Book Review

A Commentary on the Psalms, Vol. 2 (Psalm 42-89)
Allen P. Ross9780825425639

If you’re looking for a doctrinally sound and thorough commentary on the Psalms, then Ross’ commentary is for you. When searching for commentaries for sermon preparation, I like to have two types: technical and pastoral. The more technical commentaries to deal with an in depth study the nuances of language and culture as well as various scholarly viewpoints on the text at hand. Commentaries that are more pastoral in nature, while still explaining the meaning of the text, emphasize application and are often peppered with illustrations.

Commentaries on the Psalms that are pastoral in nature abound, but I have found very few that delve into the Hebrew and the background of the passages like Ross does. But he does so in a way that a (very) amateur Hebrew student can understand. Even though he deals with passages in depth, he doesn’t get bogged down in superfluous details.

The textual data for each Psalm is footnoted and very helpful. And the “Message and Application” section at the end of each Psalm helps to translate the meaning in to real life.

A commentary’s layout is also very important to me and book is laid out very well. I have not looked at other commentaries in this series, but his outline of each chapter, the room in the margin for notes, and the use of footnotes (as opposed to endnotes) are small considerations that are important to me as I read along

Ross’ commentary on the Psalms is probably the most helpful I’ve found and will be my first stop when preaching a passage from the Psalms.

I received the book for free from Kregel in exchange for an unbiased review.

Your Wife is Not One of the Boys

I may or may not have heard a similar statement from my wife once or twice over the years, but these paragraphs are good reminders:

Peter tells men to show honor to their wives as the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). What’s he saying? What he’s not saying is that your wife is of lesser value — because he clearly says to show her honor. She isn’t of lesser value and she isn’t morally or spiritually weaker than you. What we believe Peter has in mind here is just sheer physical weakness compared to the strength of a man.

So, how do you honor her as the weaker vessel? Well, you don’t take advantage of your strength. You treat her with care. You don’t lay hands on her to hurt her. You might be stronger than her physically, but Peter says treat her with honor.

In my house, we have two kinds of plates. We have some very durable plastic plates that the kids eat on. They cost 20 cents at Wal-mart and I don’t care what you do to them. You can stomp on them, you can throw them across the kitchen, you can use them as a Frisbee in the yard. It doesn’t’ matter to me. If we lose or break one, we just throw it away and get another one.

We have some other plates in our house that if the kids even look at them, they’re in trouble. Those plates are from great grandmothers and they’re fragile. They’re not as durable. They’re weak and we treat them with care. We don’t put them in the dishwasher. It’s a rare and major event when we eat on them. And it’s not because they’re of lesser value, it’s because they’re of greater value. We treat these plates with more care, not less. We honor their value by treating them with special care and not being negligent.

Too many men treat their wives as one of the boys – durable and able to handle a lot wear and tear. But your wife is not one of the boys. You honor her by treating her as a weaker vessel – by not taking advantage of your greater physical strength, but giving her special care and attention.

Randy Stinson & Dan Dumas, A Guide to Biblical Manhood, p. 63

10 Promises for Parents

Kevin DeYoung posted this the other day — I probably need to read it every day. May we who are parents let scripture shape our parenting.

You probably have a book mark somewhere with promises to pray for your children. You probably have good kid verses on your refrigerator about obedience and kindness and sharing with others. You probably have a few standby verses you share with the little ones when they start to get defiant and lippy. All good.

But do you have any verses for yourself?

My kids need Bible promises, but on most days I need them even more. I’m prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I want them to love.

So here are ten promises from the Bible that every Christian parent should remember, especially the Christian parent writing this blog.

1. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2-3). Since the verse refers to trials ofvarious kinds, I assume that James is talking about more than martyrdom and death. Sleepless infants, tortuous bedtimes, muddy feet, spilled orange juice, moody teens–they all count too. And we should count them all joy, even when they feel like the biggest pain. God promises he’s at work to produce steadfastness.

2. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:10). You’re tired, scared, defeated, weary beyond all reckoning. Good. Get low, and God promises to lift you up.

3. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). It doesn’t depend on me. It’s not about me. My kids are not for me. Stop freaking out. Stop trusting in horses and chariots.

4. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3). They are. They really, really, truly, actually are. Whether you have one child or two or ten or twenty, God has given you those children because he loves you. The world thinks they are burdens. God tells us they are blessings.

5. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Yup, that verses is for parents too. The anger in our kids is from their hearts, but the mouthy way they learn to express that anger may be from our example. Why do I think my gasoline will help put out their fires?

6. “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32). The only way to be a strong parent is to be a parent with self-control.

7. “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). Parenting is hard work. Period. But parenting up to the expectations of your (fill in the blank: mother, mother-in-law, girlfriends, next door neighbor, own little taskmaster) is impossible. Parent for Christ’s sake. He promises not to weigh you down with impossible burdens.

8. “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16). God knows that you sacrifice your time, your desires, your sleep, your money, and often your own dreams for your children. He sees and he smiles.

9. “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox” (Proverbs 14:4). Everything is a mess, all the time. What else did we expect? We have dirty oxen running around. But there’s joy, memories, laughter, sanctification, and gospel growth from those wild animals too.

10. “But he gives more grace” (James 4:6). Ah, sweet grace. Grace to forgive your impatience (again) and your laziness (again). Grace to get you off the ground. Grace to get you walking. And grace to lead you home.

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