#PsalmTweets: the last 16 tweets

This is my final post in the #PsalmTweets project, which began with Psalm 1 on Sunday 27 August and ended with Psalm 150 on Tuesday 23 January. (I say ended, but @PsalterMark is continuing hopefully with a new group of #PsalmTweeters.)

Rather than have two weeks of Tweets here and a final post with only two tweets and perhaps some thoughts about the challenge as a whole, I am doing the final round-up here. Scroll to the bottom of this post for my reflections on the project, if you are not interested in the Tweets!

Ps. 135: A psalm of praise to God for who He is, what He does and has done. A call to those, who are in awe of God to praise Him. #PsalmTweets

Ps. 136: A psalm of thanks to God for what He is, what He does and his love, Refrain: His love endures forever.

Ps. 137: An unhappy, homesick psalm from exile in Babylon – unable to sing and wishing for vengeance.

Ps. 138: David promises to praise God whole-heartedly. He desires that all the kings of the earth would do likewise. He reflects on God’s omniscience and love.

Ps. 139: A favourite psalm. David speaks of God’s knowledge of him/us, his presence, foreknowledge, protection, creation. David is honest and open before God

Ps. 140. David prays for deliverance from evil men. He asks God to avenge. He ends with a declaration of faith in a just God. The righteous will praise God and live in his presence.

Ps. 141: David prays about his relationship with God, that God would keep him from sinning by word or deed. He prays against evildoers, fixes his eyes on the sovereign Lord and asks for protection.

Ps. 142: David’s prayer when pusued by King Saul. He was hiding in a cave. Men were against him, but God was his refuge.

Ps. 143: An urgent prayer of David, pursued by an enemy, wishing to know God’s guidance and will, asking for rescue from trouble and for his enemies to be silenced.

Ps. 144: David praises God, who trains him for war. This is a difficult psalm in the context of “Love your enemies”. David sees deliverance by God as the key to prosperity and peace in the land.

Ps. 145: Headed “A psalm of praise. Of David” this one does what it says! 4 sections begin with statements about God’s character.

Ps. 146: A psalm of praise to God. Comparison between trusting in mortals and in the sovereign Lord of creation, salvation, healing, love and protection, who rules for ever.

Ps. 147: A psalm of praise to the God of Israel (thought to be exclusive) for his works in the life of the nation, creation, sustaining the earth. Poetry about the weather. Sing praises to God!

Israel is another name for Jacob. Christians believe that they are included as sons/daughters of the patriarchs as well as being children of God.

Ps. 148: “Praise the Lord, ye heavens adore him” is a hymn inspired by this psalm. Let all creation praise the creator.

Ps. 149: A song of praise to God, who is creator and King. Prayer about vengeance against other nations is difficult in the light of other scriptures.

Ps. 150: A wonderful psalm of praise to end with. Praise God in his sanctuary, for his acts of power. Use every sort of musical instrument, dance! All living things, praise the Lord!

Having the goal of Tweeting about each Psalm has helped me focus and analyse the construction. I have noticed details in some of the psalms, which I had glossed over previously. The differences between the outlook of the Psalmists and that of Jesus Christ struck me quite forcibly, especially in some of these later psalms included in this post.

I am taking a break from reading a Psalm a day and reading some of the New Testament on a regular basis, alongside the study materials I use. (Mentioned in my What I read in December post.)

The Psalms have much to teach us, but they have to be read in the context of the Bible as a whole. For example, Israel is another name for Jacob. Christians believe that they are included as sons/daughters of the patriarchs as well as being children of God. Psalm 147 uses Israel as the name of a nation.

I am thankful for the other Psalm Tweeters, who have encouraged me by likes or retweets and to my readers here.

Having accidentally discovered how to set up a poll on Twitter, I asked my followers there to vote on the subject of my future Tweets. A small majority of a small number of voters were in favour of tweets about the Gospel of Matthew. I am not qualified to exam-level in theology, but I ran the idea past the vicar, who encouraged me to go ahead with it. I am not setting myself daily targets as with the Psalm Tweets, which was a community project.

