Displaying posts published in

April 2016

Threescore years and ten

Psalm 90 Your days are numbered. That is a sobering thought.  You have a finite number of heart-beats left.  When you’ve reached your allotted tally there will be no more. To put it starkly, we are in the queue for the crematorium.  It may be a long queue, but it’s getting shorter all the time. […]

Strength to strength

Psalm 84 The way we think about it, careers, businesses and sports teams go from “strength to strength.”  And usually they go from “strength to strength” because of hard work and perseverance. But in Psalm 84 both those assumptions are challenged. First of all, it is God’s people who go from “strength to strength.”  (Psalm 84:7)  […]

Bite the dust

Psalm 72:9-20 It’s a euphemism for death, but these days we rarely talk of people “biting the dust” – not in a final sense anyway. We might say that a plan or project has bitten the dust.  But describing a person’s death as biting the dust seems the preserve of tough-talking cowboys. The exact wording – bite […]

To the ends of the earth

Psalm 72:1-8 The Hebrew language abounds in double entendres.  We have already considered the multiple shades of meaning to the word “Adam“.  It refers to the historical person of Adam, to a man and to man (meaning humanity).  The way the Bible thinks of things, what happens to the man Adam happens to all man. Or consider the […]

My cup runneth over

Psalm 23 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

Psalm 23 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 […]

The LORD is my Shepherd

Psalm 23 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. 3He […]

Laughed to scorn

Psalm 22:1-31 When Jesus cried out “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He was referencing the whole of Psalm 22.  Before chapter divisions were inserted into the biblical text (in the 12th century AD), a person would refer to a Psalm by quoting its first line.  And when we study the whole […]

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

Psalm 22:1-2; Mark 15:21-39 We’ve seen how the Psalms proclaim Christ.  These songs show the interplay of four main characters: 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 […]

The heavens declare the glory of God

Psalm 19 It’s a beautifully symmetrical phrase.  The first five syllables perfectly mirror the last five.  In each, the stresses are on the second and fifth syllable.  This is the work of the translators.  And we should remember that the King James version was written to be read aloud. Yet the poetry in the underlying Hebrew […]