The King Is Coming

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Psalms 96-101 At the arrival of the ark of the covenant in Jerusalem, a song was sung, part of which was Psalm 96. The psalm emphasizes giving glory to the Lord. It repeats the phrase “The Lord reigns” and says He is coming to judge the world. Psalm 97 again repeats this phrase and emphasizes God’s majesty and His judgment. Psalm 98 urges everyone to sing praises to God and commands the physical world to join in. Psalm …

O Worship the King

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Psalms 90-95 Most of the psalms in Book 4 seem to be intended for public worship. While most are anonymous, Psalm 90 is ascribed to Moses. It is commonly used at funerals. Isaac Watts loosely paraphrased it in the familiar hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.” Psalm 91 expresses faith in God’s care in time of danger. It echoes the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32 and some of the psalms of David. Psalm 92 is …

The Cry of the Heart

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Psalms 86-89 In Psalm 86, David cries out for help. He sees no evidence that his prayer is being answered, but he continues to pray. Perhaps you have some problem today. There seems to be no answer. Keep trusting, keep praying. God will help you. Do not give up. Zion was a name for Jerusalem. Christians naturally apply to the church the good promises made to Jerusalem. Psalm 87 inspired John Newton to write the great hymn “Glorious …

Joys and Sorrows

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Psalms 80-85 Psalm 80 probably describes the distress of those in Jerusalem as they hear of the fall of Samaria. Three times the refrain “Restore us” is heard. They had been rival groups, but there is no note of glee, only one of sorrow. “Restore us” may express the desire that the old united kingdom be brought back into existence. So with us, problems in other denominations ought never to be a source of joy, but only one …

The God of History

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Psalms 78-79 Psalm 78 is one of several psalms recounting God’s dealings with His people in the past. It describes the “glorious deeds of the Lord” (v. 4), emphasizing the importance of passing on the story to our children. It tells how God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and cared for them in the wilderness, “yet they sinned still more against him” (v. 17). In response, God provided food for them, but also punished them. “In spite …

From Sadness to Joy

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Psalms 73-77 Book 3 of the psalms begins with psalms written by Asaph, founder of a temple choir. Psalm 73 describes his jealousy of the wicked who prosper. Then he describes how entering the temple made him realize that in the end the wicked would lose. The destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians seems to be the occasion in Psalm 74, since it reflects language similar to that of Lamentations. The psalm begins with a note of great …