The Babylonian captivity had shaken Judah to the very bone. After years of moral decadence and spiritual indifference, the harsh realities created by the destruction of the temple and their relocation outside of their homeland challenged their arrogant assumptions of having the LORD on their side and forced them to evaluate their relationship with the […]

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As a general rule, people feel sorry for themselves far too much. Self-pity fills social media when people take a break from arguing about mostly meaningless matters. Rather than seeing the challenges of life as regular occurrences and difficult circumstances as the nature of life, people behave as if they have some inherent right to […]

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David’s words recorded in Psalm 110 anticipate the Messiah so precisely that his prophetic utterances from this passage formed the foundation of inspired arguments multiple times in the New Testament. As such, they deserve even deeper consideration and explanation because the implications of this single psalm offer powerful testimony to the truth of Christianity in […]

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Lies hurt. They hurt the truth, they hurt feelings, and they can hurt reputations. However, when lies turn into accusations and accusations into action, a malicious lie, once believed, can lead people to commit character assassination, outright violence, and even atrocities—and justify it all in the name of a lie. People have little patience today […]

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The Jews who returned from Babylonian captivity faced numerous challenges in their attempts to rebuild the temple and the walls of Jerusalem. The rubble that was Jerusalem must have seemed an insurmountable and depressing challenge, and the rising opposition of non-Jews in the land created additional struggles. The stress created by such a situation took […]

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Few traits demonstrate a combination of humility and joy better than thankfulness. Its very nature depends on recognizing others’ contributions to our well-being and happiness. Because of this, from a young age, most parents teach their children the importance of saying, “Thank you.” And yet, as we grow older, and perhaps because we lack the […]

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The LORD’s reign dominates the landscape of the brief section of psalms of which Psalm 99 is a part, and its offering includes just as much depth, opening once more with the powerful but elegant declaration, “The LORD reigns.” Building upon the previous psalms’ promise and Messianic hope, this song presents the exalted character of […]

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In Psalm 97 David continues the regnal theme, beginning once more with the emphatic exultation, “The LORD reigns,” but rather than appealing to the Israelites to announce this to the nations against the futility of their paganism, the whole earth now has reason to rejoice in recognizing the LORD’s reign (Psa. 97:1). Building on the […]

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The LORD’s promise to David in 2 Samuel 7, with all its dynastic implications, dominated Israel’s interpretation of their status and their understanding of the future of the kingdom, for there it records the LORD’s commitment to the king, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your […]

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Every society has its own conception of the ideal ruler, the one against whom all others are judged. In America people idealize presidents according to the traits they appreciate most, whether Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, or Reagan. In the Roman Empire, every emperor was compared, favorably or unfavorably, to Augustus. For the Jews, David filled the […]

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