Our Summer in the Psalms
This week in worship we will wrap up our summer study of the Book of Psalms. As I have mentioned in the past, I don’t think of myself as “a Psalms-guy,” someone who naturally and easily turns to the Psalms in my devotions or prayers. After preaching through various psalms this summer, I can say… I’m still not a “Psalms-guy”! But, I have truly enjoyed our time here; I’ve caught the comfort and the encouragement and the passion. Gosh, maybe I am a Psalms-guy!
If you haven’t been able to be with us, each week we have looked at a particular psalm and focused on the parallels in the psalmist’s experiences and our own. What common events is the psalmist describing that we too have experienced? It was easy to discover these: The psalmist speaks of being scared, excited, hurt, confused, hopeful, eager, suffering, and loving. Usually it has been easy to see how the psalmist’s experience has been like our own. And so, we’ve asked the question: What has the psalmist done that we can do as well? What has he learned? How has he felt? How can we lean into the Lord as he has done?
The Psalms portray various situations where we need to rely upon Jesus, where we need to experience His truth, His grace, His protection and to trust Him. We “lean into the Lord” when we give ourselves gratefully and fully into His Presence. To put off our own self-reliance and depend instead upon His.
The Psalms are full of these experiences; opportunities to “lean into the Lord.” Over this summer, we have looked at:
- Leaning into the Lord’s peace in Psalm 46, His deliverance in Psalm 40 and His salvation in 130. In each, the blessings the psalmist experiences are ours as well.
- Leaning into the Lord’s goodness (Psalm 34), forgiveness (32), and comfort (27)—marks of the Presence (Psalm 84) of the Lord in everyday life.
- In Psalm 23, we see that we can lean into the Lord’s abundance, in Psalm 131 into humility; in Psalm 133 we together lean into the Lord’s people.
- And in all this, we are following the pattern of Psalm 1 and 2, summaries of the entire book of Psalms as we lean into the Lord’s way of righteousness—Jesus Christ.
- This Sunday, we confront those common experiences we all have had—trouble, danger, fear. As before, we will look at how the psalmist dealt with the problems, and so learn together that we can, and must, lean into the Lord’s protection.
àIt is easy, sometimes, to minimize the Bible’s teachings by assuming that it is a stoic, dry, lifeless manual for “doing the right thing.” It is good to see in the psalms the passion, emotion, hurt, confusion, pain, joy and sorrow that we experience all the time.
àIt is easy, sometimes, to ignore the Bible’s teachings by assuming that it has nothing to say that is relevant to our contemporary world. But it is good to see in the psalms a world we so easily recognize—a world filled with the Presence, the love, the mercy, the truth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
5. This psalm is often identified as "The Travelers' Psalm"...can you see how/why?