Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Psalms, Day 2 Readings

God's Protection and Deliverance in Hard Times  

Today's first reading is a song about God's protection of the people.  One imagines that it was a source of comfort during challenging times in Jewish history, especially when outsiders threatened to capture the people.  While some might just wish for protection, this song encourages people to understand that God's salvation is more than military defense, but a different way of life in God's presence.

This psalm is a wonderful example of the dual use of the personal pronoun "I" in many of the psalms.  Here, the "I" refers to both the speaker/singer of the psalm and to the Jewish people as a whole (because God's chosen people is a singular nation).  So, when the faithful sang this song, they would use the "I" to speak of their personal relationship with God and of God's special relationship with their community.

Read Psalm 27  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading is a song about God's deliverance in hard times.  It is rooted on the theme of divine justice that is frequently mentioned in the psalms.  God judges good and evil.  Evildoers are punished (sometimes through death); those who do good are rewarded and saved.  This is true even when the faithful seem to suffer -- whether from disease or enemies.  Ultimately, God defends and protects the faithful and gives them a worthy life.

Read Psalm 34  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Psalms 31-60 today.