Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for April 29, Psalms 102-104

Today's readings are Psalms 102, 103 & 104. Tomorrow's are 2 Samuel 5, 1 Chronicles 11-12. 

Psalm 102 is a cry of complaint. We'll see this, from time to time, in the Psalms, with the psalmist almost always yielding to the Lord's will and extolling His virtues by the end of the Psalm. In this, we see that it's OK to pour our hearts out to the Father, as long as anger or bitterness are dealt with and God is acknowledged for His greatness and His love. This one, however, is a cry made on behalf of the entire nation as it endures exile in Babylon. Look at  Psalm 102:13-17.  

Let's look at Psalm 103 and how it is structured, for a moment. There is a literary device, in Hebrew poetry, known as a chiasma, an intersection of two divergent literary paths. There are usually two paths, one leading up to the main point an the other leading away from it. In a chiasma, the point of intersection is the primary point of the passage. Generally, it can be seen in grouping of two or three verses, running in a pattern like this: A > B > C > B > A, with the "C" group being the main emphasis. Psalm 103 is a large chiasma. It is structured like this;

 A-Praise (v 1)
     B-The God who meets our needs (v 2-5)
          C-The God who does right (v 6)
               D- The God who reveals Himself to Israel (v 7)
                    E-The eternal mercy of God (v 8-9)
                         F-How God does not deal (v 10)
                              G-Comparisons to God's excellencies (v 11-14)
                              G-Comparisons to man's frailties (v 15)
                         F-How God does not deal (v 16)
                    E-The eternal mercy of God (v 17a)
               D-The God who does right (v 17b)
          C-To those who do His precepts (v 18)
     B-All God rules is to bless Him (v 19-22a)
A-Praise (v 22b)

The Psalm starts out with praise, leads up to it's main point of comparing God's excellencies to man's frailness, then leads back to praise. 

Chiasmas are sometimes labeled chiasmata. Both words are also used as medical terms. They require some hard work but can be very rewarding. 

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