Victory song (Ps 144:9-144:11)

“I will sing a new song to you!

O God!

Upon a ten-stringed harp

I will play to you!

You give victory to kings.

Who rescue his servant David.

Rescue me from the cruel sword!

Deliver me from the hand of aliens!

Their mouths speak lies.

Their right hands are false.”

David was going to sing a new song to God on the 10 stringed harp. He was going to play because of the victory of the kings. God had rescued his servant David. I thought that this was David singing a new song. Instead, there is a reference to David, the servant of God, then a cry to rescue him, as if they were two different people. This psalmist wanted to be rescued from the cruel sword of aliens or strangers. Just like in the preceding verses, these aliens spoke lies and their right hands were false.

Yahweh remembered us (Ps 136:23-136:25)

“Yahweh remembered us in our low estate.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He rescued us from our foes.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He gives food to all flesh.

His steadfast love endures forever.”

Once again, the congregational refrain, “His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated after every verse.  Yahweh remembered us so that we in turn should remember him. He rescued the Israelites from their lowly situation and various foes. He gave them food to eat because of his eternal steadfast love for them.

Yahweh rescued them from Egypt (Ps 135:8-135:9)

“He struck down the first-born of Egypt,

Both human beings and animals.

He sent signs and wonders

Into your midst,

O Egypt,

Against Pharaoh,

Against all his servants.”

Yahweh rescued the Israelites from Egypt as in the stories of Exodus, chapters 7-12. He struck down the first born humans and animals in Egypt. He performed many signs and wonders for the Egyptian Pharaoh and his servants.

Rescue me (Ps 119:153-119:160)

Resh

“Look on my misery!

Rescue me!

I do not forget your law.

Plead my cause!

Redeem me!

Give me life

According to your promise!

Salvation is far from the wicked.

They do not seek your statutes.

Great is your mercy!

Yahweh!

Give me life

According to your justice!

Many are my persecutors.

Many are my adversaries.

Yet I do not swerve from your decrees.

I look at the faithless with disgust.

Because they do not keep your commands.

Consider how I love your precepts!

Preserve my life

According to your steadfast love!

The sum of your word is truth.

Every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.”

This psalmist wanted to be rescued from his misery because he had not forgotten the law. He wanted a defense attorney and a redeemer. He wanted his life as Yahweh had promised. The wicked would not be saved because they did not seek Yahweh’s statutes. Yahweh’s mercy was great so that his justice would also help him. Although he had many persecutors and adversaries the psalmist did not swerve from Yahweh’s decrees. He looked at the unfaithful in disgust because they did not keep Yahweh’s commands. He, on the other hand, loved Yahweh’s precepts. He wanted his life preserved because of Yahweh’s love. The word of Yahweh is truth so that every one of his just ordinances would endure forever. So ends this section on the twentieth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Resh.

 

The victory (Ps 108:5-108:6)

“Be exalted

Above the heavens!

O God!

Let your glory                                                   

Be over all the earth!

Give victory

With your right hand!

Answer me!

Thus those whom you love

May be rescued.”

This refrain is one of the few sections in this psalm that is unique. This section is a call to achieve victory. God was to be exalted above the heavens. His glory should be all over the earth. David wanted victory from the right hand of God. He wanted an answer. He wanted to be rescued because God loved him.

The voice (Ps 81:5-81:7)

“I hear a voice I had not known.

‘I relieved your shoulder of the burden.

Your hands were freed from the basket.

In distress you called.

Then I rescued you.

I answered you in the secret place of thunder.

I tested you at the waters of Meribah.’”

Selah

The psalmist noted that he heard an unknown voice. This voice said that he relieved them of their burdens. He freed their hands from the basket in their distress. He had rescued them. He had answered them with thunder. He had tested them at the waters of Meribah. These are references to the activities found in Exodus, chapters 17-19. This section ends with the musical meditative interlude pause of Selah.

Praise God (Ps 71:22-71:24)

“I will also praise you with the harp,

For your faithfulness,

O my God!

I will sing praises to you with the lyre,

O Holy One of Israel!

My lips will shout for joy,

When I sing praises to you.

My soul also will shout for joy.

You have rescued my soul.

All day long,

My tongue will talk of your righteous help.

Those who tried to do me harm

Have been put to shame.

They have been disgraced.”

This long psalm ends with the usual cry of praising God. This psalmist, like the Davidic psalms, talks about playing the harp and the lyre.   He was going to sing praises about the faithfulness of God, the holy one of Israel. His lips would shout for joy because his soul had been rescued. All day long, he would talk about the righteous help of God. He had to add the zinger that those who tried to do him harm were put to shame and disgraced.

Yahweh is my rock (Ps 71:1-71:3)

“In you I take refuge!

Yahweh!

Let me never be put to shame!

In your righteousness,

Deliver me!

Rescue me!

Incline your ear to me!

Save me!

Be to me a rock of refuge!

Be to me a strong fortress!

Save me!

You are my rock!

You are my fortress!”

Psalm 71 has no introduction or titles. This psalmist seems to be an old worshiper who wants help against his enemies, an old man’s prayer. Many of the themes of his lamentation with God as the rock and the fortress can be found in Psalm 31 also. The psalmist did not want to be put to shame. He wanted to be rescued and delivered. He wanted God to listen to him since Yahweh was his refuge, his fortress, and his rock. He wanted to be saved.

The prayer to Yahweh (Ps 69:13-69:15)

“But as for me,

My prayer is to you.

Yahweh!

At an acceptable time!

O God!

In the abundance of your steadfast love

Answer me!

With your faithful help,

Rescue me

From sinking in the mire!

Let me be delivered

From my enemies!

Let me be delivered

From the deep waters!

Do not let

The flood sweep over me!

Do not let

The deep swallow me up!

Do not let

The pit closes its mouth over me!”

David prayed to Yahweh. He was willing to get a response at an acceptable time from God. He knew that God loved him. Thus he wanted to be rescued from sinking in mud. He wanted to be free of his enemies. He wanted to get away from the deep waters. He did not want the flood to come and swallow him up. He certainly did not want to go down to his grave, the pit that would swallow him up. This time of the flood of water overtaking him continued from the opening verses.

Give thanks (Ps 54:6-54:7)

“With a freewill offering

I will sacrifice to you.

I will give thanks to your name!

Yahweh!

For it is good.

He has delivered me from every trouble.

My eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.”

This short psalm ends with a thanksgiving. David was going to give a free will offering that was described in Numbers, chapter 15. David was going to sacrifice to Yahweh by giving thanks to his holy name. Yahweh had been good to him, as he rescued and delivered David for all his troubles with King Saul. Now David’s eye looked in triumph at the defeat of his enemies, in particular King Saul.