The term fortress (71:3) could describe the city walls of ancient times. These walls, usually stone, included towers at strategic points so that the soldiers could see if anyone was trying to climb the wall. God is the believer’s true fortress, the only real source of protection.
The deep. In Ps. 69:15, “the deep” is a striking picture of the problems of life that can seem so frightening and overpowering. But the Lord, who created the world out of “the deep” (Gen. 1:2), can rescue his people from all such problems.
Ancient worship leaders. Psalm 68:24–27 mentions singers and musicians leading worship. Other passages, such as 1 Chron. 15:16–22, give details about some of the musical instruments that were used in Israelite worship.
Wanting God’s blessing. Psalm 67 echoes the priestly blessing in Num. 6:24–26. Israel desires God’s blessing so that all nations may know of his saving power. God called Abram in order to bless him and his descendants and to make them a means of blessing to all the nations of the world (Gen. 12:2–3).28
The psalmist David’s desire to dwell in God’s courts (65:4), that is, in the sanctuary, recalls his closing words in Psalm 23: “and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Banners served as battle flags in ancient wars. Attached to poles, they were used to signal troop movements or to serve as rallying points. Banners could be actual flags or they could be carved figures, often depicting a bird or animal. Each of the Israelite tribes may have had a banner to help organize the […]
Pride (59:12) is the opposite of humility. It means putting excessive confidence in one’s own abilities, wealth, or position. Pride causes a person to crave the glory and honor that belong only to God.
Memorizing the Psalms. The poetic style of the Psalms make them easy to memorize. Throughout the centuries, many believers have memorized all 150 Psalms.
“Upon Edom I cast my shoe” (108:9). In ancient times, people would sometimes lay claim to a parcel of land by walking its boundaries and then offering the shoes they had worn as their title of ownership. Here, the Lord is claiming Edom as his own.
A helpful guide. The writers of the Psalms understood the importance of constant communication with God. They knew that God would hear their prayers, and they trusted him to act on their behalf. Believers today can benefit greatly by patterning their prayers after specific psalms.