Psalm 37 – Human Flourishing David approaches the problem of evil by offering a spiraling meditation on the apparent human flourishing of the wicked, the response of the righteous, and the dependability of God to bring about justice. The psalmist answers anticipated questions, provides a realistic appraisal of depravity, and insists on the believer’s resilient faithfulness.
Psalm 36 – Mercy Me The portrait of human wickedness that David profiles is the evil that is close at hand and resides in the neighborhood. It is the evil that gloats in our hearts and parades down the street. David’s seven attributes of evil show us how easy it is to be caught up in its ways.
Psalm 35 – Beseiged, Betrayed, Belittled The realism of the Psalms requires both the joys of deliverance and the pathos of pain. We are in constant need of the Lord who is our refuge everyday. Exuberant joy and extreme angst run together in the cosmic battle of sin and death as we await the final judgment and the consummation of “so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:3).
Psalm 34 – The Ethics of Gratitude The beauty of Psalm 34 is not diminished by its narrative link to David’s ingenious performance as a madman to escape the clutches of the Philistines. Augustine drew a straight line from David’s Oscar winning portrayal of insanity to the humiliation of Christ on the cross. David’s clawing on the doors of the gate and foaming at the mouth made Augustine think of the awful humiliation suffered by the Son of God who died in his passion (not in a performance) that we might escape the judgment we deserve for our sins.
Psalm 33 – Sing a New Song Psalm 33 does what similar creation/instruction psalms do for worship (Psalms 8, 19, 24, 25, 29). The troubles and laments of the people of God are reset in the big picture of God’s faithfulness. The focus shifts from our problems to God’s sovereignty, providential protection, and unfailing love.