Psalm 2 – God Reigns Over the Nations

August 14, 2013

Psalm 1 counseled wisdom. Worshippers, as they pray, mediate and sing the Psalms, align themselves with the way of righteousness. Psalm 2 assures these worshippers that Yahweh reigns and even the nations must ultimately submit to the God of Israel. Psalm 2, then, as a further introduction to the Psalter, grounds the worship of and […]


Psalm 1 – Two Ways, a Wisdom Poem

August 13, 2013

The opening Psalm functions as a kind of preface or introduction to the whole collection. It orients the worshipper to a particular path and the value of pursuing the life the Psalter envisions. Indeed, it offers us a choice. There is the way of the wicked (sinners, scoffers) and the way of the righteous. There […]


Lament Songs: We Need More

April 18, 2013

We need more lament songs. I was reminded of of this while studying Amos 8:9.  The prophet offers the most chilling metaphor for lament imaginable for an ancient Israelite:  ”I will make it like the mourning of an only son.” Children killed in their schools, on the streets of a sporting event, by abuse at […]


Psalm 84 — The Blessedness of Assembly

April 13, 2013

This Psalm uses the language of love poetry; it has an “erotic intensity” (Robert Atler, The Book of Psalms, 297). “How lovely are your dwelling places,” the Psalmist exclaims. The term “lovely” is related to the Hebrew terms for “lover” and “lovemaking.” It describes the “love song” between the King and his wife in Psalm […]


Psalm 63 – Longing for Assembly

April 12, 2013

The ancient compilation Apostolic Constitutions (2.59) advises believers to gather for daily worship and to open their service with Psalm 63. Reflecting the same time period (ca. 400 CE), Chrysostom reports that believers sang this Psalm at the begining of their morning assemblies (Commentary on Psalms, cv. 63). It is still part of the communal daily morning […]


Anchors for the Soul: Trusting God in the Storms of Life

September 1, 2012

Last weekend I was honored to spend some time with the University Park Church of Christ in Maryland. I was encouraged by their desire to serve the Lord and the integrated nature of their family. Dorn & Carolyn Muscar are serving the church there in a wonderful way.  They are a dedicated couple in the […]


Lest We Fear….

September 22, 2008

It is better to take refuge in Yahweh than to trust in flesh.   It is better to take refuge in Yahweh than to trust in rulers. Psalm 118:8-9 Middle class Americans are worried about their stock portfolios, retirements, and home mortages. Others are worried about what they will eat today, what they will wear as […]


April 30, Psalm 6 and Tears

April 30, 2008

Twenty-eight years ago this morning–at about 3:00am–I was awoken to the news that my wife of two years, eleven months and eight days had died during the night. Sheila and I agreed that she would undergo corrective back surgery so that she could carry a child full term.  We had already experienced one miscarriage and would like to […]


Additional Resources for Psalm Study

April 28, 2008

I tend to think of the Psalms in the broad category of “calling upon God”–they are situated responses to God’s own call toward us in creation and redemption. In dialogue believers call upon the creator and redeemer God in profession, prayer and praise; they respond to God’s divine acts in the world in confession, lament and thanksgiving […]