Psalms Session 11

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The Hymns Psalm 33 | The Hymns praise the One True God - YHWH - for His excellence. His virtue - His goodness and grace - define reality. In Psalm 33, we hear a surprising statement: “the whole earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD!” When we see the power of the Lord in creation, His ability to frustrate the plans of the nations, and His ability to peer into our hearts we might despair. However, as the Lord is looking throughout the earth, He takes note of those who fear Him. What does it mean to “fear” the Lord? To stand in awe of Him and hope in His steadfast love - His grace and mercy that is unfailing!

*If you don’t have the new set of notes, you can download them here.

Psalms Session 10

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The Hymns Psalm 29 | We finish up our discussion of Psalm 24 and move on to Psalm 29. One of the many themes that are emphasized in the Psalms in the Glory of the Lord. The Glory of YHWH is His AWESOMENESS - His profound significance as Creator and King. Those who dwell in Heaven are called to ascribe to YHWH glory and strength. He is the source of life and profound power. By His voice alone He shatters mighty cedars and makes the mountains skip. AND by His voice He creates and causes the deer to give birth. The only response to such awesome power is “GLORY!”

*If you don’t have the new set of notes, you can download them here.

Psalms Session 09

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The Hymns | We take a look at the next major type of Psalm: The Hymns. In the Hymns the virtues of The LORD - His power, mercy, steadfast love - and His wisdom are held up and praised. These Psalms orient us to “life the way it should be” - life in which the Lord-God’s purposes and plans are worked out to their fullest extent. These Psalms are very important because they call us up and out of the worries and problems of everyday life into a higher view where the Lord’s will is done.

*The new notes are listed below:

Video Series The Story of the Bible in Two Gardens


In the first of a three part series, Seth presents the Genesis account of creation as the basis for understanding the “big picture” truths of Scripture.



Psalms Session 08

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Hebrew Poetry Part 2 | We continue our discussion of Hebrew Poetry by considering how poetry engages an often ignored aspect of our mental makeup - our imaginations. The ability to form images in your “minds eye” is critical to reading and reading poetry in particular. We also consider how understanding poetic parallelism and the principles of sharpness (focus) and differentiation (contrast) can help us read and interact with the Psalms in a more fruitful way.

Psalms Session 07

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Hebrew Poetry & Psalm 8 | In this session we begin to discuss the nature of Hebrew Poetry and how to handle it. We also begin our meditation on Psalm 8 the first of the Hymns in the Psalms. As Poetry, the Psalms engage our imaginations and our emotions - areas of the soul that have been largely neglected by "modern" Christianity. The Psalms call us to meditate on what we read and speak and hear and not merely process the words as information.

Psalms Session 06

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Psalms 112 & 106 | We close out our discussion of the Wisdom Psalms by considering two Psalms in the significance of their context. Psalms 111 and 112 pair together to give us a complementary view of how the virtue of The Lord (Psalm 111) becomes the virtue of those who follow His way - those who fear Him (Psalm 112). In Psalm 106 we have a historical wisdom Psalm which confesses Israel’s sin in hopes of the Lord’s mercy and grace. Just as the Lord had delivered His people in the past, so now His people call out for deliverance from their current exile.

Psalms Session 05

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Psalm 73 | In this session we consider a Psalm which presents the “pondering wisdom” that we find in the Wisdom Psalms. “Why should we pursue righteousness when the wicked continually have peace (shalom)?” This is the dangerous thought that Asaph contemplates. The real problem that is at the heart of Psalm 73 is Asaph’s temptation to envy the arrogant. In one of the great ponderings of the Psalms we are oriented to true wisdom from a above, from the eternal perspective.

Psalms Session 04

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Psalm 19 & 34 | We continue reading and hearing from the Wisdom Psalms. We finish our look at Psalm 19 and take a brief glance at Psalm 34. The information given in the headings of the Psalms can be helpful, but sometimes it is hard to see how it relates to the content of the Psalm; 34 is a good example of this. As we read the poetry of the Bible we must keep in mind that these creative works of experience and imagination often erupt out of the soul of Psalmist. When the Lord shows His goodness, mercy and provision we should respond with overflowing joy and gratitude and praise. [ ST ]

Psalms Session 03

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Psalm 19 | The Wisdom Psalms lay the foundation for the worldview presented in the Psalms. As we have already heard in Psalm 1, there are only two ways: the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked. The way of the righteous is the way of the blessed, those who are truly satisfied with life. Life however is not always so easy to classify in neat boxes; sometimes the righteous suffer and sometimes the wicked prosper. The Wisdom Psalms also ponder these difficult realities. Ultimately these Psalms call us up to the “wisdom from above” so that we can see things from the Lord-God’s view, the only view that truly matters. [ ST ]

Psalms Session 02

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In our second session on the Psalms we consider the Psalms in terms of their relationship to the ups and downs of real life. In the Wisdom Psalms we are called to the higher reality of the Lords truth and righteousness. In the Royal Psalms we lay a foundation for understanding the Lord’s politics for planet earth, mediated through His chosen Messiah. In the Hymns we celebrate on the mountaintops where everything is working as it should. In the Lamentations we are in the pits, in the valley of the shadow of death and our only hope is in the Lord’s salvation. In the Thanksgivings we are learning that praise and thanks are the first steps out of the pit, back to a higher view of life, and especially the Lord-God who is holy and gracious. *Click here to go to the page for this whole study.


Classes Begin: New Study on the Psalms

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We began our new classes this week and it looks like things are off to a good start. For our main Biblical Study this year, I will be teaching through the Psalms. The Prayer and Praise book of Ancient Israel, the Psalms are one of the most important collections in the Hebrew Scriptures. For the early Church, the Psalms pointed to Jesus. The Psalms give us inspired examples of prayer, praise, and lamentation. We begin our study by situating the Psalms in their historical and theological context and then briefly looking at Psalms 1 and 2 as the Introduction to the whole book. [ ST ]