TODAY’S READING: PSALM 54-63
A prayer of protection: a cry against deceitful friends; the psalmist’s trust in God; David’s prayer for deliverance from his enemies; David’s confidence in God’s promises.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
In yesterday’s comments in this section the goal was to acquaint you with how God uses His Word in the Psalms, more than highlighting the things He actually said. Because the psalms in today’s reading are easily understood, we will again use this space to help you to “learn how to fish” in the psalms, rather than simply “handing you a fish,” borrowing from the insight of Bruce Wilkinson:
“Just as the nation of Israel was divided into many different tribes, so the Psalms can be divided into many different types. As you continue your journey through this book, you’ll find it helpful to be able to classify each psalm you read. A majority of the psalms fall into one of three categories:
1. Lament Psalms are petitions addressed directly to God by the
individual or community in the context of distress. They
usually include a description of the problems, a confession of
trust, and a vow of praise to God, uttered with the confidence
that God can and will deliver His people (examples: Psalms 3-7,
2. Thank Psalms, offered publicly by one or more worshippers,
acknowledge God’s faithful actions on behalf of His people in
the past, or express confidence in His promise to act in the
future (examples: Psalms 18, 27, 62).
3. Praise Psalms are hymns based on the word praise or
hallelujah. They are joyful expressions of adoration for God’s
greatness, acknowledging Him as Creator, Sustainer, and Lover
of His people (examples: Psalms 113, 117, 146-150).
In addition, you will encounter:
4. Royal Psalms are hymns describing the King, both earthly and
heavenly, reigning over His kingdom (examples: Psalms 2, 95-96).
5. Woe Psalms are poems expressing the psalmist’s righteous
indignation at God’s enemies, and calling for God’s swift
retribution (examples: Psalms 49, 109, 137).
6. Acrostic Psalms are highly stylized poems in which each new
section, verse, or line begins with a successive letter of the
Hebrew alphabet (examples: Psalms 9-10, 25, 35,119).
7. Pilgrim Psalms are songs sung by worshippers on the way up to
Jerusalem for the yearly feast (examples: Psalms 120-134).
8. Messianic Psalms are prophetic songs describing the coming
Messiah as King (Psalms 2, 24, 100), Servant (Psalms 22-23, 40,
60), and the Son of God (Psalm 118).”
In today’s psalms, do note that a good portion of them record the expression of David’s heart and his confidence in God during some of his most difficult days: While being pursued (Psalms 54, 57, 59); having been betrayed (Psalm 55); and while he was brokenhearted (Psalm 56). Psalms 54, 60, 61 and 63 are psalms of lament (watch for the use of the phrase, “O, God”).
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As the One Who was betrayed by his “friend” – Psalm 55:12 (Matt. 26:47-50).
As the One Who saves those who will call upon Him – Psalm 55:16-17 (Rom. 10:13).
As the Rock – Psalm 61:2; 62:2, 6-7 (I Cor. 10:4).