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Psalms 42-49


A Devotional Journey    
     led by Dr Gene Pearson 
Thru the Bible in a Year
     Psalms 42-43 are actually a single prayer.  The prayer begins Book II of the collection, and is distinct from Book I in its identification of God as Elohim as contrasted with Books I=s use of the Hebrew word Yahweh.  The inner thoughts of the writer are directly expressed in Psalm 42 and reflect a confidence in God=s ultimate trustworthiness.  After asking the question AWhy?@  Psalm 43 reflects the same hope.
     Psalm 44 reflects a cry for help from a nation which has suffered defeat in battle.  The psalm includes four parts:  1) a review of past victories for which God is praised (1-8); 2) a lament concerning the current state of affairs in defeat (9-16); 3) an insistence on the undeserved nature of this calamity (17-22); and 4) a plea for God=s intervention (23-26).
     Psalm 45 reflects a setting in which the king is being married.  Because it speaks of the king=s victories over all the nations, it was later seen as messianic (e.g., in Hebrews 1:8-9).  Both the king (3-9) and his bride (10-15) are directly addressed, and both are alternately admonished and praised.
     Psalm 46 provides the starting point for Martin Luther=s great hymn:  A Mighty Fortress Is Our God3 stanzas of 3 verses each make up this psalm, and they were probably intended to be sung by different groups:  1) 1-3, by the people or Levitical choir; 2) (4?6)  by the worship leader, again probably a Levite; and 3) 8-10 by the worship leader.  Two responses for the people are also included in verses 7 and 11.
     Psalm 47, along with Psalms 92-100, is a hymn to God the King.  Some scholars believe it was used during the Feast of the Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34), the time chosen by Solomon for the dedication of the first temple in Jerusalem. (1 Kings 8:2).   It has been used by Jews during the celebration of Rosh Hashanah (New Year), and by Christians to celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven.
     Psalm 48 is a song of praise to God for His protection of Jerusalem, or Zion.  The first and last verses are used to frame the rest of the song.  Psalm 49 is a caution to those who would pursue wealth instead of God B nothing lasts except a relationship with Him.
     As you consider the greatness of God, do you feel secure?  Do you realize how inadequate all things are in comparison to His greatness?  Are you motivated to come closer to Him and follow Him more faithfully?
     The Good News for today is that God welcomes all who come to Him in faith.  He does not guarantee  trouble-free lives for His followers, but He does see us through it all.  Make up your mind to trust Him more and worry less today.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010