Hebrew Parallelism in Psalm 19

As a follow up to the previous post, here is an example of Hebrew Parallelism taken from Psalm 19. This is just one way that it could be done as some verses could have slight identification difference.

HEBREW PARALLELISM IN PSALM 19

  • Psalm 19:1

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;

And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

[Synonymous]

  • Psalm 19:2

Day to day pours forth speech,

And night to night reveals knowledge.

[Synonymous]

  • Psalm 19:3

There is no speech, nor are there words;

Their voice is not heard.

[Synthetic]

  • Psalm 19:4

Their line has gone out through all the earth,

And their utterances to the end of the world.

[Synonymous (lines 1-2)]

In them He has placed a tent for the sun,

[Synthetic (lines 1/2-3)]

  • Psalm 19:5

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;

It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.

[Emblematic Synonymous]

  • Psalm 19:6

Its rising is from one end of the heavens,

And its circuit to the other end of them;

[Synonymous (lines 1-2)]

And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

[Synthetic (lines 1/2-3)]

  • Psalm 19:7

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;

The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

[Synonymous]

  • Psalm 19:8

The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

[Synonymous]

  • Psalm 19:9

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;

The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.

[Synthetic]

  • Psalm 19:10

They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;

Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

[Synonymous]

  • Psalm 19:11

Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;

(Your servant) In keeping them there is great reward.

[Synonymous]

  • Psalm 19:12

Who can discern his errors?

Acquit me of hidden faults.

[Synonymous]

  • Psalm 19:13

Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;

Let them not rule over me;

[Antithethical (lines 1-2)]

Then I will be blameless,

And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.

[Synthetic (lines 3-4)]

[Synonymous (lines 1-4)]

  • Psalm 19:14

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

Be acceptable in Your sight,

[Formal (lines 1-2)]

O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

[Formal (lines 1/2-3)]

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RESPONSE TO GRENZ & OLSON, WHO NEEDS THEOLOGY?

Book Review of Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson’s “Who Needs Theology”. The book describes the public misconception about theology in the church, the good and the bad, and why proper theology is so useful in today’s society.

RESPONSE TO GRENZ & OLSON, WHO NEEDS THEOLOGY?

The book “Who Needs Theology” by Stanly Grenz and Roger Olson takes the reader on a journey to discover why everyone needs theology and everyone is a theologian. It describes the common misconceptions that many have with theology and exposes those misconceptions to the real purpose and truths of theology. That purpose is not just one of amassing knowledge or growing to know more about the Christian faith, but it is to affect the life of a believer in Christ, and allow one to be able to articulate truth to the surrounding culture. It is to take that knowledge and truly know what one’s beliefs are and whether they are doctrinally sound. Proper theology does not follow with blind faith but develops a strong faith to use as a background as to why one does believe God and why God is real; theology moves us from knowledge to living out ones faith and “help us be the believing people of God in the world today.”[1]

The major thesis of the book and greatest lessons are that theology is not just about a set of beliefs or doctrines but it is about strengthening the foundations of Christian faith, living out that faith in the identity that God created the Christian to be, and not being satisfied to just know truth but to explain that truth to contemporary culture. The authors remind us that theology is not about us, but about knowing God and being God-centered. The authors describe that theology “results in God being glorified even in believers’ minds themselves. Theological reflection leads to thinking rightly about God as well as about oneself and about the world as a creation under God.”[2]

One of the brightest parts of the book is essentially a step-by-step guide in forming theology. These instructions guide the reader by using the critical and constructive tasks of theology to rely on the proper sources to form ones’ theology. They remind the reader that God’s Word will always be the primary source, with the additional sources being tradition and culture. They share the dangers of starting with the wrong idea first and the repercussions that could lead to by not having a theology that is either relevant or effective.

Reading this book reminded me that our lives are to glorify God in all we do and to seek knowledge where our theology “moves beyond our head to touch our heart and even our hands.”[3] A challenge that is posed to the reader is to create one’s own “integrative motif”. While they selected community, what struck me the most as I read was how the authors reinforced the idea that theology can’t just stay inside of a believer. For a believer’s faith to grow, theology is necessary to know what to believe, to discern false doctrines and to know and please God by knowing Him more. That is why my “integrative motif” for this book and Scripture as a whole is the glory of God, specifically revealed through Christ Jesus our Lord.

[1] Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson, Who Needs Theology?: An Invitation to the Study of God (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 94.

[2] Ibid, 48.

