Thursday, August 21, 2014

Our own todah psalm

David playing the harp - Artist unknown
David playing the harp - Artist unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 124:1-8

"Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth." Psalm 124:6

Psalm 124 is David's joyful poem about how God has saved Israel in the past. It is one of the Psalms of Thanksgiving or todah that Bible scholars have grouped together as psalms written to:

"...praise God for something He has done for the Psalmist, to offer thanksgiving in the form of worship. There are three main aspects to todah Psalms: 1) praise for a deed God has done or an experience of God by the Psalmist; 2) it is an immediate response evoked by God’s action; 3) the tone is one of joy" - Dennis Bratcher, "Patterns for Life; Structure, Genre and Theology in Psalms").

Some things these thanksgiving psalms celebrate:
  •    God hears (Psalm 18:6; 66:19).
  •    God heals (Psalm 30:2-3).
  •    God forgives (Psalm 32:5).
  •    God delivers from the enemy.Our reading today is a great example of a deliverance story as David recalls Israel's escape from the Egyptians through the Red Sea (Psalm 124:2-5).
(See Psalm 124 on Bible Gateway - Related Resources - Asbury Bible Commentary for more examples.)

As we read Psalm 124 with its references to the Israelites' history, we might think of our own. Has God lately answered a specific prayer of ours? Has He brought healing? Are we grateful for His forgiveness? Has He delivered us from an enemy?  If you or I wrote a todah psalm of thanksgiving what stories would it tell?

Let's live today with Psalm 124's attitude of gratitude, praise, and hope because God has also been on our side. We too have escaped and "Our help is in the name of the Lord, / Who made heaven and earth" - Psalm 124:8.

Dear God, thank You for Your presence and help in my personal history. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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