Dec 31 – 1 Christmas
Praise for God’s Care of Jerusalem
Background: This Psalm is one of the final 5 psalms in the canonical psalter. It is the second of the psalms often referred to as the “hallelujah psalms” that serve as a doxology to the previous collection of psalms.
Theme: This Psalm continues the praise of God that began in Psalm 146. In this psalm there are multiple calls to praise and a collection of reasons to praise. The majority of the reasons to praise God appear to be found in creation and the intersection of God and creation.
Questions to Ponder
* Please read Psalm 147.
* Place this reading in context; where does it take place, when was it written, etc.?
* What is the theme of this Psalm and how is this Psalm classified (lament, praise, communal, personal, etc.)?
* When might this Psalm have been written?
* From which sources in the Hebrew bible does this Psalm draw motifs and themes? Why might that make a difference to our interpretation of this psalm?
* Compare the three apparent sections of this Psalm: verses 1-6, verses 7-11, and verses 12-20.
* For what reasons does the Psalmist say we should praise God?
* How are we supposed to voice our praise of God?
* For what reason should we praise God in light of God’s attention to all creation and not just the powerful or revered?
* How should we find God’s power in creation and in humanity?
* How might our “fear of God” be tied to the hope we have in “God’s steadfast love”?
* To whom or to what should our praise be lifted?
* What “things” does this Psalm remind us that our praise for them is only in God?
* How might the “Word of God” be a description of God’s sovereignty?
* How does this passage reaffirm the greatness of God’s chose people even in the midst of the dark parts of our life?
* How is this psalm a reminder to us to offer praise to God? How are we invited to make or praise “as close as our breath”?