Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

The Psalms a Life Time of Learning

 

 

Schmutzer, Andrew J., and David M. Howard, eds. The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2013. 288 pages. Amazon $21.94

 

The book has a fourfold purpose: 1. to celebrate the enormous impact the Psalter has had and continues to have in Christian faith; 2. to highlight the insights and work of present-day scholars who have studied the Psalms and understand both its tradition and current trends; 3. to weave together some primary theological, literary, and canonical themes of the Psalter; and 4. to offer a book that both trained pastors and professors of the Psalms can use as a tool (pg. 15-16).

 

The book is divided into five parts: Part 1, Psalms Studies in the Twenty-First Century; Part 2, Psalms of Praise; Part 3, Psalms of Lament; Part 4, Considering the Canon; Part 5, Communication the Psalms. The book is a collection of papers that grew out of the Psalms and Hebrew Poetry Consultation of the Evangelical Theological Society which was established in 2009. Some of the contributors include Bruce Waltke, William VanGemeren, Francis Kimmitt, Robert Chisholm Jr., Andrew Schmutzer, Michael Travers, Walter Kaiser, Allen Ross, Daniel Estes, Randall Gauthier, Robert Cole, David Howard, Jr., Michael Snearly, Tremper Longman III, Mark Futato, David Ridder, and John Piper. As one can tell there are a lot of contributors across many disciplines but all with a vast amount of knowledge and experience.

 

Part 1 looks at the theology of the Psalms through the life of Bruce Waltke. The Psalms for Waltke have been a life time of study and at each part of his life he gained something in his Christian life from the Psalms. In Part 2, Kimmitt writes about Psalm 46, a Psalm of praise. “Hymns of praise are to be sung or spoken in those moments in life when all is well in the world, when our lives are trouble free and well ordered. We join with the psalmist in praising and thanking God for who he is and what he has done for his people” (pg. 64). In Part 3, Kaiser gives a great definition for a Psalm of lament. “The literary form of ‘lament’ is one of a number of special literary genres that exist in the Bible in a shared pattern of communication that alerts the reader and listener as to how a text or speech is to be interpreted or understood. Such a lament forms may be called compositions of complaint, forms of petition, or examples of prayers, which present a specific need to God, not only so that special need may be resolved, but also that it may often ultimately end to the praise of God’s name and person” (pg. 127). In Part 4, the contributors look at the organization of the Psalms and how the entire book is divided up. Finally in Part 5, Futato, Ridder, and Piper teach the reader how to make the Psalms relevant for today’s Christian. The book is one big strength. I could not find any weaknesses. The only weakness that I would mention is that the book is advanced level reading and not intended to just be a quick read.

 

I would recommend the book for anyone who wants to gain a greater knowledge of the Psalms. The book is geared toward the pastor, seminary student, or Bible college student. I received this book for free from Moody Publishers for this review.

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April 19, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book Review, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Old Testament, Psalm, Psalms, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trinity: Sovereignty of God

I. What does it mean that God is Sovereign?

Sovereign — adj. 1 : above or superior to all others; chief; greatest; supreme 2: supreme in power, rank or authority 3: of or holding the position of ruler; royal; reigning 4: independent of all others 5: excellent; outstanding — noun 1: a person who possesses sovereign authority or power; specifically, a monarch or ruler.

A. He is before all things!

Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Revelation 1:8 “/ am the Alpha and the Omega, ” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. “

B. He created all things!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

C. He upholdsall things!

Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

D. He is above all things!

Ephesians 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Isaiah 45:5-12

E. He knows all things!

Psalms 139:4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

Isaiah 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose, ‘

F. He does all things !

Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? Luke 1 :37 For nothing will be impossible with God. “

G. He accomplishes all things!

Isaiah 14:24 The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand,

Ephesians 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

H. He rules all things!

Daniel 4:34-35 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; (35) all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

1 Chronicles 29: 11-12 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. (12) Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

I. He is in control of all things!

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

earthly kings – Pr. 21:1, Rev. 19:16

human events – Dan. 2, 7, Ps. 33:9-11

good angels – Col. 1:15-16, Rev. 4:8

Satan & bad angels – Job 1:6, Eph. 1:21, Php. 2:10

Human decisions – Eph. 1:11, Ro. 8:29-30, Acts 2:23; 13:48

II. How Does God Reveal His Sovereignty to Us?

Through His Titles

SOVEREIGN LORD MOST HIGH ALPHA & OMEGA KINGS OF KINGS LORD OF LORDS

Through His Promises

Romans 8:28-30

Philippians 2:9-11

Through His Story – History

Of Israel – Gen. 37-50:20 (Joseph)

Of the Nations – Dan. 2, 7 (4 Kingdoms)

Through Prophecy – Dan. 2:27, Isa. 44:6-8 NLT

Through Christ

His Birth – Gal. 4:4, Mat. 2:3-6

His Life (fulfilled 100’s of prophecies) – Mat. 4:14; 12:15-21

His Teaching – Jn. 8:48-58

His Death & Resurrection – Jn. 10:17-18

His Ascension & Ultimate Reign – Acts 1:9-11, Rev. 19:11-21, Rev. 19:11-16

II. How Do We Respond to a Sovereign God?

a. Bow before the King of the universe!

Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, (10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

*Application = Absolute surrender of all you are and all you have!

b. Believe all that comes into your life is either allowed or decreed by a good God who will use it

for your benefit!

Romans 8.28-29

Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

*Application = Absolutely refuse to worry about anything!

c. Behold in awe the mystery and majesty of His kind, compassionate, just and sovereign

rule over all that is or will ever be!

Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (34) “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? ” (35) “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? ” (36) For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

* Application = worship God for who He is, not merely for what He has done!

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, Church, family, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, New Testament, Old Testament, Prayer, Psalm, Psalms, relationship, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 1.1-2

TITLE–This Psalm may be regarded as THE PREFACE PSALM, having in it notification of the contents of the entire Bible It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us to blessedness, and to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners. This then, is the matter of the forst Psalm, which may be looked upon, in some respects, as the text upon which the whole of the Psalms make up a divine sermon.
DIVISION–This Psalm consists of two parts: in the first (from verse 1 to the end of the 3rd) David sets out wherein the felicity and blessedness of a godly man consisteth, what his exercises are, and what blessings he shall receive from the Lord. In the second part (from verse 4 to the end) he contrasts the state and character of the ungodly, reveals the future, and describes, in telling language, his ultimate doom.
EXPOSITION

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth meditate day and night.
“BLESSED”—see how this Book of Psalms opens with a benediction, even as did the famous Sermon of our Lord upon the Mount! The word translated “blessed” is a very expressive one. The original word is plural, and it is a con­ troverted matter whether it is an adjective or a substantive. Hence we may learn the multiplicity of the blessings which shall rest upon the man whom God. bath justified, and the perfection and greatness of the blessedness he shall enjoy. We might read it, “Oh, the blessednesses!” and we may well regard it (as Ains­ worth does) as a joyful acclamation of the gracious man’s felicity. May the like benediction rest on us!
Here the gracious man is described both negatively (verse 1) and positively(verse 2). He is a man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. He takes wiser counsel, and walks in the commandments of the Lord his God. To him the ways of piety are paths of peace and pleasantness. His footsteps are ordered by the Word of God, and not by the cunning and wicked devices of carnal men. It is a rich sign of inward grace when the outward walk is changed, and when ungodliness is put far from our actions. Note next, he standeth not in the way of sinners. His company is of a choicer sort than it was. Although a sinner himself, he is now a blood-washed sinner, quickened by the Holy Spirit, and renewed in heart. Standing by the rich grace of God in the congregation of the righteous, he dares not herd with the multitude that do evil. Again it is said, “nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” He finds no rest in the atheist’s scoffings. Let others make a mock of sin, of eternity, of hell and heaven, and of the Eternal God; this man has learned better philosophy than that of the infidel, and has too much sense of God’s presence to endure to hear his name blasphemed. The seat of the scorner may be very lofty, but it is very near to the gate of hell; let us flee from it, for it shall soon be empty, and destruction shall swallow up the man who sits therein. Mark the .gradation in the first verse:

He walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor standeth in the way of sinners.
Nor SITTETH in the SEAT of SCORNFUL.

When men are living in sin they go from bad to worse. At first they merely walk in the counsel of the careless and ungodly, who forget God—the evil is rather practical than habitual—but after that, they become habituated to evil, and they stand in the way of open sinners who willfully violate God’s commandments; and if let alone, they go one step further, and become themselves pestilent teachers and tempters of others, and thus they sit in theseat of the scornful. They have taken their degree in vice, and as true Doctors of Damnation they are installed, and are looked up to by others as Masters in Belial. But the blessed man, the man to whom all the blessings of God belong, can hold no communion with such characters as these. He keeps himself pure from these lepers; he puts away evil things from him as garments spotted by the flesh; he comes out from among the wicked, and goes without the camp, bearing the reproach of Christ. O for grace to be thus separate from sinners.
And now mark his positive character. “His delight is in the law of the Lord.” He is not tinder the law as a curse and condemnation, but he is in it, and he delights to be in it as his rule of life; he delights, moreover, to meditate in it, to read it by day, and think upon it bynight. He takes a text and carries it with him all day long; and in the night-watches, when sleep forsakes his eyelids, he museth upon the Word of God. In the day of his prosperity he sings psalms of the Word of God, and in the night of his affliction he comforts himself with promises out of the same book.  ” The law of the Lord ” is the daily bread of the true believer. And yet, in David’s day, how small was the volume of inspiration, for they had scarcely anything save the first five books of Moses! How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word which it is our privilege to have in all our houses! But, alas, what ill-treatment is given to this angel from heaven! We are not all Berean searchers of the Scriptures. How few among us can lay claim to the benediction of the text I 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, this blessing belongeth not to you.

From the Treasury of David: Volume 1 by C. H. Spurgeon

December 19, 2009 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Jesus, Old Testament, Psalm, Psalms, relationship, Religon, Theology | Leave a comment

   

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