Derek Thomas
Psalm 30 bears the superscription, "A Song at the Dedication of the Temple." Scholars debate the provenance of these titles but without any just reason and it is best to take them as part of the inerrant Scripture. Psalm 30 begins in a spirit of worship, verse 1 (lit.), "I will raise you high .....
Derek Thomas
Twice in this psalm (2, 9) David tells us how in difficult circumstances he resorted to prayer and the Lord heard him. Crises are to be met with prayer. David describes it as akin to entering a "fortress" (3) - a favorite metaphor in the psalms to describe safety, peace, calm and security. At the...
Derek Thomas
There is gospel in this psalm. It may well reflect the incident when David's conscience condemned him for his adultery with Bathsheba in which case these words describe the burden of his conscience: "when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your...
Derek Thomas
Like watchtowers of the soul, Psalm 33 begins and ends with a reminder of the "steadfast love" of God (5, 22, also 18). The word in Hebrew - chesed - suggests God's faithfulness to his covenant. His love isn't fickle but utterly dependable and constant. Contained within the psalm is reflection on...
Derek Thomas
According to the title of Psalm 34, its contents reflect the time when David feigned madness before the Philistine Abimelech. Earlier, David's wife Michal had managed to give Saul's hit-men the slip, allowing David an opportunity to flee - eventually seeking to gain political asylum in enemy...
Chris Larson
"Jesus is better." That's a helpful way a commentator once summarized the letter to the Hebrews. This letter was written during a time of great crisis in the first century when it appeared the small, glowing embers of the church could be snuffed out by persecution. Two millennia have passed and...
Chris Larson
While chapter divisions in our Bible can be useful for finding your place and referencing various passages of Scripture, here we have a particularly unfortunate case where the flow of Hebrews is interrupted. This letter needs not to be sipped, but gulped down in its entirety. If you can find a good...
Chris Larson
The caution to beware unbelief in others and ourselves comes through loudly in this chapter. We have a tendency to idealize the past while fretting over the future. These are twin errors. The biblical emphasis is to believe today (Heb. 3:7, 13, 15). Building on the "Jesus is better" theme, the...
Chris Larson
There are two types of hearers: those who believe what's being said, those who do not. The author of Hebrews asks, "Which one are you?" This chapter continues the emphasis on turning away from unbelief and trusting Jesus. (Heb. 4:1-2) This is a caution we need today. While some churches in our land...
Chris Larson
Hebrews 5:1 and following continues to press the point that Jesus is better. He is better than any high priest who has come before. Even though earthly priests could sympathize with humanity's common plight (Heb. 5:2), they could not save themselves. All the priests who have come before needed to...

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