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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

December 01 2023

Friday, December 01

A Praise, a Promise, and a Prayer

Psalm 108:1-13

A Song. A Psalm of David

1 O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.

2 Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn.

3 I will praise You, O LORD, among the peoples, And I will sing praises to You among the nations.

4 For Your mercy is great above the heavens, And Your truth reaches to the clouds.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory above all the earth;

6 That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and hear me.

7 God has spoken in His holiness: "I will rejoice; I will divide Shechem And measure out the Valley of Succoth.

8 Gilead is Mine; Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the helmet for My head; Judah is My lawgiver.

9 Moab is My washpot; Over Edom I will cast My shoe; Over Philistia I will triumph."

10 Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom?

11 Is it not You, O God, who cast us off? And You, O God, who did not go out with our armies?

12 Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless.

13 Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.

Psalm 108 has some very interesting aspects to it. First, after a number of previous psalms that did not have a title, this one, once again has one. It is called, “A song. A Psalm of David.” So it is definitely associated with David in some way. If you have read thoughtfully through the psalms you will say to yourself when you come to Psalm 108, "I've read all this before." And so you have. The first five verses are taken right out of the last half of Psalm 57, and the last eight verses are taken right out of the last half of Psalm 60. In other words, this is a composite psalm. Two of David's psalms have been commandeered, rearranged, and put down as a new psalm with one or two minor changes.

It is generally thought that Psalm 108 was written after the Babylonian captivity. Some unknown scribe, acting under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, took portions from two of David's earlier compositions and put them together as we have them here, as a new choir piece for the chief musician.

The historical situation in David's day and the situation at the time this new psalm was compiled were quite different. Centuries had come and gone, the monarchy had been swept away, the greater part of the tribes had been scattered only to vanish among the nations of the earth. Only a tiny remnant now held the land for the Messiah, and even that remnant was subject to the control of foreign powers. Yet the old words of David are picked up to express the hopes, fears, joys, and sorrows of a new age, a new generation, a new time of need. David's words were still up to date then, and they still are today.

This is what the Holy Spirit does here in Psalm 108. He takes pieces from two of the psalms and arranges them in a different way, not because He has run out of ideas, but because He wants to bring particular truths before us in a fresh way for a second time.

God's truth is adaptable to new situations and old songs become "new songs" when new challenges are matched with changeless theology. The writer opened with praise to the Lord (vv. 1-5) and then reminded Him of His promises to conquer Israel's enemies and give them the land (vv. 6-9). He closed with prayer for God's help and an expression of confidence in the power of the Lord (vv. 10-13).

The psalmist picked up the triumphant parts of Psalms 57 and 60 to give us this new one, so essentially it is a victory psalm. There may be difficulties, disappointments, and duress, but with God we cannot fail to have victory.

Praise, prayer, and promises form a combination found often in the psalms, a pattern that we ought to imitate in our own daily lives.

God bless!

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