Tag Archives: Psalms

The Foundations in the Psalms

The Foundations in the Psalms

This entry is part 13 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

For the past couple months I have been engaged in a series on the foundational principles laid out in the Book of Psalms. I identified three core principles introduced in Psalms 1 and 2, and then we noticed one example of a psalm that returns to these very principles—Psalm 11. Those principles are: The Lord… Continue Reading

The Foundations Are Not Destroyed

The Foundations Are Not Destroyed

This entry is part 12 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week we saw David presents three responses in Psalm 11 to the perception that the foundations of society are crumbling around us: In the Lord I take refuge. The Lord is in his holy temple. The Lord has determined the destiny of the wicked and the righteous. Now, what do these responses have to… Continue Reading

Responses to Crumbling Foundations

Responses to Crumbling Foundations

This entry is part 11 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

When the foundations of society appear to be crumbling around us, what should the righteous do? Psalm 11 answers that question. But before we look at how the psalm answers that question correctly, notice the wrong answer to the question. Did you notice the quotation marks after “what can the righteous do?” David is quoting… Continue Reading

If the Foundations are Destroyed

If the Foundations are Destroyed

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The question I have been seeking to answer over the past several weeks is how can we praise the Lord in the midst of a wicked world, and I’ve suggested that answering that question is one of the fundamental purposes of how the Book of Psalms is organized. The book ends with all creation praising… Continue Reading

Torah’s Counsel

Torah’s Counsel

This entry is part 9 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Psalms 1 and 2 present two conflicting images of the good life that compete throughout world history: an image of a tree that flourishes under the rule of God, and an image of God’s rule as oppressive and tyrannical. The wicked’s counsel is, the only way to flourish is to burst the bonds of God’s… Continue Reading

God’s Response to Wicked Imagination

God’s Response to Wicked Imagination

This entry is part 8 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

When the apostles experienced persecution in Acts 4, they looked to Psalms 2 for comfort. They recognized that the ultimate example of what they were experiencing was the crucifixion of God’s Anointed—the nations raging against the rule of God by killing his Son, Jesus Christ. And when we face the kind of opposition and conflict… Continue Reading

Wicked Counsel Enacted in History

Wicked Counsel Enacted in History

This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Psalms 1 and 2 express two different images of life under God—as a flourishing tree, or as an oppressive bondage. Which image controls you will determine your path and your ultimate destiny. The wicked imagination of God’s rule that we discussed last week has been enacted throughout history. Think about the serpent’s counsel to Eve:… Continue Reading

The Counsel of the Wicked

The Counsel of the Wicked

This entry is part 6 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We are in the midst of a short series focused on the psalms, and part of my goal is to help us understand how the entire Five Books of Psalms are organized and what purpose God intends for them to have in our lives. We discovered from Psalm 1 the foundational truths that are developed… Continue Reading

Torah for the Heart

Torah for the Heart

This entry is part 5 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Living in a wicked world presents challenges for people attempting to walk the way of righteousness. We are constantly bombarded with competing images of the good life, and the wicked often appear to be flourishing. For this reason, God’s people must delight themselves in God’s Word, meditating on Scripture to the degree that our hearts… Continue Reading

Imagination Formed by Scripture’s Music

Imagination Formed by Scripture’s Music

This entry is part 4 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The way that you live will be controlled ultimately by your image of the good life—what it means to really flourish and prosper, And, in particular, your image of what it means to flourish in relation to God’s rule is what controls your life. This is what we have been seeing from Psalm 1 over… Continue Reading

What Shapes Your Image of the Good Life?

What Shapes Your Image of the Good Life?

This entry is part 3 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A lot of Christians have the wrong image when they read Psalm 1. They think if they just choose the righteous path, then everything will be care free, without any trouble or adversity. But the psalter is here to show us what that blessed tree actually looks like and what the nature of growing will… Continue Reading

Contrasting Images of Blessedness

Contrasting Images of Blessedness

This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We are living in what potentially could be very discouraging times for Christians seeking to live lives that glorify the Lord. But as I pointed out last week, the book of Psalms has been structured to help us endure through these very kinds of times. Much of the book focuses on dark times of discouragement… Continue Reading

Praise in the Midst of Wickedness

Praise in the Midst of Wickedness

This entry is part of 13 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The Book of Psalms in Hebrew was originally called Tehillim—“Praises.” That probably doesn’t surprise you; we often associate the psalms with praise. We expect to find expressions of praise like “Hallelujah”—Praise the Lord! However, the book was called “Praises,” not actually because the book is just a collection of expressions of praise. In fact, while… Continue Reading

Psalm 130 in the Hands of the Great Composers

Psalm 130 in the Hands of the Great Composers

I recently walked through Psalm 130 with the congregation I pastor. Psalm 130 My Soul Waits for the Lord A Song of Ascents. [1] Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! [2] O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! [3] If… Continue Reading

What do “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” mean?

What do “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” mean?

The New Testament does not have a whole lot to say about music specifically, but the two primary passages that do, Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, have certainly created a lot of debate and speculation. In particular, Christians have long puzzled over the meaning of the terms psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in these passages. In the most… Continue Reading

Using Song to Shape Hearts of Repentence

Using Song to Shape Hearts of Repentence

This entry is part 11 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Up to this point in our study of Psalm 130, we have talked only about the poetic part of a song, but Psalm 130 wasn’t read; Psalm 130 was sung. So I’d like to address the music side of things. Clearly the music—the melody, the harmony, and the rhythm—doesn’t make a clear statement like words… Continue Reading

Why We Sing Repentance

Why We Sing Repentance

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Psalm 130, a corporate song of repentance, has shown us the power of art to both tell us what true repentance should be like and also show us artistically through use of metaphors, and repetition, careful word choice, and names for God. And this is why we sing. We sing not only to say right things, although… Continue Reading

Psalm 130 – A Gospel Song

Psalm 130 – A Gospel Song

This entry is part 4 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We have been looking at the message of Psalm 130 and have noticed that it is a penitential psalm and a song of corporate worship. The final stanza (verses 7-8) in particular reveal its congregational focus, proclaiming that God will redeem all of his people from their iniquities. You see, this penitential psalm is not… Continue Reading

Should We Sing Repentance?

Should We Sing Repentance?

This entry is part 1 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

First John 1:9 commands us as Christians to regularly confess our sins to God as part of our progressive sanctification: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Here is a simple, clear statement of our need for repentance. We should… Continue Reading

Reformation Hymns

Reformation Hymns

Reformation Sunday is coming up on October 29, and this year is particularly special since we are celebrating the 500 year anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. In our church, each year on Reformation Sunday we sing Reformation hymns, that is, hymns that in some way connect to the Reformers and the movement they… Continue Reading