Psalm 136

The immediately remarkable feature of this psalm is the antiphon inserted in each verse of the poem, which begins: Give thanks to God who is good : whose steadfast love is eternal. The phrase in the second half (in bold) is added to each verse, presumably in the original text. These repeated antiphons are shown in … Continue reading Psalm 136

Psalm 48

This song of the Korahites is another royal moment, with Zion and the holy hill "the very centre of the world". (2) In modern times, this is generally regarded as a non-geographic metaphor. (See also comments made in Psalm 47 regarding 'sponsorship'.) Time and place As has been noted in relation to other songs wherein the psalmists … Continue reading Psalm 48

Psalm 61

Divine standards of perfect love and peace seem far off and unattainable in a world full of strife, refugees, war and deceit: As high as heaven is above the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways (Is. 55:9) The good news in the psalms, here and in other songs like 31, is that … Continue reading Psalm 61

Psalm 69

Sometimes themes and verses are repeated so often in the psalms that it's hard to find new inspiration. In Psalm 69, we hear again the laments and prayers of someone who feels enmity, opposition, slander and loneliness, the while giving thanks for merciful love and safety in divine provision. Fresh, however, is imagery of sinking in swirling waters -- 'up … Continue reading Psalm 69

Psalm 115

Psalm 115 is a song of praise to divine love and faithfulness (v.1), a source of security (9-11) and blessings.  Other psalms suggest 'Our nation is better than your nation', with a sense of preference for a chosen people. Here is refreshing humility, whether applied at national or personal level. And as we were reminded at … Continue reading Psalm 115

Psalm 45

Psalm 45 is the closest we get to a love song in the Psalter. The poem is by the sons of Korah addressed first to the king, probably Solomon, then in a second voice to the bride. (v. 10) Hebrews 1 quotes verse 6 (and a clutch of other psalms) in relation to Jesus. Being more in … Continue reading Psalm 45