Psalm 32

This is one of the penitential psalms.  It speaks of sin, guilt, the miserable state of sinners.  But it also thanks God for the gift of forgiveness. The prayer begins with the word “happy” or “blessed.”  Both translations are found.  “Happy” indicates good fortune and joy.  “Blessed”...

A Reflection on Psalm 31

According to Luke 23:46, Jesus’s last words were “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” This prayer is from verse 6 of Psalm 31. The whole psalm could be used for a meditation on Jesus’s suffering and death on the cross. With the psalmist, Jesus could plead, “Be gracious to me, LORD, for I...

Psalm 30

This is a highly dramatic prayer of praise and thanksgiving.  The psalmist has undergone a dangerous situation—perhaps a wound or perhaps a disease.  To add insult to injury, an enemy was gloating over the psalmist’s predicament.  He recalls how dangerous it was.  He was on the brink of falling into...

Psalm 29

The psalmist praises the God of Israel as king of the universe. God is pictured in his heavenly court. He is surrounded by “sons of God” or “heavenly beings.” Some think that this is an adaptation of a hymn to the Canaanite god Baal. We might think of angels. The heavenly court praises God’s glory...

Psalm 28

The psalmist is in dire need. He fears that, without God’s help, he is doomed to die and fall into the netherworld. (At the psalmist’s time there was no clear notion of an afterlife.) Yet, he is convinced that God cares. God is his “rock.” God will hold him up in his struggles. He knows that God has...

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