Last week, I reminded you that we’d be spending some more time in the Psalms. For many, heading into the Psalms wasn’t new territory, as you’ve been following along with the Read Scripture app, and have already read through Psalms once this year. Therefore, you’ve probably spent time on the Bible Project page on the Psalms, benefitting from the wonderful big-picture resources available for this praise and prayer book of God’s people (if you haven’t done that, I highly recommend you at least check out their nine-minute overview video).
This past Sunday we took a look at Psalm 34 as both a window in the rest of the Psalter, and how we can apply it to our lives, as well as discover that in the Psalms we find complementary material to the wisdom literature we have already studied: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. In other words, we find here lyrical wisdom. And we discovered what many of us already know—songs have a delightful and wonderful way of teaching us about life, and how to live it. Psalm 34 is a powerful example of this. For in its verses we find the answer to two of the most important questions in our day-to-day living that we can consider.
How can I taste, sense, that Yahweh is good?
And how can I see, apprehend and know and identify, that Yahweh is good?
I had a handful of people share with me after this week’s sermon that this part of Psalm 34—Taste and see that Yahweh is good (v. 8)—had been frequently quoted to them over the course of their lives. That it had usually been kind of dropped as one of those knee-jerk responses to people that Christians sometimes say, “Yes, but, taste and see that God is good!”
And what they appreciated in the sermon was that we spent the whole time really digging into what it actually means. What does it mean to taste that God is good? What does it mean to see that God is good? Really?
By God’s grace, I think it was a good start at understanding what a lifetime of tasting and seeing God can be like. King David was a skilled guide, and the lyrics of his song provided an accurate and detailed map. If you’d like to consider these questions, and begin the adventure of tasting and seeing, you can watch or listen to the sermon here.
And if you have any questions or feedback, I always appreciate hearing from you, and having the opportunity to further serve you.
Finally, if you’d like to prepare for this coming Sunday, be sure to read and check out all the resources at The Bible Project on the Song of Songs, the last book in our study of the Wisdom of Israel.
Seeing and Savoring with You,
Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, and was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.
How Can We Pursue A Long Repentance In The Same Direction?
This last Sunday, in Calvary’s morning gathering, we studied the book of Haggai together as part of God’s Whole Story. Together we heard God speak through his prophet to his people after the exile, challenging them to remain faithful and to rebuild the temple.
The book of Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament. It has 4 oracles (think: sermons), 2 chapters, and about 1,100 words.
In the book of Jeremiah we read of God’s intention for Daniel and all of those with him who have been exiled from the land of promise.
We are in a sermon series called The Whole Story, so named because we started off with the assumption, and belief really, that the whole Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. Each and every book is a bit like a chapter that contributes to the overall story that God is telling.
We Are Calvary
To say that we live in times of rapid change may be the very height of understatement. Our culture, and its norms, is changing at an unprecedented rate, making it increasingly challenging for the church to remain relevant—and faithful—in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, in a way that will bring about the expansion of that kingdom.
This past Sunday we (finally) made it out of the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, and stepped into the Return from Exile of the people of God. Our first look into this aspect of the redemptive drama comes via three courageous servants of Yahweh—Zerrubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. There story is found in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah (although our English Bibles separate them, through the centuries the Jewish people have always treated them as one book; so we will too.)
Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
Sunday is just about my favorite day of the week (“just about”…because my day off each week, our family’s Sabbath Saturday, is a tie or really close second). I love getting up that morning, making my smoothie, sitting in my favorite chair in our fireplace room, and pulling my Bible onto my lap. I relish the time spent listening to my Father speak, and I delight in those moments spent talking with him about the morning’s ministry, the people in our gathering that I hope he will transform, as well as the eleven other pastors (and their congregations) on whom I pray his blessing every Sunday.