Psalm 100

v1, A joyful noise can not be noise, unless it has a level of decibels in sound which is more than just audible, it should be a considerable volume. Sadly, some Christians sing every song, like a funeral dirge that barely registers decibels. We should understand volume as a virtue in singing. Do not keep your gratitude in a corner, put it on the rooftop! When people praised Jesus (Luke 19:37) their praise was filled with noise because of the hope they had in Jesus. This would have been reminiscent of Psalm 47:1. While his people praised him, the earth had no need to rejoice with a noise, but Jesus reminded his enemies that if they didn’t praise Him, the very rocks would cry out, Luke 19:40, which is not a poetic reference to his creation, but rather a literal promise, because when Jesus was crucified while his disciples ran in silence, the resurrection did cause rocks to split and indeed noises were heard, Matthew 27:51.

v2, Singing as a service is serving with gladness. Psalm 22:3 tells us that our praise gives God’s rule a close proximity to our heart, that is, if your praise is truly coming from our heart and not just our vocal chords. Jesus himself rejoiced in the Spirit, Luke 10:21. If we are to follow him, how should we sing?

v3, We should want to acknowledge Jesus as God in this creation every day of the week, not just Sunday. To “Laud” his power in creation daily should never lead us to think we can live anyway we want and then go on Sunday to worship and turn it on, This creation we live in daily is his, and this should affect our daily praise, 1st Corinthians 6:19-20

v4, The gates and courts of God’s Temple, is only the introduction to the presence of his holiness. This is a significant and appropriate place for Jews to praise God with gratitude, BUT, we Christians are IN His Temple. According to the faith of the Hebrew Christian writer, when we gather on Sunday, where exactly are we? See Hebrews 12:22-23. Therefore we should always be looking for ways to express gratitude. We should be grateful to God for his Son, not for music itself. We should not love the music, but rather we should love God who gave us the music. Music can assist our heart to worship but music can not make a non-worshipping heart into a worshipping heart. Only God’s powerful love does that. We should not use music to manufacture our praise, we should use music to help us deliver praise.

v5,  Praise based upon knowing God is GOOD, LOVING and FAITHFUL is always helpful, no matter what day of the week it is sung on. Having experienced the goodness, love and faithful providence of God, is what is often a springboard of praise. He is Good because he never lies, Titus 1:2. He is Loving in what he has done and does today, His love is resilient, Psalm 118:1-4. God is faithful because he has always kept his promises, and will return in fulfillment of the only promise yet to be fully realized, Matthew 16:27

Psalm 94

v1-4, God is the Lord of vengeance, which is why we should leave vengeance to Him, and bless our enemies, instead of curse them. Using the words of Jesus, benefits The Lord, and will ultimately bring rewards, even in this life, Luke 6:27-38. This is not the modern false-gospel of prosperity, but rather a dependence on God to provide a cup that overflows with blessings in the face of our enemy. The Jews were promised the same type of justice in Deuteronomy 32:3-5. Blessings are rarely seen as monetary.

v5, We may marvel at persecution and wonder why God allows it to this day, but it’s nothing new, our victory is secured in our faith of Christ’s resurrection. Remember John during his persecution had this to hold on to when he saw the vision of the bloody prostitute, Rev. 17:6.

V6-10, Because our Lord is both Ruler & Creator, then everything God’s creation does, He both understands and judges. His rule does not necessitate arbitrary authority, but rather a power that controls our consequences, not our choices. If God controlled our choices, then His power & authority would be motivated by fear, not love. Love allows freedom and liberty to make serious mistakes, but powerful justice demands the perfect consequence!

V11-13, see 1st Corinthians 3:20.

v14-15, see Romans 11:1. This passage contains one of the most comforting promises in the entire Bible, v14 is the preface for Hebrews 13:5.

v16-18, Both the Psalmist and Paul, had a connection with Daniel’s victory over the lions, see 2nd Timothy 4:16-17. God protected them and he will protect us to do His will, not our own. The phrase “living in the Land of Silence”, is a clear reference to the Psalmists faith in God’s powerful protection even AFTER death. Even when we as Christians are convinced we are going to receive the death sentence, it happens, because God wants us to rely on Him for life itself, 2nd Corinthians 1:9. God did not kill the lions for Daniel, he merely shut their mouths. He leaves the threat of physical persecution very real in our life, but secures us safely in spirit. Why? So that even our enemies can see our faith in God’s goodness even in the face of what they call the worst case scenario.

v19, If we want to be really happy, deep down inside, we need to first rely on God’s encouragement. Philippians 4:4 is a command which necessitates faith in God’s fulfilled promises, personally! Then and only then can we efficiently cast our anxieties upon the Lord because, we not only believe he cares, but from experience, we KNOW he cares.

v20-23,   Wicked rulers can not be allied with God, but God can indeed appoint governments that allow evil people to lead in the work of making & enforcing laws that affect Christians, see Romans 13:1-3. Ultimately, the following comes true for every governing ruler that is evil, “But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge. He will bring back on them their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness; the LORD our God will wipe them out.~ Psa. 94:22-23

Psalm 91

v1, So many of God’s children have experienced this intimate residence with our God as a providential Father, but none of us have enjoyed the ultimate protection that this Psalm proclaims. Being faithful to our God is at best, risky and at worst, dangerously painful. The Apostle John best described this paradox in 1Jn. 4:15-16. Love as God can be both tender and a torment, almost simultaneously.

