Judgment, Justification, and a Witness against Us

“Listen to me, my people, and I will speak — Israel, and I will witness against you; I am God, your God.” (Psalm 50:7) The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:33: “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?” Indeed! Who can do so? Only God himself! And this is exactly what we find God… Read More

Our God is a Consuming Fire

“Our God comes; he is not deaf! Fire devours that which is before him. All around him there is a mighty whirlwind.” (Psalm 50:3) What you read here are words of power and might — words that are designed to instill awe in us and to inspire us to worship. How often worship is self-centered… Read More

Worship and Wrath: Are they mutually exclusive?

As a child, I grew up singing old hymns of the faith — Isaac Watts, Fanny Crosby, Charles Wesley, and the like. Even today, many of these hymns are deeply ingrained in me. Then, somewhere in my early twenties, praise music became all the rage in the church I attended. And so, I was introduced… Read More

Easter, the Resurrection, and Worship

Folks that know me well, know that I don’t much like the choice of the word, “Easter,” that is used in English speaking and German speaking congregations. The term originates from the name of a pagan goddess of the woodlands and is just one more reminder of syncretism that is found in the Christian world.… Read More

Think on These Things

“The last thing, brothers, is that whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is upright, whatever is holy, whatever is lovely, whatever is praiseworthy, if there is virtue and if there is praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8) There is one more aspect of Paul’s counsel to us here that we need to dwell… Read More

The Wall Goes Up!

“My eye has been made to see my wall being raised up; Before me is the one who does evil; My ear hears.” (Psalm 92:12 [verse 11 in English])   A short survey of English Bible translations will give a vast variety of interpretations of this verse, thus it ought not be surprising that the… Read More

Rejoicing in Yahweh’s Divine Actions

“For you make me rejoice constantly, Yahweh, in your divine action; in the works of your hands, I continually exult.” (Psalm 92:5 [verse 4 in English])   The question that we must raise is whether or not we can really say, with the psalmist that we rejoice and exult in the works of God. On… Read More

God’s Faithfulness

“To declare your chesed in the morning; And of your trustworthiness in the night; Upon the ten strings and upon the harp; With the sound of the zither.” (Psalm 92:3-4 [verses 2-3 in English])   Again we find an emphasis on singing praise accompanied by the sound of instruments. The reference to the “ten strings”… Read More

A Song for the Sabbath

“A Psalm: A Song for the Day of the Sabbath” (Psalm 92:1 [superscript in English])   That which we identify as Psalm 92 begins with a clear statement of its purpose. It is written for use on the Sabbath day. And, presuming that superscripts are given to us as indicators of purpose and groupings of… Read More

No King but Caesar

“Again, they continued screaming, ‘Take him up! Take him up! Crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ And the chief priests answered, ‘We do not have a King except for Ceasar!’” (John 19:15)   Those final words, “we have no king but Ceasar,” would be scandalous were individuals had spoken them… Read More

The Noblemen Gather the People to God

“The noblemen of the people gather the people of the God of Abraham for to God are the shields of the earth. He is to be greatly exalted!” (Psalm 47:10 {verse 9 in English translations})   The close of this psalm begins with an interesting visual picture. First of all, the term that we render… Read More

Sing with Understanding

“God is King over all of the earth; sing a maskil!” (Psalm 47:8 {verse 7 in English Translations})   Once more, to drive the great Truth home, the psalmist proclaims that God is indeed the sovereign king over all of his creation — and he indeed is not done doing so! Surely it is true… Read More

“All the peoples must strike their hand! Cry aloud with a voice of jubilation!” (Psalm 47:2 {verse 1 in English Translations})   And the psalm of celebration begins! First of all, notice to whom this command is being uttered. It is not just to the people around the throne of God nor is it just… Read More

Bowed Low in Worship

“The man bowed low and worshipped Yahweh.” (Genesis 24:26)   The right and appropriate response of one who has seen God’s hand at work in his life is worship. Can one say much more than that other than that we are woefully deficient in our response? How often our focus is merely to say “thanks”… Read More

The Festal Horns (Psalm 118:26-27)

“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of Yahweh! We bless you from the house of Yahweh. Yahweh is God and he has given us light—bind up the festival in thickets! As far as the horns of the altar!” (Psalm 118:26-27)               While it may seem that these two verses are rather… Read More

The Contagiousness of Worship! (New Song, part 11)

“The Contagiousness of Worship”               Worship, when it is filled with the Holy Spirit, is contagious.  I expect that this is part of the reason that the scriptures emphasize that believers are to live within a covenant community.  Not only can we support one another, but in our joined worship, we enable each other… Read More

The Ransom Paid! (New Song, part 5)

“The Ransom Paid”               We must be careful when we talk about the ransom to be paid, or the debit owed, because we must be absolutely clear as to whom that ransom was paid to.  Through the history of the church, some have argued that Jesus’ death was a ransom paid to the Devil… Read More

Jesus Was Slain! (New Song, part 4)

“Jesus Was Slain”               To those who would deny the crucifixion, this song affirms even this gruesome detail of Jesus’ ministry.  Without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22); each year, the priest, on the day of atonement, would slay a lamb for the forgiveness of the people’s… Read More