23rd Psalm God leads me beside still waters.

Day 128 (May 8): God remembers, always cares, Earth is God’s, Pure enjoy blessings, I am His, Reveal your ways, Forgive me, Be gracious, Dwell in your glory

Jan van ‘t Hoff/Gospelimages.com

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Psalms 22-26
(979 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Psalm 22): I can feel the fear in David’s words.  It’s an intense, gripping fear that grows as he writes.  He is battling with the knowledge of God that his ancestors have taught him and the enemies that are closing in on him as he lies in pain.  What keeps him going is that he trusts in his ancestors’ teachings to trust in God and he will deliver.  Then, he says he will be that same soldier of God for future generations.  Rob, is this an accurate depiction of this Psalm?

A. I think there is the type of struggle you mention, but this Psalm is mostly about a man who is being unjustly persecuted by evil men.  He knows that God will deliver him, and he will, as you suggest, be a witness to the power of God when God delivers him.  It is certainly a powerful psalm, and the first line (22:1) is what Jesus cried from the cross during his crucifixion (Matthew 27:45-46).  In an era without names for these Psalms (there was no such thing as Psalm 22 in those days), this would be like singing the first line of a well-known song today (like if I sang “Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light).  By saying these words, Jesus was connecting with the spirit of this Psalm, and everyone at the crucifixion would have understood that Jesus was proclaiming his innocence before God.

Q. (23): This is probably the most recited Scripture at funerals.  I have a Bible that a pastor left at my grandma’s bedside when she passed.  He had it tagged with the 23rd Psalm.  It is so beautiful and gives such serenity to how God cares for us now and forever.  Comments, Rob?

A. One of my favorite Max Lucado books is written on the 23rd Psalm, called Traveling Light.  I would highly recommend it.

Q. (24:1-2): I am often awestruck by God’s magnificent artistry — those words don’t give Him justice — yet I have never thought about the fact that everything in the universe does belong to God.  How far away that is from standard thinking that everything belongs to someone — another amazing fact to contemplate!  Vs. 3-6 make me want to teach God to my kids … and for that fact, as many people as possible!  In Vs. 7-10, I imagine the crowd going wild as God is carried into a stadium filled with praising Christians.  Wouldn’t you say, that it’s also the other way around, that God is there to support us?

A. Part of the beauty of the Trinity doctrine is that we are allowed to have more than one understanding of God.  God is the magnificent artistic Creator, AND the God/man who walked the earth and knew all of our pains (including rejection and loneliness as we discussed in Psalm 22), And He is the very Spirit of life in each of us that brings us closer to our heavenly home.

Q. (25): What’s the deal with the note at the beginning of this Psalm?

A. The editor is letting us know that this Psalm, along with several others, is an acrostic, in Hebrew of course.  Each line of the poem begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  There are 22 letters in Hebrew, and so we will see a number of Psalms with 22 lines for this reason.  We will see this appear in other places in Scripture as well, such as Lamentations and Proverbs.  Something to watch for, but it is almost a shame that we miss out on the poetry of the use of Hebrew letters.

Q. (25:11-15): I would say that David is describing God’s handing out of wisdom to His followers.

A. I think it is saying that God is faithful to His people, and provides for their every need, whether it is knowledge, rescue, or anything else.

For further reading: Using acrostic poetry was an easy way to help memorize Psalms, https://truthonlybible.com/2015/06/02/biblical-acrostics/

Shop: In Philippians 4:8, God tells us to think only about good things. https://livinlight.org/product/all-good-thoughts/

Tomorrow’s reading: Psalms 27-32