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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 […]

The heavens declare the glory of God

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 comes […]


The Book of Psalms has been called the Hymn Book of the Church.  Here we have 150 songs that take in the whole gamut of human experience.  There are songs of love and hate, of joy and sorrow, of deep intimacy and of profound disillusionment with God.  We love the Psalms because we can find […]

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 […]

I repent in dust and ashes

From the very first verse of the book, Job is presented as a blameless and upright man. The LORD is proud of Job’s matchless virtue (1:8; 2:3).  Job fears God and shuns evil.  And even when calamity falls he does not sin by cursing God (1:22; 2:10).  Instead, through all his laments and complaints, the […]

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, […]