Study Guide

Psalms Psalms 116-136

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Psalms 116-136

Psalm 116

  • God seems to be a decent doctor. Good thing, too, because sickness was a big deal for the Israelites—there was no NyQuil back then.

Psalm 117

  • Call to action! The author wants everyone to acknowledge and serve God.

Psalm 118

  • This one's got a little Machiavelli in it: it basically argues that the Israelites should avoid putting their trust in men. God, he says, is far more powerful and worthy of their faith. Think about this in relation to other psalms where the king is majorly praised; is this psalm helpful or hurtful to a king trying to assert his power?

Psalm 119

  • PAY ATTENTION! Sorry for yelling; we just wanted to make sure you were still with us because this one's big. Why? It's about law. Up until now, we've seen the writer ask for loyalty, but this is a whole different ballgame. Now, he also seems to be asking for something more detailed. Law is codified, written down, where loyalty to God is more abstract. Tricky.

Psalm 120

  • While the author attempts to make peace between his neighbors, his neighbors just yammer on about killing each other. Not the healthiest community relationship, but definitely a notable commentary on violence.

Psalm 121

  • God's pulling out all the stops this time. Turns out he's so powerful he can prevent sunlight from hitting you in the daytime, and moonlight from hitting you at night. Do we call that an eclipse now?

Psalm 122

  • The writer prays for Jerusalem, and that's that.

Psalm 123

Psalm 124

  • The writer wonders what would have happened to the Israelite armies if God had abandoned them. It's a lot easier to speculate after you win a battle….

Psalm 125

  • Here's something new: the author condemns evildoers and asserts God's power. Oh, did we say new?

Psalm 126

  • The meek and the broken will be rewarded when—guess who?—God saves them.

Psalm 127

  • God must reside in any place that hopes for prosperity and procreation. That's right, the faithful will have lots of sons. We're talking Cheaper by the Dozen style.

Psalm 128

  • Sons, sons, sons! And…sons.

Psalm 129

  • The writer recalls his victories and attributes them to his loyalty to God. No surprise there.

Psalm 130

  • Waiting is a big part of faith—it always has been. The writer knows this and encourages people to remain on board.

Psalm 131

  • Doubt haunts the author, but he's able to get his act together and write some more poetry.

Psalm 132

  • Once upon a time, King David declared that he wouldn't rest until God had a place to live. Remember, for the ancients, God wasn't only abstract. He needed a place to live, too. To demonstrate your god's power, you would build—the bigger the better.

Psalm 133

  • Here we learn that the author is down for communal living.

Psalm 134

  • One more time for good measure: the writer calls on the faithful to bless God.

Psalm 135

  • Get ready for another Exodus recap, and some idol bashing.

Psalm 136

  • Wait, more Exodus recap? Yep, it's just in the cultural stream.

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