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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Ps. 106-107

According to NIV/NVI, these represent the last psalm of Book IV and the first psalm of Book V.  I will admit I am not aware of the distinction, and don't have time this morning to investigate.

Psalm 106 has a little mini history of the exodus and perhaps the exile.  It talks about being delivered into the hands of pagan nations, but I can't tell if that was prior to the reign of David when there was back and forth conquering of the Israelites, or Babylon and Syria taking them away.

Psalm 106 is interesting to me based on my recent sermon because it addresses the question of whether ours is the best or the only god.  Worshipping the Golden Calf is described as trading the Almighty God of Israel for a bull that eats grass.  In other words, not a god, but only the symbol.  Later, Israel is described as worshiping idols that are not alive. Again, demonstrating the evolution away from the idea that there is any connection to this behavior and something real.

Psalm 107 is similar, recounting the people turning away or losing courage, but includes a fair bit about being at sea.  There are not many sea stories in the Bible, and this one is super generic.  Still, interesting. 

23 Some went down to the sea in ships,
    doing business on the mighty waters;
24 they saw the deeds of the Lord,
    his wondrous works in the deep.
25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
    which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths;
    their courage melted away in their calamity;
27 they reeled and staggered like drunkards,
    and were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he brought them out from their distress;
29 he made the storm be still,
    and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad because they had quiet,
    and he brought them to their desired haven.
31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wonderful works to humankind.
32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
    and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

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