1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy ...Read more
I hope my favorite Bible study group at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is keeping up with my God Squad Psalms course. We have already studied Psalm 23, 131, 115, 117, and 133. Today we take up Psalm 93:
1 The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath ...Read more
1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
4 In whose eyes a ...Read more
Of all the secular holidays of our culture, Thanksgiving is my favorite. It is about gratitude and gratitude is at the top of my list of moral virtues taught by God in the Bible to all of us. I also like Valentine’s Day which (I know!) has its roots in Christianity but, like Thanksgiving, it is about love and love is my second favorite moral ...Read more
What follows is very much a part of our study of Psalm 117 and its invitation to praise God.
Recently, my dear friend M, wrote to me a tale of woe about his life, as an act of spiritual balancing in which I ask people to spend exactly as much time telling me about their blessings as they do telling me about her burdens. I asked him to send me ...Read more
Our summer vacation reading list is a study guide for the shortest psalms in the Bible. I offer this eventual book as a help for my friends at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We have already studied Psalm 23, 131, and 133. Today we take up Psalm 117.
1 O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise ...Read more
Another short Psalm for the Lutheran Church Bible Study Group — Psalm 133
1 A song of ascents. Of David. How good and how pleasant it is that brothers dwell together. (Hebrew: henai ma tov u’ma’naim shevet achim gam yachad).
2 It is like fine oil on the head running down onto the beard, the beard of Aaron, that comes down ...Read more
Well, last week I began my study guide to the 131st Psalm for M and her Bible study group at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the hopes that by picking one of the shortest psalms in the Bible (just three verses), I might be able to get through the whole thing in just one column. No luck! I just got through one ...Read more
This week, I continue to try to make good on my promise to help M, who asked me for help in developing study guides for the Psalms for her wonderful Bible study group at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Today, we read and study Psalm 131:
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I ...Read more
Q: Just read your response to "A" who asked, "Is suicide a forgivable sin because soon I will commit it?" Well, you gave excellent advice, but you never answered the question. Suicide is murder in the first degree, so it is definitely not a forgivable sin. As a Catholic, I was taught, and I believe, that murder and suicide are mortal sins that ...Read more
So, it took us two weeks to study four words of this luminous psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not lack.” Sorry for going so fast.
Now let us finish our study of the remaining verses of the 23rd Psalm:
23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.
Green pastures and still waters are not ...Read more
Last week in response to M from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who is a member of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church’s Bible Study Group, I began a study guide for the 23rd Psalm. I may offer study guides for other Psalms and biblical texts but as I suspected, I only got through the first two words, “The Lord is my shepherd” before the column ...Read more
Q: I read your column every Sunday in my local Harrisburg PA Patriot News. Last week, my adult Sunday School class (conducted on Zoom) asked for a volunteer to take over in April. I decided I would write you and ask if you have ever provided a study guide or written a book on the Psalms that our group could use. I would sincerely appreciate any ...Read more
Q: Is suicide a forgivable sin because soon I will commit it? -- A
A: Dear A. I beg you, I plead with you, I abjure you, I pray for you, please do not take your life! If you wrote to me because you trust in some measure my advice and counsel please stop reading my reply right now and do not return to reading it until you have called the ...Read more
Q: Dear Rabbi Gellman, I really enjoy reading your God Squad column. I am a Christian, but boy do I have questions.
I do believe in God, although I don't think we really understand God. At least I don't. I wonder how or why a perfect God could have created such imperfect people. We don't take care of our planet; we are not kind to animals or ...Read more
Our Passover/Easter meditations of the past two weeks may have diverted our spiritual gaze. The glorious and unifying truth is that all three of the great Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are celebrating their formative holidays this springtime, namely Passover, Easter and Ramadan. It is always true that Passover and Easter ...Read more
Last week we offered Passover blessings. This used to be Father Tom Hartman’s job but now I have to cover both our paths up the same mountain. This week, I offer my heartfelt blessings to all my Christian readers for a joyous Easter this Sunday, April 4. In the winter, it is just not possible to understand the Christianity by unpacking ...Read more