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Psalms

Restored Praise

The jubilation that encompassed the hearts of the Jews who rebuilt the temple and restored its worship must have proven overwhelming following the neglect that characterized the divided kingdom, the destruction wrought by Nebuchadnezzar, and the captivity experienced for multiple generations. Those dedicated hearts who knew the heartaches of exile—led by godly men with faith…

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This Honor

Although each psalm exists as an independent poem, that does not imply that they have no relationship to one another. In fact, the order of the psalms provides insight into the purpose as conceived when collected. Indeed, the division into five books of psalms indicates both the original purpose of each psalm and the timeframe…

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Personification and Praise

Praise the LORD! We hear this phrase often as a crude, throwaway sentiment but rarely as a sincere outburst of thanks or in the midst of reverent prayer. “Praise songs” abound and yet, even in some of them, depth of praise seems less abundant. We have turned praise into a slogan instead of a powerful…

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The Beauty of Restoration

When Nehemiah heard how Jerusalem, the capital city of his homeland, remained in rubble years after the original return from Babylon, he immediately set out to improve it. Petitioning the Persian king for assistance, surveying the damage, and organizing the restoration, Nehemiah quickly changed not only the face of the city but also the hearts…

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Chasing Perfection

Life does not promise a steady stream of positive experiences, an ever-improving situation, or a constant sense of comfort and peace. Indeed, to suggest such a thing is laughable. And yet the critique offered by many in their youth arises from just such a utopian vision of this world. As a result, youthful vigor chases…

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Struggling to Find Happiness

Happiness remains that elusive figure darting in and out of life with amazing swiftness. Despite desperate measures to cater to material whims and avoid significant danger, men find themselves searching frantically for answers while asking all the wrong questions. When given opportunity and time to reflect, men typically define their happiness in terms of getting…

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A Thirsty Land

The authorship, theme, wording, and placement of Psalm 143 all unite to indicate it serves as a sequel to the preceding psalm, making Psalm 57 the finale of a trilogy of Davidic psalms. David expresses distress once more in a prayer lifted to the LORD, overwhelmed in spirit, and persecuted by enemies. However, the immediate…

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No One Cares

Though the Jews ultimately described David in heroic terms, fear, doubt, and even something close to desperation characterized him numerous times throughout his life. He spent his early adulthood on the run from Saul and revisited some of these same feelings decades later during the rebellion of Absalom. Thus, while the specific nature of the…

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Living in Trying Times

People today live in circumstances very different in some ways than previous generations. The constant bombardment of a news cycle that went from the day to day grind of the newspaper and eventually network news to the 24-hour cycle of CNN and then FoxNews to the minute by minute cycle of social media has taken…

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In the Midst of Chaos

Uncertainty dominates the landscape of the postmodern world. Boastful threats from rogue nations, mounting corruption in international institutions, and political rancor on both sides of the aisle dominate the news. Moreover, wanton violence against youth, total incivility both online and in person, and blatant immorality throughout the various layers of society mirror this upheaval of…

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