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Bible Insights

The People Praise God

Psalm 173: from Beyond Psalm 150 It’s hard for a large group of people to recite a long passage in unison, but they can do quite well with shorter phrases. Three times in the book of 2 Chronicles and once in the book of Ezra, the people collectively praise God. Each time their succinct response rises […]

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Bible Insights

Solomon’s Blessing

Psalm 172 from Beyond Psalm 150 After bringing the ark to the temple and dedicating it, the third part of this public ceremony is Solomon’s blessing to God, which emerges as a psalm of praise to him and instruction to the people. Blessed be Yahweh, who has given rest to his people Israel, according to […]

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Bible Insights

Solomon Dedicates the Temple

Psalm 171 from Beyond Psalm 150 After bringing the ark to the temple, Solomon stands before the altar, lifts his hands to heaven, and offers these words to God: Yahweh, the God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above, or on earth beneath; who keeps covenant and loving kindness with your […]

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Bible Insights

Make Praise Your Habit

Avoid Complaining and Negativity If your experience is like mine, you likely know people who are chronic complainers. They seem to be always venting about something that went badly or someone who did them wrong. Negativity is their default mode, Their glass is half empty. Their nearly constant negativity makes them hard to be around. […]

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Bible Insights

David’s Last Words

Psalm 168 from Beyond Psalm 150 As the book of 2 Samuel winds down, so does David’s life. In the penultimate chapter, we read David’s final recorded words. In this short psalm of praise, David recites the words God spoke to him, affirming David’s godly character and righteous reign. Yahweh’s Spirit spoke by me.    His word […]

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Bible Insights

Praising God through Scripture

Mary’s Psalm of Praise Luke 1:49–55 “Holy is his name.” (Luke 1:49) Mary’s psalm of praise continues by commending God for who he is. Her recitation of his attributes builds on Old Testament truths, quotes, and allusions, presenting an informed scriptural understanding of how God has been at work. She starts by declaring that he […]

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Bible Insights

David Praises God

Psalm 164 from Beyond Psalm 150 After a fatal first attempt to move the ark of God (1 Chronicles 13:3–14), David successfully brings the ark of God into Jerusalem and places it inside the tent he has prepared for it. David then gives offerings to God and appoints Levites—including Asaph— to lead worship. The Bible credits Asaph […]

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Bible Insights

Hannah’s Prayer of Praise

Psalm 161 from Beyond Psalm 150 Hannah lives a difficult life. First, she must share her husband’s affections with another woman. Second, Hannah is childless, while her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, isn’t. And Peninnah repeatedly mocks Hannah for her infertility. Despite his love for her, Hannah’s husband dismisses her pain over being childless. He doesn’t […]

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Bible Insights

Deborah’s Song

Psalm 159 from Beyond Psalm 150 After Moses dies, his successor, Joshua, leads the people to conquer and settle in the promised land. Then a series of judges (leaders) work to free the people from recurring cycles of oppression. The book of Judges lists one female judge among many male counterparts. Deborah, a judge and […]

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Visiting Churches

A Spirit-Led Service: Visiting Church #66, Part 2

Several months later we have a chance for a return visit to this same church. The opportunity to experience a normal service with their regular pastor should provide the chance to experience what we missed the first time.  I hope to experience a spirit-led service. Consider these seven discussion questions about Church 66. 1. The […]