Al Yahud on the Jordan River

Al Yahud on the Jordan River
Said to be the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jun 14, Psa 1-8

Today's readings are Psa 1-8.

Psalms is a beloved series of poems, hymns, prayers, and songs. There is a total of 150. However, rather than being an unrelated collection of sonnets, there is divinely inspired organization and flow to the entire collection. They are arranged in five volumes (books), each of them echoing both a book of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) or an era of King David's life and career. Each volume ends with the phrase "Blessed be the God of Israel." Likewise, the last Psalm in each volume is either Davidic or exile-related. 

   Psa 1-2 -intro       
   Psa 3-41                Genesis            The King's struggle
   Psa 42-72              Exodus             The King on the throne
   Psa 73-89              Leviticus           The King in exile
   Psa 90-106            Numbers           The King returns
   Psa 107-148          Deuteronomy    The King exalted
   Psa 149-150 - worship

There are other interpretations of what the volumes symbolize but these two make the most sense. Upon examining the various credible descriptions, they all portray the same basic themes, and all can be related to the life and ministry of David. When we understand David is a typological Christ, the Psalms become a representation of His arrival in the flesh, the acknowledgment of the crowds, His rejection, His rising from the grave and His ascension to the right hand of God. 

There are a variety of types of Psalms. The major categories are:

   Lament - a mournful individual or corporate prayer
   Imprecatory - a prayer for judgment on God's enemies
   Hymns of Praise - individual & corporate
   Messianic/Royal - activities/possibilities of the king 
   Thanksgiving - individual/corporate
   Wisdom - instructional
   Liturgical - antiphonal questions, answers, and responses

It helps to know what type Psalm is being read. But it also helps to know that the Psalms are related to one another. This makes paying attention to the Psalms in the context of what comes before and after each of them an important part of understanding the entire book. 

Daily readings will be posted, but comments on the individual Psalms will be sporadic. I'd like to encourage you to read the Psalms slowly, enjoy the poetry, savor them and examine them for continuity and flow, keeping in mind they will each reveal something about the life of Christ.

Here are the types of Psalms in our readings today:

   Psa 1 - Wisdom
   Psa 2 - Royal
   Psa 3 to 6 - Laments
   Psa 7 - Imprecatory
   Psa 8 - Thanksgiving

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