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My cup runneth over

For many it’s their favourite “King James” phrase.  Yet, as far as I can tell, it was the Geneva Bible of 1587 that first gave us this wonderful wording: “My cup runneth over.”  (Psalm 23:5) Here is the expectation of the Messiah as He faces “the valley of the shadow of death.”  He will come […]

The valley of the shadow of death

When his son Absalom briefly usurped his throne, David withdrew from Jerusalem.  He crossed the Kidron valley, ascended the Mount of Olives and escaped to safety. “And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed […]

The LORD is my Shepherd

In between the Psalm of the cross (Psalm 22) and the Psalm of Christ’s ascension back to heaven (Psalm 24) we have the 23rd Psalm – a Psalm of resurrection. “1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. […]

My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?

We’ve seen how the Psalms proclaim Christ.  These songs show the interplay of four main players: 1) God 2) The Ideal King (Christ) 3) Those who trust in Him 4) The wicked Some of these songs are the words of God to His King (His Christ).  Some of them are the people’s words to God […]

Old and full of days

Everyone remembers the sufferings of Job.  Few people remember how it ends: “10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job… the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before… 12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning… 16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty […]

Gird up thy loins

“Brace yourself.” “Get ready to take it like a man.” “Roll up your sleeves, there’s work to be done.” These are all rough modern equivalents to “gird up thy loins.”  Essentially it’s a command to gather up your loose hanging robes (etc!), in a belt because action is called for. But perhaps we’re surprised at […]

I know that my Redeemer liveth

What phrases do you use in consolation?  Imagine that you have some bad news to tell: My credit cards have been stolen, they’ve cleared out my bank account… How do you finish that sentence? …still, worse things happen at sea … serves me right for being so careless … I suppose I’m just cursed … […]

Escaped by the skin of my teeth

Here’s one of the more famous phrases in the bible.  We’ve probably all used it.  And we’ve probably used it in its biblical sense – i.e. to describe an extremely narrow escape.  But if we were asked to explain it, we’d struggle.  Why “skin of my teeth”?  Why not “hair of my kidneys”?  Or “lips […]

Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward

When two massive egos clash we say “sparks fly.”  But for Job, when “man” meets “world”  that’s when the sparks fly. As we’ve seen earlier, the book of Job is the story of man.  And at its heart is the question of innocent suffering.  Is there such a thing?  His miserable comforters say no.  And […]

Miserable comforters

The world cannot abide innocent suffering.  It unnerves us, to put it mildly.  Some of this is compassion.  But much of it is fear and selfishness. Our (subterranean) thought processes go something like this:  If tragedy really is indiscriminate, then the world really is an unsafe place to make my home.  If my careful preparations, […]