Singing a Hymn (Matthew 26:30;Mark 14:26)

“And singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26) As we have discussed above, the place to which they were going that dark evening was located on the Mount of Olives, just to the east of Jerusalem. Yet, Matthew and Mark add an important little detail…they went out… Read More

Let us Go to the House of the Lord

“A Psalm of Ascents; of David. I rejoiced when ones said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of Yahweh!’” (Psalm 122:1) This psalm begins with a wonderful statement that is alien to the experience of many American Christians: “I rejoiced” when it came time to go to the house of the Lord.  Now,… Read More

Psalms, Hymns, & Spiritual Odes (Colossians 3:16)

“Let the word of Christ dwell richly in you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing with psalms, hymns, and spiritual odes, in thanksgiving in your heart, to God.” (Colossians 3:16)   This passage is the passage that has often been cited in the debate over what kind of music should be allowable… Read More

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 6)

“As with fat and the choicest cuts of meat, my soul will be satisfied. My lips will exult; my mouth will exclaim hallelujah!” (Psalm 63:6 {Psalm 63:5 in English versions})   Now, in a culture that is as health conscious as ours is, we somewhat lose the impact of the initial metaphor.  We usually think… Read More

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 6)

“As with fat and the choicest cuts of meat, my soul will be satisfied. My lips will exult; my mouth will exclaim hallelujah!” (Psalm 63:6 {Psalm 63:5 in English versions})   Now, in a culture that is as health conscious as ours is, we somewhat lose the impact of the initial metaphor.  We usually think… Read More

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 4)

“For your covenant faithfulness is better than life; my lips will sing praises to you.” (Psalm 63:4 {Psalm 63:3 in English Bibles})   Those of you who know me well know that I sound a bit like a broken record when I get to verses like this, but I would hold that these things are… Read More

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 3)

“Thus, in the Holy Place, I have seen you; seeing your might and your glory.” (Psalm 63:3 {Psalm 63:2 in English Bibles})   Now, a question of translation arises in the first clause.  This verse begins with the words vd<QoB; !Ke (ken baqodesh), which mean “thus, in the Holy Place.”  The interpretive question that must… Read More

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 2)

“O God, you are my God; again and again I seek you. My soul thirsts for you; My flesh yearns for you— In a land that is dry and exhausted without water.” (Psalm 63:2 {Psalm 63:1 in English Bibles})   The wilderness around David is a visible metaphor for the spiritual state of the land… Read More

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 1)

“A psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah” (Psalm 63:1 {superscript in English Bibles})   It is always helpful when psalms contain superscripts, which can introduce for us the context and the historical setting of the psalm (remembering that in the Hebrew Bible, the superscripts are part of the inspired text). … Read More

A Proverb in a Song: part 12

“Like sheep, they are directed toward Sheol, death shall shepherd them, and the upright one shall tread upon them through the morning. Their rock images shall be destroyed in Sheol from His lofty abode. Nevertheless, God will redeem my life from the hand of Sheol, For He will take me—Selah!” (Psalm 49:15-16 {Psalm 14-15 in… Read More

A Proverb in a Song: part 9

“Their graves are their everlasting homes— tabernacles from generation to generation; they proclaim loudly by their own name over the land.” (Psalm 49:12 {Psalm 49:11 in English})   Not only will all face death—both the wise and the foolish, great and small, but apart from God, there is none who can escape the grave.  No… Read More

A Proverb in a Song: part 4

“My mouth shall speak wisdoms; the meditation of my heart is understanding.” (Psalm 49:4 {Psalm 49:3 in English Bibles})   And now that the psalmist has called peoples from across the planet to heed the words of his lips, he addresses them specifically.  He is saying, listen here, you people of the earth and I… Read More

A Proverb in a Song: part 2

“Hear this, all ye peoples! Listen carefully, all who dwell in the world!” (Psalm 49:2 {Psalm 49:1 in English Bibles})   Notice to whom this psalm is written.  All too often we only think of the scriptures in terms of being written for God’s people, yet, this psalm is addressing all people of world!  Oh,… Read More

A New Song!: Introduction

Introduction:   While we often think of the book of Revelation in terms of God’s judgment being brought upon his enemies, one of the major themes of Revelation is that of worship.  In fact, nearly half (24 of 60 uses) of the New Testament uses of the verb proskunew (proskuneo), which means “to worship,” are… Read More