[3] Ibid, 46.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Grenz, Stanley, and Roger Olson. Who Needs Theology?: An Invitation to the Study of God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996.

Good and faithful shield

Ephesians 6:16 – In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

How often do we forget the foundations of faith in Jesus in the troublesome times? I know that in these times I feel completely fragile. I feel the chaos that surrounds me is so thick that it becomes hard to breathe. I, like Peter when he started to walk toward Jesus on the water, take my eyes of Jesus. My attention doesn’t naturally turn toward faith in these times. My natural tendency is be overwhelmed with the anxiety and worry.

In the same way, during times of trouble or attacks from the evil one, the natural tendency of my flesh is to get so burdened by the weight of guilt from the temptation. The attacks come and keep coming, my flesh fails and sin overtakes me. I get down and begin to feel worthless. I wonder how anyone can love a person like me, so full of evil. So full of a flesh likely to fail and chase after worthless earthly things. In these times, I cannot wait for heaven where sin is no more.

I am thankful for what Christ has done in words I can’t express. All too often I take that precious and priceless gift for granted. I don’t delight in God like I should. I make prayer more of a box to check off than remember the awe inspiring gift of being before the Almighty Creator of everything. I forget that I can call the one and only God, the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords, my father. The Father. How often do we not delight in prayer or in the Word of God? How often do we feel the joy of salvation nowhere near us.

In a scene from a movie, I picture hundreds of flaming arrows being shot at all of us each day. The imagery of us being shot with these flaming arrows piercing our flesh. The shock on our face as our jaw drops. The puzzled look as to what is happening. Then another arrow. We fall to our knees as it feels like we can’t breathe. The hurt has taken over. Feeling almost paralyzed then one more. As the devil attacks, on our own we are helpless. We have been defeated. We cannot win. The battle is over. We fall to the ground with arrows sticking out of our body.

Yet time and time again, Jesus comes and picks us up. He removes the arrows from our lifeless body and gives us life. He tells us He loves us even though we failed. Discipline may come. He steadies us and carries us. Then, He reminds us what He left us with. He reminds us of faith. Faith in Him and who He is. Faith in what He has done. Faith in who He has made us and who we are now. While we may and will fail, He picks us up and brushes off the dirt. As we lay down our lives to Him, just as He rode that colt into Jerusalem, so He rides into our kingdom.

While we fail, the amazing thing is that we are loved and still called God’s children. When God looks upon us, He looks with a smile because of the glory of Christ and what Christ has done in our lives. As the flaming arrows of evil are shot at you each day, each hour, remember the shield that we have. While it may be a daunting task to look at this flaming arrow coming your way, we can remember what Christ did. He gave victory for us. He has let us overcome. Sometimes, many times actually, you won’t see the arrows come. All the sudden you will feel the sting of sin and temptation, but the shield of faith will extinguish it. Don’t try to fight it or put it out on your own. Call on Christ and “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

I know it is hard and it isn’t our natural tendency but this is one of those things that if we ask God to help us, how glad He will be to help us in these moments. How good it will be to have God teach us to take our eyes off the pain, the attacks and be focused on Him. For when we focus on God and who He is, when we remember what He has done, the power of those flaming arrows loses their power and no longer can they harm us.

The attacks and persecution will come every day. It will come in all shapes and sizes. They will also come from unexpected sources but God’s grace is enough! The grace of God will always be enough and it is more than enough. Even though the attacks wear us down and burden us, God reminds us to “…boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Delight in God. Delight in who He is and be satisfied in the fullness of life that He gives. What a promise! He will not leave us, even though the attacks will make us feel alone and fragile, He is here with us, for us and strengthening us!

I want to leave you with a beautiful promise that comes from a prayer that Jesus prayed in John 17. This comes from John 17:24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” Jesus is for us. God will never forsake us. He is so patient and gracious and merciful and true. He fills us. He knows our every move. He dances over us. And Jesus wants His children to be where He is and to see HIS GLORY! I pray that we will have the spiritual awareness and awake-ness to sense how God is revealing Himself to us this day!

John Piper – passion for the supremacy of God, part 1

John Piper – passion for the supremacy of God – From the passion conference

As I listened to this sermon podcast, these were the notes I took and wanted to share with you. Over the next few posts, it will be linked to this sermon. This to me was a fantastic sermon and I can’t wait to share with you part 2. This was done back at Passion 97 but it has been a fantastic and powerful find.

