Tag Archives: Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms

Psalms on Sunday: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Psalm 24 (NIV)

Of David. A psalm.

 1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
   the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it on the seas
   and established it on the waters.

 3 Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
   Who may stand in his holy place?
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
   who does not trust in an idol
   or swear by a false god.[a]

 5 They will receive blessing from the LORD
   and vindication from God their Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
   who seek your face, God of Jacob.[b][c]

 7 Lift up your heads, you gates;
   be lifted up, you ancient doors,
   that the King of glory may come in.

Footnotes:
  1. Psalm 24:4 Or swear falsely
  2. Psalm 24:6 Two Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac (see also Septuagint); most Hebrew manuscripts face, Jacob
  3. Psalm 24:6 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 10.

Theme: The Lord is Creator and King, requiring fidelity of those who would approach him.

Reflection: It’s as if [the psalmist] was walking among them as they were calling out to the city, “Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in” (24:7). Today the Messiah calls his church to worship and communion: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me” (Rev. 3:20).

Psalms on Sunday is a weekly blog series that highlights one Psalm in correspondence with lectionary cycle A as found in The Book of Common Prayer for the Episcopal Church. The Psalm is accompanied by text from The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms by Brian Webster and David Beach.

Links Worth Clicking: Free Books, Chuck Swindoll, and more

If you like our recent series, “Psalms on Sunday,” then you’ll love the giveaway going on today at www.BibleGeekGoneWild.com He’s giving away 6 copies of The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms. It would make an excellent last-minute Christmas gift for someone.

The Amazon Vine Voice and frequent blogger over at the “Pastoral Musings” blog has posted an excellent new review  on Chuck Swindoll’s commentary on James, 1 & 2 Peter. In the review he says:

Swindoll’s Insights are exactly that: Swindoll’s Insights. They are the product of years of study, experience, and pastoral ministry. The things contained in these commentaries aren’t the product of ivory tower academia, but are the results of being in the trenches serving Christ and loving His people. Thus it is that scholarship is brought to us all in a way that we all can profit.

We recently interviewed Jim Samra, author of, The Gift of Church. If you liked that book but are still on the fence about reading it, see these two reviews: Scripture Dig and Our House of Fun.

Psalms on Sunday: Third Sunday of Advent

Psalm 146:4-9 (New International Version)

4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
   on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the LORD their God.

 6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
   the sea, and everything in them—
   he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
   and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
   the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the foreigner
   and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
   but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

Theme: Trust in the Lord, who is faithful, just, and compassionate, rather than in human leaders.

Reflection: As there is no other god and no other power, so there is not really any other help besides the Lord. Here God is contrasted not with false gods, idols who cannot see or speak or act, but with humanity, who can…People may do good things to help others, or they may not. Regardless of whether they do or do not, they pass away. Only God endures.

- Webster and Beach, p. 181

Psalms on Sunday is a weekly blog series that highlights one Psalm in correspondence with lectionary cycle A as found in The Book of Common Prayer for the Episcopal Church. The Psalm is accompanied by text from The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms by Brian Webster and David Beach.

Psalms on Sunday: Second Sunday of Advent

Psalm 72: 1-8 (NIV)

Of Solomon.
 1 Endow the king with your justice, O God,
   the royal son with your righteousness.
2 May he judge your people in righteousness,
   your afflicted ones with justice.

 3 May the mountains bring prosperity to the people,
   the hills the fruit of righteousness.
4 May he defend the afflicted among the people
   and save the children of the needy;
   may he crush the oppressor.
5 May he endure[a] as long as the sun,
   as long as the moon, through all generations.
6 May he be like rain falling on a mown field,
   like showers watering the earth.
7 In his days may the righteous flourish
   and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.

 8 May he rule from sea to sea
   and from the River[b] to the ends of the earth.

Footnotes:
  1. Psalm 72:5 Septuagint; Hebrew You will be feared
  2. Psalm 72:8 That is, the Euphrates

Theme: May God bless the king with wisdom, governance, prosperity for the nation, and a great reputation with other nations.

