Sabbath psalm – 2/4/17

As I’ve mentioned before, Psalm 92 is an important psalm for our family. We read it every Saturday morning during our breakfast together (usually pancakes) and it sets our minds and hearts towards the sabbath day that is to follow. Psalm 92 is also the only psalm to be designated specifically as a psalm for the sabbath day.

So we’ve read this psalm hundreds of times now, but I’m amazed how new things still jump out at us. Today, for instance:

Struck by how much parallelism exists in Psalm 92. Almost every psalm has at least one example of the psalmist pairing up themes or ideas, “rhyming” those themes with repeated motifs or images. For example, “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High” (92:1) or “For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy” (92:4).

In Psalm 92, almost every single verse has this kind of classic parallelism. It drives the point home, but I think in ancient worship it also helped to set up the real kicker(s) of the psalms: that is, to make the verses without parallelism really stand out.

And in the case of Psalm 92, I think it’s these two verses:

“You, LORD, are forever on high” (verse 9)

and

“The LORD is just; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him” (verse 15, final verse)

These verses, then, are kind of like the “exclamation marks” of the entire psalm. They stand out from the rest of the text by virtue of their singularity, their “un-rhymed-ness.”

And these were good concepts to meditate on this morning at the start of another sabbath day: God alone reigns (past, present, and future) and his reign has been, is, and always will be about perfect justice and righteousness. Whew.