Hebrew Whiteboard Update

Psalm 5:4-6 (Hebrew verse numbering) starts off with David’s second direct address to Yahweh. The double reference to “morning” follows to identify the time of David’s prayer–thus the attribution of a morning prayer for this psalm traditionally. The psalmist’s focus is on God Himself, the kind of God He is, and what that means for mankind generally and David specifically. One of the significant studies in these verses will involve our analysis of Hebrew words (and phrases) for identifying wicked people–those whose character opposes the character of God. In these verses the Masoretic accents play a special role at key points in the text by clarifying the emphases.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 5:1-6 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-4 and 120-122.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, March 27

When Greg Harris first shared his project with me, I was immediately captivated by his passion for formalizing and publishing what he has taught consistently from his church pulpit and his seminary classroom lectern. The Bible Expositor’s Handbook: Old Testament commences his two-part publication. This first volume first appeared in a digital format with accompanying podcast videos. Now it will be published as a hard copy volume. My full review is available in The Master’s Seminary Journal.

Click on picture for link.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update

Psalm 5:1-3 (Hebrew verse numbering) like Psalm 3, speaks of David praying in the morning (Psalm 4 is an evening prayer, before he lies down to sleep). Foes still surround him and challenge his governing and his faith. But, through it all David turns to God. This psalm opens with a focus on Yahweh, David’s King and David’s God. David wrote Psalm 4 to be accompanied by flutes, wind instruments; however, he wrote Psalm 5 to be accompanied by stringed instruments–the evening flutes vs. the morning strings.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 5:1-3 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-4 and 120-122.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, March 20

One Perfect Life: The Complete Story of the Lord Jesus by John MacArthur offers a very readable harmony of the Gospels printed as one, united, running account. At the beginning and at the end, however, it unites the testimony of Scripture about Jesus, Messiah and Savior, by providing key passages from the rest of the books of the Bible to reveal a broad panorama of Scripture about Jesus from Old Testament prophecies and New Testament teaching. This volume has proven to be a great blessing to my wife and I. We have read through it together once already, but without reading the notes. Now we are going through it again, but reading all of the notes and cross-references as well. The first time through we read four chapters at a time. Now we are reading just one chapter at a time. What a wonderful way to spend time contemplating the life and ministry of Jesus, our Savior and Lord! The Kindle edition is not only cheaper, but can be read on any computer, smart phone, or tablet. The electronic links make it easy to read the notes and to even access the Bible passages cross-referenced in the notes. For the hard copy link, click on Recommendations link below, then scroll down to the start of the recommended New Testament volumes to click on the picture of the volume there.

Click on picture at left for link to Kindle edition.

Memories of Mom

Three years ago today, my mother left Colorado for the last time–all the way to heaven itself. At the age of 90 she still looked as she does in this wonderful picture of her that I took just about nine months earlier. That smile and the twinkle in her eyes stay with me even today. Mothers are one of God’s greatest gifts, even with any faults they might have (my mother’s were very few). Sons, on the other hand, are much farther from being perfect and she loved to remind me that some of her gray hair came because of me. Then she’d chuckle and say, “And, looking at your gray wreath around your bald head, God paid you back with children of your own.” Don’t misunderstand–she didn’t look at children as a curse, but as a tremendous blessing. And how she loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren! They all brought huge smiles to her face and a dancing light in her eyes. She remembered when those phones were a household item–she worked as a telephone operator when people owned such phones.

This photo was taken in 1943 (maybe 1944) when Mom was working as a telephone operator in Craig, CO. Her “career” at the telephone office came to a close the day after she got engaged to my father–he had returned home for a leave in 1945 after service in North Africa and Europe in WW2. They married and had a brief honeymoon in Denver before his leave was up. As their firstborn, I entered this world as one of the earliest of the “Baby Boomers.” Then came my sister Martha, our brother Jim, and lastly our sister Susan. When people talk about acronyms for MOTHER, I always begin with My and Our, because that relationship is so very, very precious. And, with Mom, the T was for Tease–how she loved to tease! Just ask my brother-in-law, Warren, who also loves to tease. She was #1 practical joker in our family–in other words, she was fun. That leads to H for Happy, because that is how she was and what she made all of us. E was for Excellence–she demanded it and expected it, and we grew to seek it as a pattern in our lives. Lastly, R for Redeemed. Yes, when she came to the Lord in faith in 1962 Mom became an even better and happier Mom. Her faith became the candle burning brightly in our home. She stayed active in the church until the week before she left earth to enter heaven.