Reflection: Bringing book 2 of the Psalter to a close, this psalm of Solomon works with Pslam 2 sort of like bookends. Psalm 2 informs us of the confidence of God in having established his king, calling all to submit. Psalm 72 asks not simply that the king may live a long life, but that God will grant the king what is needed to rule well…A just and prosperous rule will bring praise to the Lord God of Israel, and it is one of the ways God will be known beyond the borders of Israel and Judah. (cf. Ps. 67)

- Webster and Beach, p. 107

Psalms on Sunday is a weekly blog series that highlights one Psalm in correspondence with lectionary cycle A as found in The Book of Common Prayer for the Episcopal Church. The Psalm is accompanied by text from The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms by Brian Webster and David Beach.

Psalms on Sunday: First Sunday of Advent

Psalm 122

A song of ascents. Of David.

 1 I rejoiced with those who said to me,
   “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
2 Our feet are standing
   in your gates, Jerusalem.

 3 Jerusalem is built like a city
   that is closely compacted together.
4 That is where the tribes go up—
   the tribes of the LORD—
to praise the name of the LORD
   according to the statute given to Israel.
5 There stand the thrones for judgment,
   the thrones of the house of David.

 6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
   “May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
   and security within your citadels.”
8 For the sake of my family and friends,
   I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
   I will seek your prosperity. (NIV)

Theme: It is a joy to go to Jerusalem to worship at the Lord’s house; may the city be blessed with peace.

Reflection: Some places feel special to us – perhaps becuase of natural beauty and grandeur, like the Grand Canyon; perhaps because of human design, like great cathedrals skyscapers or stadiums; perhaps becuase of nostalgia, historic events or special memories we associate with a  place. Such was Jerusalem – a city on a mountain, with the temple of the Lord, where worshipers came to celebrate regular festivals. Such is Jerusalem. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

- Webster & Beach, p. 157

Psalms on Sunday is a weekly blog series that highlights one Psalm in correspondence with lectionary cycle A as found in The Book of Common Prayer for the Episcopal Church. The accompanying text is excerpted from The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms by Brian Webster and David Beach.

Interview with David Beach: One Way to Pray the Psalms

How often do you pray the Psalms? I try to pray something from scripture (often a Psalm) on a daily basis. When you are encouraging or counseling others, do you encourage them to pray the Psalms?

In the interview below David Beach talks about one method for doing this, particularly as it relates to counseling others.

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Will you encourage others to try a “copy change” method? It seems like that is an easy way to make scripture intensely personal, and a way to engage with God that’s very (even painfully) honest.

Winners for the Psalms Giveaway

Essential Bible Companion to the PsalmsGiveaway question:
What is the most common genre of poetry in the Psalms?

A) Praise
B) Lament
C) Zion Songs
D) Liturgy Psalms

Answer: B) Lament

Winners: David Smith, Debbie, Craig Hurst, Kim Vander Helm, and Richard Wilson! (I’ll email you for your shipping address – congrats!)          

We had almost complete agreement on this answer. That’s encouraging! That says to me that lots of us know at least a little bit about genres in the Psalms. I confess, up until about a week ago I would not have been able to answer this question correctly. I would’ve answered (A) Praise. Here’s what Dave and Brian have to say about lament in The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms:

Giveaway and Interview: David Beach on the Psalms

Old Testament scholar Brian Webster and licensed counselor David Beach have co-authored The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms - a book created for everyone in the pews and to be a helpful resource for ministry leaders. It illuminates each psalm with background information, full-color visuals, and affecting reflections and applications. (You may remember I posted something from this book on 9/11.)

See the video interview below with David Beach to learn more about the book. The giveaway information is below that. (I’ve got 5 copies to give away. :) )

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Giveaway question:

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