Scholars point out that Psalm 108 is a combination of verses from two earlier Psalms: Psalm 57 and Psalm 60. In other words, Psalm 108 uses old words for new circumstances--for the people of Israel, the new experience of Psalm 108 was that of exile.
Our own walk through the Psalms these past months has also sought to hear these old words in our new circumstances. We understand scripture to be alive for us, and relevant to us. What words in Psalm 108 are alive and relevant for you today?
Leonard Bernstein used these words from Psalm 108 (in the original Hebrew) to open his Chichester Psalms composition: "Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn."
1 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make melody. Awake, my soul!
2 Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn.
3 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4 For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth.
6 Give victory with your right hand, and answer me, so that those whom you love may be rescued.
7 God has promised in his sanctuary: “With exultation I will divide up Shechem, and portion out the Vale of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet; Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my washbasin; on Edom I hurl my shoe; over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
10 Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
12 O grant us help against the foe, for human help is worthless.
13 With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.