Monday, November 30, 2009

Psalms Assignment

Psalm 8:

Summary: This psalm is basically praising God for giving man the earth and all the things that make it possible to survive. It also discusses man's place in the world and creation, such as when it says, "For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor." (verse 5) It is saying that humans are not as divine as angels, but God gave them glory and honor and control over the things that He made.

1. In what ways does this psalm draw upon the first chapter of Genesis?

This psalm relates to the first chapter of Genesis because it discusses when the earth was made and man's role in the creation of the earth.

2. a) In what verse is the theme of the role of humankind in creation first sounded?

The theme of the role of humankind in creation is first portrayed in verse four when mankind is first introduced and it’s role is questioned.

b) What place do humans occupy in relation to heaven and the rest of creation?

Humans are lower than God and other divine beings such as angels, but they are higher than the rest of creation on the earth and were given “Dominion over the works of thy hands.” (verse 6)

c) What does this unique place suggest about the relationship between humans and God?

It suggests that God has a personal relationship with humans, but they will never be able to be on the same level as Him especially because they can’t understand him.

Psalm 19:

Summary: This psalm talks about how God rules over everything on Earth, and how great of a feat this is. It also discusses God’s laws and why they are important and uses sinning as an example in verse 13.

1. How do the two distinct poems in this psalm differ in what they praise?

The first part praises how God rules over everything and his power extends throughout the entire earth. The second part of the psalm praises how strong God is and the way that he governs people and the earth and how people should follow his rules because they will make you a better person.

2. a) Identify the two prayers that are in the end of the psalm.

The first prayer is in verse 13 and says, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” The second prayer is in verse 14 and says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight.

b) What is the author requesting of God in each case?

In the first prayer, the author is asking God to help him be free of sin and give him the strength to not sin. The second prayer is asking God to hear the first prayer and accept it and know that the person who is asking to have the strength to be free of sin really means it.

Psalm 23:

Summary: This psalm explains the relationship between God and humans and how God gives humans strength, leads them through life, and provides what they need to survive.

1. Which verse best summarizes the theme of the Psalm?

I think that verse 3 summarizes the theme of this Psalm because the first two are like and introduction, and verse 3 it summarizes what the psalm is about, and the rest of the verses go into more detail about the main point of the verse.

2. What may gave caused this psalm to be adopted as a prayer of last resort?

I think this psalm is used as a prayer of last resorts and in moments of crisis because it is a prayer of strength from God, so people recite in when they need strength from God.

Psalm 137:

Summary: This psalm is about the Babylonian exile and how the Israelites do not want to forget about Jerusalem. It is also a prayer asking God to punish the people who exiled them.

1. To Which qualities of God does this psalm appeal to and why?

Instead of appealing to God’s goodness and mercy, it appeals to his ruthlessness. This psalm appeals to this quality of God because it is asking Him to punish the people who exiled the Israelites out of Jerusalem.

2. a) In what way are verses 5-9 an answer to the command in verse 3?

In verse 3 the Babylonians command the Israelites to sing them a song about Zion and verses 5-9 are the song that they sing in response to the Babylonians.

b) What is ironic about this “answer”?

The thing that is ironic about their response is that it is not really a song about Zion, it is more about the Babylonians and what will happen to them because the forced the Israelites 0ut of Zion.

c) How are verses 5-9 also an answer to the question in verse four?

Verse four is asking how they can live life with God or let Him guide them in a land that they did not grow up in and doesn’t belong to them. Verses 5-9 answer this question by saying that they should live in a different land by never forgetting about Jerusalem and Israel and where they came from.

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