Today's Devotions

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Showcase: Recent Posts

  • Transformed by the renewing of the mind & scripture: Dallas Willard +

    Dallas Willard presents a thoughtful and moving account of the way to follow Jesus, Read More
  • The human side of holiness (part 1) by Dallas Willard +

    How do we become more like Christ? Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Don  Carson

http://www.esvbible.org/Joshua+6/

http://www.esvbible.org/Psalms+135-136/

http://www.esvbible.org/Isaiah+66/

EVERY VERSE IN PSALM 135 quotes or alludes to or is quoted by some other part of Scripture.

Verse 1 reorders the phrasing of Psalm 113:1, putting the emphasis on the "servants of the LORD" who are then further described in verse 2 — which in turn adapts a clause from Psalm 116:19. Verse 3 is one of three related verses in the book of Psalms in which we are variously told that the Lord's name is good (Ps. 52:9), that he himself is good (Ps. 135:3), and that praising him is good (Ps. 147:1); and further, that both his name (here) and worship of him (Ps. 147:1) are "pleasant" (or perhaps "delightful"). If verse 3 emphasizes God's character, verse 4 underscores his elective love in a way that calls us back to Deuteronomy 7:6.

Verses 5-7 emphasize God's unlimited power, calling to mind Exodus 18:11; Psalm 115:3; Jeremiah 10:13. The opening clause "I know that . . ." provides an emphasis on personal confession; this is truth not only to know, but to live by. Much of verses 8-12 reappears scattered throughout the next psalm, often word for word (Ps. 136:10, Ps. 18-22). Which way the borrowing went is of little consequence. The references to the defeat of Sihon and Og call us back to Numbers 21:21-35. As for God's name (Ps. 135:13-14), the allusion is to Exodus 3:15 and Deuteronomy 32:36. Verses 15-18, on the sheer folly of all idolatry, almost exactly follow Ps. 115:4-8; thematically similar convictions find expression in Isaiah. The closing verses of this psalm (Ps. 135:19-21) apparently pick up on Ps. 115:9-11, where three of the four groups are told to glorify God.

The result of this pastiche approach to psalm-writing is a wonderful compendium of praise. It is as if the mind of the writer is not only full of much historical data from Scripture, but filled with texts as well. So as he builds his exuberant hymn of praise, consciously or unconsciously he interweaves phrase after phrase, sometimes whole verses, drawn from other Scriptures.

A similar phenomenon was once not uncommon amongst praying evangelicals. As men and women poured out their hearts to the Lord in prayer meetings, both praise and petition were cast in the language of Scripture. Of course, at its worst this sort of thing was a canned recitation of the same half-dozen texts. But at its best, such praise and prayer roamed through ever wider vistas of Scripture, as the people's knowledge of Scripture was itself growing. There is something mature and biblically evocative about such praise, and as different from today's narrow themes of clichéd sentimentalism as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is from "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

Joshua 6; Psalms 135-136; Isaiah 66; Matthew 14

is a post from: For the Love of God

Reflections to Consider

  • 1

Publications

  • 1

Music

  • 1

Audio & Video

  • 1

Favorites

  • Shut It Tight, T Bone Burnett +

    I find it hard sometimes to say the way that I feel I do the very things I hate to Read More
  • Home: a video clip of Going Home by Libera +

    What is home? Is it a house or something more? Is home where you grew up, where you live, or Read More
  • The Dynamics of the Spiritual Life +

    Our emotional lives and our spiritual lives have different dynamics. The ups and downs of our emotional life depend a Read More
  • Like Anyone Else: Solomon Burke +

    I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very Read More
  • 1

Hidden Blessings

  • The Idol of Personal Peace and Affluence +

    Francis Schaeffer discusses modern man’s humanistic thought, and its relationship to the only values that were held: personal peace and Read More
  • The Beginning of PCA: Francis Schaeffer +

    "A Step Forward" [The Presbyterian Journal, 6 March 1974, pages 7-8] Shortly after the formation of the Presbyterian Church in Read More
  • A Change in Our Society: Francis Schaeffer +

    A Christian Manifesto by Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer This address was delivered by the late Dr. Schaeffer in 1982 at Read More
  • The Universe and Two Chairs: Francis Schaeffer +

    In the course of this book we have focused attention on the way God looks at the culture of our Read More
  • 1