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Looking back on 2017 and forward to 2018

At the beginning of the year I chose the word Trust and wrote a post about my reasons and goals.

In July I revisited the word and wrote an update about my progress.

So as the end of the year approaches how am I getting on?

There have been times when I have failed completely to trust God. Other times I have been really encouraged about the way things have worked out.

A notable example was when I began to make plans to travel and include attending the ACW Writers’ Day in London. I had decided on dates to travel, but not booked my train tickets. Then I changed my mind. I realised that I didn’t need to go. The trip would have been for my benefit and not for that of my Mum, with whom I would stay. I would miss a number of events near home for the sake of a single event in London.

I went to our cathedral (on the same day as the writers’ day) for a choral workshop and a festival service with presentations of awards, including one to a member of our church choir. On the Sunday morning I sang in the choir at the confirmation service in the parish church. In the afternoon hubby and I went to a piano recital at a theatre in our local area. It was probably the busiest weekend of the year so far!

Then a few weeks later I made the trip south and found that it was entirely for Mum’s benefit. We had a really enjoyable time with her friends and activities at her church. I had seen some of my own friends on earlier visits.

Seen from the train

Seen from the train

I was also blessed on my journeys. My journey south was on the day of a storm, which affected transport on my route later in the day. (The trains were running normally when I passed the affected area.) I had to change trains in 13 minutes according to the timetable. The train I was on was running late. I didn’t panic, but waited patiently for the lift in order to change platforms. My next train was due to leave in 2 minutes as I boarded it. In fact I think it waited a little longer for other passengers from the delayed train. My return journey was on time all the way. (This is a journey which takes at least 8 hours in total with 3 trains.)

Other ways in which I have behaved differently include stepping down from a rota, where there seems to be no shortage of volunteers, in order to have more energy for music and for my other activities.

I wonder which word I should choose for 2018.  The second lesson of St Peter Chapter 1 verse 5-7 has a list of qualities which should be added to faith. The books of poetry tell us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Micah tells us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

One word?

Discipleship. Learning to live God’s way.

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Tweeting about the Psalms – The first week

I have been following PsalterMark on Twitter for some time. He regularly uses the #Psalmtweets hashtag.  A few weeks ago he invited other people to join him in reading a Psalm a day and using the hashtag. We began tweeting on Sunday 27th August. (I have to admit I am reading a few days ahead and scheduling my Tweets in advance!)

For this project so far, I have been reading each Psalm and looking at its form, what we learn about the psalmist, what he teaches about God and what his concerns are. The psalms include some very honest writing, complaints, misery – no putting on a brave face, facing up to reality instead.

I thought it might be helpful (if only to me) to collect my Tweets together and provide links to the appropriate Psalms.

Psalm 1: There are blessings from seeking to know God’s ways of doing things – fruitfulness and protection. #Psalmtweets

I also posted a photo, but forgot the hashtag.

A tree planted by water

A tree planted by water

Ps. 2: Kings & rulers should be wise & serve God with fear, rejoice with trembling. Blessing for those whose refuge is God.

Ps. 3: King David tells himself his enemies tell lies – God answers prayer and sustains. David prays a blessing on the people.

Ps. 4: David speaks to God, then the people then God. His distress changes to joy, trust and peace.

Ps. 5: God listens, is merciful & righteous. David compares the wicked and the righteous. He prays honestly in the morning

Ps. 6: A prayer for mercy and deliverance. David has assurance that God has heard and will act.

Ps. 7: David would have understood “if you’re in a hole, stop digging”. Praise God instead.

While the book of Psalms is sometimes called the Psalms of David, he is not believed to be the author of all the psalms. So far in my reading all the Psalms have been attributed to David by the translators of the New International Version. Although he was not perfect and made many mistakes he is described as being a man after God’s heart. I know there is much I can learn from David in his attitude to God, to life and to prayer.