strength" or "independence." God is much more impressed when we are dependent on Him. Are you honoring the Lord with your life today? Do you put his hope in his unfailing love? Or do you rely on your own strength?
Today in Psalm 147 I liked verse 15 a lot: "how swiftly his word flies!" Indeed, it is true! I pray God's Word, the Bible, is flying swiftly (and powerfully!) in your life this year!
Psalm 148 is a call for all creation to praise God! I love it. As I was reading this Psalm I was reminded of the Matt Redman song that we sometimes sing in church that goes something like - "Let everything that. Let everything that. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" I love how the Psalms can stir up worship songs in our minds!
We read this in verse 5 - "Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for he issued his command, and they came into being." Do you agree with this verse? That you came into being because the Lord commanded it? Do you give thanks to God frequently? And joyfully? Even in the midst of maybe some challenging times in your life, can you still give praise to your Creator?
Psalm 149 is a beautiful song of praise today! Verse 3 I love: "Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp." Do you praise God's name with dancing and music? Yes, I confess, I am a huge fan of the praise and worship thing going on in churches and with CCM artists and their concerts these days. I know this is not the only way to praise or worship God by any means. Are you praising God's name each day with the very "dance" of your life??
Psalm 150 is a wonderful end to the Psalter filled with a call to Praise God with all that we are! Give it up for God and God only!
Worship Video: Today's Psalms remind me of the MercyMe song "How Great is Your Love:"
Do you know how great God's love is for you? Click here to find out!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
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