Here is the link so you can listen to this powerful sermon. (You will actually find the sermon transcribed there but again these are the parts that stood out to me)

We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples is his life mission and vision of church (point 1). He quotes from Isaiah 26:8, “Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” His purpose (point 2) is to be a match set for the kindling of our joy and thrill in God. Point 3, to see from scripture the two points are the same reason. To spread a passion for God’s supremacy and be happy in God are identical. God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him is what we will hear many times during these two sermons. The more we find satisfaction in him and eat from his table the more his worth and all sufficiency is magnified.

No competition between God’s passion to be glorified and our passion to be satisfied because they are one.

Piper is here to torch a glacier in our lives. He refers to Matthew 24:12 – “lawlessness will be multiplied and love of many grow cold.” He hates the thought of growing cold. That my love for God and people would dry up yet Jesus says it is coming. The fact that Lawlessness will be multiplied and love of many will grow cold is a bleak description of the last days. In the next verse it says, “But those who endure to end will be saved”. And in the next verse, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Piper wants us to see the tension in 12 and 14. Piper reminds us it is not the cold people who will take the Gospel to the unreached people of this world. But if we look at verse 9, you will be hated on account of Jesus (summary of verse 9). Thus the tension because if we will be hated, it won’t be the cold people. It will be white hot people. As the end of age draws near, there will be people getting ice cold and those getting white hot to lay down lives to preach the gospel.

A little girl drew a picture of this imagery and it was a marvelous glacier with a hole in the glacier at the top with the sun coming down and a stick man with a torch. Many people are growing cold toward God, but nothings says where we live we have to be under that glacier. If there are enough people with a torch, a big hole can be opened up over your campus, your work, even your city.

The Foundation is: your passion for the supremacy of God in all things is based squarely on the passion of God for the supremacy of God in all things. Your God centerdness, if it will last, has to be rooted in God centerdness. God is supreme in the life of God. If you want God to be your treasure you have to see that God’s treasure is God. We may not withhold from God the highest pleasure from God which is worship of God.

The chief end of God is to glorify God. Not just the chief end of man, but the chief end of God is to glorify and enjoy himself forever.

1 Cor 10:31, “…do it all for the glory of God.” But God does everything for the glory of God and the root of my living for the glory of God is God lives for the glory of God. God loves himself more than He loves you and that is the only reason He loves you. It is easy to be a Christian in a man centered world that it buttresses what you would have done without God. You are Not a Christian if you only loved what you would have loved without being confronted by the beauty of a God centered God. If God is only a means to your self-exaltment, rather than you seeing in Him as a God consumed with manifestation of His glory than check your conversion.
God chose me for His glory. He chose us unto the praise of the glory of His grace. That His glory and grace might be praised and magnified. Your salvation is to glorify God. Regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification is to glorify God. Is 43:6-7 God rescued His people for His glory. That He might make known His glory and power. He saved His people so that He might make known His mighty power and it spread all the way to Jericho that it saved a prostitute. Because she heard Your name and Your renown. Even as the people were captives in Israel, He saved them after 70 years, He refined them for His own sake. His glory, He will not give to another.

A God centered motive for mercy. Jesus came to this world in John 3:16. Jesus came in Romans 15:8-9 to show God’s truthfulness in order to confirm the promises and the gentiles proclaim His name. Jesus came so we might give glory for His Father’s glory. In Romans 3 he died to vindicate the righteousness of God like David’s adultery and murder. It troubled Paul that God just passed over his sins. Paul cried, “how can you do that God!” The cross is the solution to a mega-theological problem namely how can God forgive our sins. Christ came to vindicate God in saving people like us.
Why is Jesus coming again?2 Thes 1:9, he is coming to be glorified and magnified in his saints and be marveled at. We must start at that now and do the thing he created us to do. Marvel at him and magnify him, not like a microscope but like a telescope. It is blasphemy to magnify God like a microscope because it takes something tiny and magnifies it make it look bigger. But a telescope looks at something unimaginable and tries to help them look like what they are. A star is not a pinpoint, it is something big and hot. It is bigger than the earth. Your life exists to telescope God’s goodness to your surroundings.

