Study Guide

Psalms God's Protection

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God's Protection

You, O Lord, will protect us;
you will guard us from this generation for ever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among humankind. (NRSV 12:7-8)

Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted. (KJV 12:7-8)

It sounds like you definitely want God on your side. After all, he protects the righteous both as a society and on an individual level.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. (NRSV 16:5-8)

The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. (KJV 16:5-8)

Here we get a much more personal vision of God's abilities: he's there whenever you need him, in the quietest and simplest of ways. Much different than the fire-breathing God we get in other psalms, right?

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. (NRSV 25:1-3)

Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. (KJV 25:1-3)

No one wants to look bad in the political schoolyard, and the Israelites trust that God will do the trick.

'I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.' (NRSV 81:6)

I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots. (KJV 81:6)

What's going on here? Is this passage intended to be literal or figurative?

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. (NRSV 91:3-4)

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (KJV 91:3-4)

God looks kind of like an angel, don't you think?

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