PSALMS OF ASAPH are featured this week in our Old Testament study. Once again, we find that what appears on the surface to be a–dare we say–relatively ordinary hymn of praise or supplication turns out to be something far more exciting when you actually take the time to read it and start peeling away layers.
We also find hints of the ultimate schism in Israel that created the two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. And since Asaph lived through the period of turmoil and intrigue that marked the transfer of power from David to Solomon, we suspect there will be some more hidden gems among his Psalms in the weeks and months ahead. Continue reading
PSALMS AND genealogies again this week in our Old Testament study, but even here we find some very interesting nuggets. We come across Psalm 87, an interesting prophecy of a future time when foreign nations will come to worship at Jerusalem, ones that are usually not represented in a positive light: Rahab (Egypt), Babylon, Tyre (the king of Tyre is equated with Lucifer/Satan in Ezekiel 28), Philistia, and Cush (Ethiopia, but also the name of the father of Nimrod).
WE CONCLUDE our study of the Book of Judges today with several incidents from the period between the conquest of Canaan and the establishment of the monarchy in Israel. The most famous of the judges, of course, is Samson, whose physical appetites repeatedly led him into trouble. Nevertheless, Samson was used by God to begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines.
We also look at the relocation of the tribe of Dan to the foot of Mount Hermon and the horrific story of the Levite’s concubine, which led to civil war and the near-destruction of the tribe of Benjamin. This episode emphasizes the overall theme of the Book of Judges, which is summarized by the book’s final verse:
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25, ESV)