v 2-3, Who in the world, could ever boast and sing about such safe protection? Only Christ, and yet even he suffered agony & death. Jesus Christ experienced his life being put through the wringer of death, and proclaimed in advance that our God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, Luke 20:38.

v4-5, This picture within the praise of the Psalmist is exactly how Jesus felt and looked upon Jerusalem with all his enemies, Mat. 23:37. The courage of faithful children of God is modeled on the bravery of Jesus, with stories like Joshua being told by God to be courageous, Joshua 1:6-9. We too can shove fear aside, with the experience of living with the Spirit of Christ, Ephesians 6:10-20.

v6-10, The thought of God’s judgement  wreaking punishment upon our enemies, might make us wonder about being caught in the crossfire or consequence of such destruction, but safety is real. The law of Moses predicted His enemies would suffer defeat in military terms such as this; Deuteronomy 32:23-35, closely associates military attacks with deadly disease. Alluding to one of the effects of siege warfare on the population of an entrapped city, which was especially vulnerable to the outbreak of epidemics. This reminds us of the words of the Hebrew Christian writer, “For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” Hebrews 2:2-3. ONLY IN CHRIST!

v11-12, The devil himself knew this Psalm was prophetically pointed to the Christ in Jesus, and even when satan quotes it, Jesus rebukes him, as if to say, it may be true, but your the last person on earth with a right to quote it & test it’s authenticity, Luke 4:10-11. As a word of warning: It is dangerous for Christians to use these words from this Psalm, as some have historically in amulets designed to function as magical protection. Moreover, the promise of angelic protection in verse 11 was the basis for the belief in personal angels who protected individual believers with the result that angels became objects of veneration. Christians should not use Psalm 91 as a magical guarantee against the various deadly threats that they encounter on life’s journey. Instead, the security that Psalm 91 promises should be accepted in humble trust as belonging to Christ and in Christ alone. It is this humble acceptance of these promises that enabled Jesus to use the words of Psalm 31:5 from the cross, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

v13-16, Some of this Psalm sounds like it is written in the third person, as if the Psalmist is talking to himself, with God as his audience. Kind of like the words of the Lord’s prayer in John 17:1-4. Part of our human experience which both Jesus and the Psalmist used is what modern researchers and doctors have found, which is that people create distance between themselves and whatever is causing negative emotions, like fear or anxiety, when they self-talk in the third person. It kind of switches you to a different mode of experiencing negative emotions when you use your name rather than the word, ‘I,’ It’s like your viewing it from an outsiders perspective. Observed by Jason Moser, an associate professor in the department of psychology neuroscience program at Michigan State University.

Psalm 82

Asaph is identified with twelve Psalms and is said to be the son of Berechiah who is said to be an ancestor of the Levitical Asaphites. He is also known as one of the three Levites commissioned by King David to be in charge of singing in the house of The LORD. In 1Chronicles 6:39, David appoints a man named Heman as the main musician or singer and Asaph as Heman’s right hand assistant and the Merarites at his left hand.  Asaph is also credited with performing at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple in 2Chronicles 5:12. During his long term, Asaph saw the best and worst of officials. His complaint against corruption among the rich and influential, recorded in Psalm 72 & 73, might have been directed towards some of the officials or rulers in Psalm 82.

The most reasonable explanation of v6, is the view most widely held over the centuries. The “gods” referred to in Psalm 82:1 and v6 are the rulers of Israel, who have failed to carry out their responsibilities as God’s representatives in the ruling of the nation. There are O.T. verses to support this interpretation: The way elohim (gods) is used elsewhere in the Old Testament, shows that the term elohim almost always refers to the one and only God, the God of Israel (Deut. 4:35,39). It sometimes refers to the so-called “gods” of the paganistic gentiles (Judges 11:24; 1Kings 18:24). The term also occasionally identifies “… rulers and/or judges as divine representatives at sacred places…”. Several passages may use elohim in this sense: “Moreover, he [Aaron] shall speak for you [Moses] to the people; and it shall come about that he shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be as God [elohim] to him” (Exod. 4:16). Also, Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I make you as God [elohim] to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet” (Exod. 7:1). “Then his master shall bring him to God [elohim, or, the judges who acted in God’s name, margin, NASB], then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently” (Exod. 21:6).

The teaching of the Bible is that man was created in God’s image to reign and to rule as a vice regent over the earth (Gen. 1:26,28; Rom. 8:17-21; 2 Tim. 2:12). Rulers are appointed by God to carry out His purposes of restraining evil and rewarding those who do what is good (Rom. 13:1-4). In this sense rulers not only act for God; they, in a sense, act as god or as “gods”. In view of this, consider the warning; “And he said to the judges, Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you when you render judgment. Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness, or partiality, or the taking of a bribe” (2 Chron. 19:6-7).

Jesus used this Psalm to warn hypocritical leaders, that God is their Judge of judges. See John 10:32-39. He referred to himself as the “son of God” and a God, because of his miracles being genuinely from God. A fact, which his enemies could not dispute, but they could not accept his divinity based on the miracles, even in the face of God’s Psalms referring to God calling the judges of Israel, “gods”.  This led Jesus to pronounce the harshest judgment & rebuke upon anyone, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation” (Luke 20:46-47). This kind of cruel sin, can lead God’s children to sing about God sentence of wrath upon irresponsible hypocritical religious leaders. It leads Jesus to command us to pray for our enemies and do good to them, because if they don’t repent now, there is coming a day for the worst punishment of all.