Another Maskil to Provoke our Thinking

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Picture of Rodin's The Thinker

In today’s Bible reading,* we have both a Psalm (Psalm 77) and a Maskil (Psalm 78) that function very similarly in that they provoke the reader’s thinking. I the term Maskil in three days ago.

Again, a Maskil is a type of Hebrew poetry that stimulates the mind. The Great Commandment is to love God with all that we are: heart, soul, and strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5) When He was asked about the Great Commandment, Jesus quoted that passage and added the mind in Luke 10:27.

But provoking and stimulating our thoughts is incomplete. A Maskil hasn’t accomplished its purpose unless the reader is prompted to worship. As important as it is that our minds are stimulated, it’s not enough. Unfortunately, too often we approach Bible reading and Bible study as a way to acquire knowledge, as if knowledge is an end in itself. It isn’t.

The result of contemplating God’s Word and God’s works which progresses to worship is to give us “Confidence in a Time of Crisis”, the CSB’s section heading for Psalm 77.

God’s Word is very relevant!


The Book of Psalms is a collection of prayers, songs, laments, and Maskils. It was the hymnbook of Israel and the Early Church. And today, we can use the Psalms as models for how we can pray and worship God. Consider the following verses from today’s reading.

Consider what you’ve read today. And worship.

At night I remember my music; I meditate in my heart, and my spirit ponders.
(Psalm 77:6)

I will remember the Lord’s works; yes, I will remember your ancient wonders. I will reflect on all you have done and meditate on your actions. God, your way is holy. What god is great like God? You are the God who works wonders; you revealed your strength among the peoples.
Psalm 77:11–14 (CSB)

He established a testimony in Jacob … to rise and tell their children so that they might put their confidence in God and not forget God’s works, but keep his commands.
Psalm 78:5–7 (CSB)

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
– 1 Chronicles 6
– Psalms 36
– Psalms 39
– Psalms 77
– Psalms 78

This devotional was originally published on April 21, 2021.

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