Mom graduated from Moffat County High School, Craig, CO in 1942. Her graduation picture is the way I think I might be seeing her in heaven–restored to the bloom of youth as she worships her Savior in His presence throughout the infinite future. Her appearance changed with the years, but I remember her ever youthful heart and attitude. In her late 80’s I took her fishing–and she loved it–even though we caught nothing that day. She loved drives in the Colorado countryside through cedar breaks, canyons, over hills, mesas, and into the mountains and forests–even the sagebrush flats and arroyos. Soon after her salvation she chose Galatians 2:20 as her life verse (in the KVJ, of course):

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Precious, precious memories. Thanks, Mom. See you in heaven.

Mary Jean (Holt) Barrick

July 5, 1923 – March 17, 2014

Northwest Colorado

Note: My mother-in-law, Lucille Dow, also worked at a telephone switchboard in Alamosa, CO at about the same time. Barb and I have wondered if our mothers ever spoke to one another from their respective switchboards. We both also had great-grandparents who lived in Cripple Creek, CO in the last of the 19th century who might have met each other. I feel a Twilight Zone episode coming on.

Telephone Switchboard ca. 1943

Reformation Conference, Wittenberg, 2017

Join me at the Reformation Conference in Wittenberg, Germany — May 17-21.

Yes, that is my name at the very end of the last column, arranged alphabetically by given name rather than by surname. My session will take a look at the theological contributions of Balthasar Hubmaier, one of the less well-known Reformers. Click on the link above the graphic to access the conference web site.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update

With this post we complete the analysis of Psalm 4. David penned this psalm from the depths of his own stressful experience facing people who opposed him. No one knows the exact circumstances. A mention of “grain and sweet wine” after his opponents had asked, “Who will show us good?” might indicate that it was a time of famine. David responded to pressure with prayer and to wicked people with a command to repent. Multiple chiasms highlight the structure of the psalm and emphasize key concepts. Repetitions help to tie the psalm together in one unified song. This very personal psalm focuses on God, without whom David would have no peace or security and without whom the ungodly have no hope.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 4 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-3 and 120-122.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, March 13

The wisdom literature of the Old Testament includes Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and some of the Psalter’s psalms. Dr. Daniel Estes’ Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms stands at the head of the list of books written as introductions or handbooks for the Wisdom Books. The author’s arguments for the antiquity of Job advocate its events and writing in the Patriarchal period of Old Testament history. For Ecclesiastes, Estes identifies its author as Solomon and argues against the book being pessimistic in nature. In fact, the brief running commentary on Ecclesiastes in this volume comprises one of the best commentaries available on Ecclesiastes. Over the years I have taught courses on the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament around the world. As soon as this volume became available I started requiring it as the textbook–and will continue to do so.

Click on picture for link.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update

Psalm 4:8-9 (Hebrew verse numbering for the English vv. 7-8) bring us to the end of the body of this Davidic psalm. These two verses display a good deal of emphasis by means of literary devices, grammatical structure, and vocabulary. Thus, the psalm ends with a burst of emotion and truths that seal its message on the hearts of David’s hearers and readers.

Watch for the final installment in our analysis of Psalm 4 in which we will examine the musical subscription, identify the psalm’s structure, provide a summary of exegetical and theological comments, and suggest homiletical propositions.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 4:1-9 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-3 and 120-122.

A Dispensational Discourse: Interview

Coming March 11. Over the past year I have written a number of blog posts for Dispensational Publishing House. Recently, Paul Scharf interviewed me by phone for this biographical post. In this post I speak of my dispensational viewpoint and how I came to it and how I view the current landscape regarding dispensationalism. I hope you find it of interest and helpful. Below I have posted links to the top ten books I recommend on the topic of dispensationalism. They are listed in order of preference.











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