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Psalm 84-89


A Devotional Journey   
     led by Dr Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
        Psalm 84 is a prayer by someone (presumably a Levite) who had lost access to the temple, perhaps as a result of the invasion by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.  It is reminiscent of Psalm 42.  The valley of Baca is unknown and probably represents what the name means:  sorrow or weeping.  Entering the presence of God as His follower is the antidote for human sorrow and suffering.
        Psalm 85 is thought to refer to the time of Israel's return from exile -- particularly verses 1-3.  It looks forward to God's blessing and has been used by Christians through the ages as part of the Christmas celebration.
        Psalm 86 is another prayer for help against enemies attacking Israel.  The psalm has an interesting stanza pattern with
5 stanzas composed of 4 then 3 then 3 then 3 then 4 verses.  Verse 11 is especially worth mediating on:  "give me an undivided heart."
        Psalm 87 has been seen by both Christians and Jews as unique in its foreseeing of a day in which all the nations with gather in Jerusalem as fellow citizens of God's Kingdom.  God's special love for the holy city of Zion is quite clear in this psalm.
        Psalm 88 is a depressed cry from one suffering pain and death.  Unlike most psalms, this one offers no hope at all but simply an expression of the depths of human despair in the face of life's unfair and oppressive circumstances.  In it God's love is sought and in that way, to a certain extent affirmed).
        Psalm 89 is a prayer of lament that the dynasty of David has been forsaken by God.  The psalm begins with a thorough affirmation of the greatness of God and His actions in the past, continues with a description of how God has rejected and spurned the king, and then turns into a prayer for His intervention and vindication of His people in the face of their enemies.
        When you face difficulty or disaster, how does God fit into your thoughts?  Do you blame Him?  Do you find hope in the fact that He has helped and blessed you in the past?  Are you encouraged in the knowledge that His commitment to your future is unchangeable and His love everlasting
        It is hard for us to analyze our thoughts and emotions in the middle of a problem -- usually we simply react.  Because of this we need to grow in our relationship with God during the good times so our reactions can include some semblance of hope in when things are bad.
        Today, make a list of all God has done to bless your life B if you are in the middle of a problem or crisis, ask someone else to help you.  Then put it somewhere you can find it quickly and review it whenever you face some new or daunting challenge.  God does love you.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010