Rejoice in Yahweh (Hab 3:18-3:19)

“Yet I will rejoice

In Yahweh!

I will exult

In the God

Of my salvation!

God!

Yahweh!

Is my strength.

He makes my feet

Like the feet of a deer.

He makes me tread

Upon the heights.”

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

Habakkuk ended his song or hymn with great rejoicing in Yahweh his God, who saves him.  Clearly this was a psalm or canticle with the notation about the leader or choirmaster and the stringed instruments.  Yahweh, God, was his strength, who gave him the ability to run like a deer.  He could even ascend to the heights.  This psalm has a very optimistic ending.

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Thanksgiving (Ps 75:1-75:1)

To the choirmaster leader, according to Do Not Destroy, a psalm of Asaph, a song

“We give thanks to you!

O God!

We give thanks!

Your name is near!

People tell of your wondrous deeds.”

Psalm 75 is psalm of thanksgiving set to the tune of “Do Not Destroy,” the same as Psalm 57,58, and 59. Like the preceding and following psalm it is a song of Asaph, the Temple Singer. Here there is also a mention of a choirmaster leader. Clearly this is a thanksgiving to God because his name is near. This could be a reference to the Temple. People spoke about the wonderful things that he has done.

A prayer for deliverance from enemies (Ps 56:1-56:4)

To the choirmaster leader, according to The Dove on Far off Terebinths, a Miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath

“Be gracious to me!

O God!

People trample on me.

All day long foes oppress me.

My enemies trample on me all day long.

Many fight against me.

O Most High!

When I am afraid,

I put my trust in you.

In God,

Whose word I praise,

In God I trust.

I am not afraid.

What can flesh do to me?”

Psalm 56, has a reference to 1 Samuel, chapter 2l, when David was escaping from King Saul.  He went to visit the Philistine king at Gath where he pretended to be crazy.  This was the same theme in the acrostic Psalm 34.  This Psalm 56 was to be sung to the melody of “The Dove on Far-off Terebinths,” but we are not sure what it is about.  A Miktam is found here and in the next few psalms.  It may refer to some kind of percussion instrument.  David wanted God to be gracious to him.  All day long his many foes were oppressing him and trampling him.  However, David put his trust in God.  He was not afraid to praise God.  After all, what could mortal flesh do to him?  He was in fact trying to elude King Saul.

Cry for help to God (Ps 55:1-55:3)

To the choirmaster leader with stringed instruments, a Maskil of David

“Give ear to my prayer!

O God!

Do not hide yourself from my supplication!

Attend to me!

Answer me!

I am troubled in my complaint.

I am distraught,

By the noise of the enemy,

Because of the clamor of the wicked,

They bring trouble upon me.

In anger,

They cherish enmity against me.”

Psalm 55 is a prayer of David.  He felt that he was being persecuted and betrayed.  Once again this is a choral psalm with stringed instruments attributed to David.  David wanted God to hear his prayer and not hide from him.  He wanted an answer right away.  He was in trouble and distraught because of his enemies, a common theme of these psalms.  The wicked enemies were out to get him.  He was going to call on God to help him.

The atheist is a fool (Ps 53:1-53:1)

To the choirmaster leader, according to Mahalath, a Maskil of David

“Fools say in their hearts.

‘There is no God.’

They are corrupt.

They commit abominable acts.

There is no one who does good.”

Psalm 53 is another short psalm, much like Psalm 14.  At times, they are almost word for word the same.  This title has the choirmaster leader, a maskil or song of David, but there is an additional comment about “according to Mahalath,” which is also mentioned at the beginning of Psalm 88.  Although of uncertain meaning, Mahalath was the name of a wife of Esau and Rehoboam, here it probably refers to some kind of stringed instrument like a guitar.  This first verse is exactly the same as the first verse of Psalm 14.  Once again the question is posed what if there is no God.  The answer was simple.  Only a fool would say such a thing.  There was an ancient common belief in some kind of higher power.  Actually they only say this in their hearts that there is no God, since they are practical atheists.  They act as if there is no God.  They are the corrupt people who do terrible deeds.  None of them do good deeds.

A thanksgiving psalm (Ps 40:1-40:3)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David

“I waited patiently for Yahweh.

He inclined to me.

He heard my cry.

He drew me up from the desolate pit.

He drew me out of the miry bog.

He set my feet upon a rock.

He makes my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,

A song of praise to our God.

Many will see Yahweh.

Many will fear Yahweh.

Many will put their trust in Yahweh.”

Psalm 40 has a simple title of David with the notation to the choirmaster leader. David had waited patiently for Yahweh. However, Yahweh heard his call and leaned down to him. He took him out of the desolate pit and the slimy bog. He put his feet on solid rock and make his steps secure. With that there was a new song of praise for God that came out of his mouth. Thus many people have seen, feared, and trusted in Yahweh.

The atheist is a fool (Ps 14:1-14:1)

To the choirmaster leader, of David.

“Fools say in their hearts.

‘There is no God.’

They are corrupt.

They do abominable deeds.

There is no one who does good.”

Psalm 14 is another short psalm, much like the later Psalm 53. The title is simple with a mention of the choirmaster leader and David. Here the question is posed what if there is no God. The answer was simple. Only a fool would say such a thing. There was a common belief in some kind of higher power. Actually they only say it in their hearts since they are practical atheists. They act as if there is no God. They are the corrupt people who do terrible deeds. None of them do good deeds.