This does not sound loving that God is God centered. If love seeks not its own but now you are telling us God seeks His own. Why God is loving and seeking His own self-exaltation: Quote from C.S. Lewis in the Desiring God book.first a background on Lewis. Lewis hated God’s vanity and was an atheist. Lewis heard God say “praise me! praise me!”. Then God came into his life.This is what he said, “We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.” If God is to love you, He must give you what is best for you and that is God. If He gives you everything that is best but not himself, He hates you. If God gives you Himself and nothing more, He loves you. I must have God for my enjoyment if God is to be loving to me.

Summary: To love you, He must give you what is best for you. God is what is best. God gives himself to us for pleasures. But unless those pleasures find expression in praise to God those pleasures are restricted. Therefore God not wanting to restrict your pleasure, He says “praise me… exalt me… Have a passion for my supremacy”. God’s passion to be glorified and your passion to be satisfied are not at odds.

If this is true that God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him and there is no contradiction, then the vocation of my life is to pursue your pleasure. Simply God is our pleasure. He calls it Christian hedonism. Piper will go more into it in part 2.

Listening and God bringing out our best

I mentioned listening in a previous blog being a key theme in my life right now. As I struggle with writer’s block, I felt God leading me to write about other things. So with renewed commitment and praying for more awareness of God speaking to me and leading me, I am trying to do better. It is what caused me to go to the doctor and write these few blogs.
On my way home yesterday I was reminded of the various ways God speaks to us and just how big God is. Also, how He wants to show us just what He can do and how He can use us. One of the ways that God uses to talk to us is through people. My hope is that I am not stubborn and start listening better. I feel like I struggle with selective hearing as well, meaning that I feel like doing God’s will when I want to which obviously is not the right attitude.
As I drove home listening to the radio, a Christian radio station was interviewing an author, Bob Goff, about his upcoming book. In the book he talks about an amazing story of how God can show up so big. The story goes that there was a Ugandan boy named Charlie that was abducted by a witch doctor. Charlie had parts of his body taken from him by this witch doctor. Somehow though Charlie didn’t die. The authorities found this witch doctor and arrested him. No witch doctor has ever been taken to trial for human trafficking and taking body parts. This was the first conviction ever for a witch doctor in Uganda. It sent a huge shockwave around country because many look at these people as having all the power. Incredibly thousands of miles away, a doctor was taking a flying lesson when his instructor told him about the story. The doctor calls up this author and tells him he can fix him. The author tells him you don’t know what happened to the boy and how there was so much taken from him. The doctor persisted and told him he was chief of surgery at Cedars Sinai and he can fix him. So, the author flies to Los Angeles to talk to him and they discuss what can be done. The author asked how much it would cost and the doctor said it would be staggering but he will do it for free. Cedars Sinai writes a $50k check for the boy to get this procedure. They go get the boy to bring him back to the US for the surgery. During a stop-over in London, Bob begins to check his email when he sees an email that reads from the White House. The author thought it was a joke but it was for real. The boy who was standing in the Congo 2 days before is now standing in the oval office. They took him to the hospital and got him all fixed up (which is a miracle in its own right). He was brought back to Uganda and he and his mom have tea with the first lady.
God is showing so much grace and how good He is. How he wants to use and can use us, if we let him. Bob Goff finishes the segment with this, “Do whatever it is that you are good at and see how God will bring it into focus.”
Over the past few months, I feel God keeps reminding me of the big ways He can and has worked. It is very easy for me to try to confine God instead of full out trusting Him to work. I keep being reminded of stories like the Israelites marching around Jericho and blowing their trumpets or so many battles when the Israelites were completely outnumbered by a huge amount, yet God did these things so that when there was victory, they knew it was only because of God. That all glory belongs to Him.
So while there have been some pretty amazing things happen the past few months with healing and finances, God was showing me He is in control and how He still does big things in our lives. It didn’t have anything to do with doctors or my talents or abilities or anything that I did or what others did. It all came down to what God did. All glory is His.
Going back to the story, it comes down to listening to God and letting God use you. We don’t always know what our passion is or what we are good at, I for one still struggle with the talents, gifts and abilities the Lord has blessed me with. But in those times where God calls us to do something, to reach out in some way, to take action, that is when we need to. Sometimes I think “if I do this, will anything even happen?” but the thing is, that is my way of not letting God use me and confining Him in my life. Who knows how God can use something so simple or small or seemingly unimportant and use it for something big.
I was left with this a few moments ago. I was checking my Bible app for a verse when the verse of the day came up, Romans 12:2. It spoke about what I was trying to get at. Be open to what God calls me to each day and just see how He will use me. Listen. Simply listen and obey.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2 (MESSAGE, italics mine)