Friday, September 04, 2009

Psalms 101 - 110: Let's Speed This Up

Ten More Psalms!

101 A first-person vow to God that the Psalmist will behave well.

102 One of the most negative Psalms yet, a lament of sickness, destitution, and humiliation. The Psalmist compares his misery with the greatness of God, more or less blaming God for his downfall but seemingly without rancor.

103 Literally a "Praise the Lord" sort of hymn; the phrase crops up five times in the Psalm. It is a catalog of God's virtues. The most memorable phrase, though, is a brief break to describe humanity by way of contrast: 15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. Kind of a downer.

104 A long Psalm of praise, ascribing all natural phenemona to God. Light, winds, earth, rivers, plants, wine, the moon, animals, the sea, whales, everything: God made it all, and it's all good. There's only one negative note, as the last verse calls for sinners and the wicked to be swept from the earth.

105 A long song of Thanksgiving, recounting the history of the Israelites from Genesis and Exodus.

106 More or less a sequel to Psalm 105, Psalm 106 continues the summary of history from the Exodus through to at least the wandering in the desert.

107 The first of a new set of Psalms, "Book V." This is a Psalm of wild contradictions, exhorting everyone to give thanks for God's "unfailing love" and celebrating the good things he provides for his worshipers, but at the same time also celebrating the miseries, captivity, and deprivation that those who "rebelled against the words of God" are subject to. Love can apparently be both unfailing and extremely conditional.

108 A military Psalm, calling on God to support the armies of David and ensure their victory.

109 We haven't seen any of the paranoid Psalms for a while, but this one starts out in good form with complaints against wicked, deceitful enemies full of hatred. From there, it transforms into a scorching curse, wishing all manners of misfortunate and woe on the people who wished the Psalmist ill, as well as their friends and family.

110 And Psalm 110 is just kind of... weird. It's definitely about the power of God, but... well, it's short, I'll just give it to you whole.

1 The LORD says to my Lord:
"Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet."
2 The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion;
you will rule in the midst of your enemies.

3 Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy majesty,
from the womb of the dawn
you will receive the dew of your youth.

4 The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind:
"You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek."

5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.

6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.

7 He will drink from a brook beside the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.

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