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,
Day Twenty-Six: A Morning Conversation With King Solomon
A conversation that happened this morning as I came upon a visitor in our fireplace room….
Day Nineteen: God Chose Her, Not You
The doctrine of God’s rule and reign in and over all things comes crashing into the human conception of the self-made man. We are tempted to think we have so much to do with our happinesses. But the wisdom found from James speaks a wakefulness into the pondering of our circumstances—the good gifts we have come not from our own hands, but by the grace and providence of our heavenly Father. And the wisdom of Solomon makes clear—one of man’s greatest gifts is something only God can give, an understanding wife.
Day Seventeen: The Great Gain Of Godly Contentment
We live in a world where the temptation is constant to believe the amount of our wealth and possessions directly translates to our joy and happiness. The Bible, once again, confronts our culture and holds out another possibility. Namely, “better” does not imply “more,” “bigger,” or “expensive.” It suggests that the reason you still haven’t found what you are looking for is because you’ve been searching in all the wrong places. Wisdom opens our eyes and hearts to deeper wells of contentment.
Day Fifteen: I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me
I always feel like somebody's watching me. And I have no privacy. Woh, I always feel like somebody's watching me. Tell me is it just a dream? So sang Rockwell in the dawning of my high school years back in 1984. All the cool kids were singing it at the time, and its the tune that sprang to mind when I read this similar sentiment this morning: Yahweh is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3, New Living Translation)
Day Fourteen: Death By Living
For those of us desirous to live a good life, we’ve known since the very beginning of this book that it begins with a healthy awe, reverence, and trembling before the God of the universe whose name is Yahweh (Proverbs 1:7). And here we are again reminded that this humble posture before the Holy One is a fountain overflowing with life.
Day Thirteen: You Can’t Always Get What You Want
One of the key assumptions we’ve been working with as we make our way through the wisdom literature is that God has hardwired wisdom into the way creation (and the creatures within it…us) operates. It was there at the beginning. It’s the inner logic of everything, and the secret code for how it works. (see Proverbs 8:22-31)
Day Eleven: A Pig Is Still A Pig
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. (Proverbs 11:22, English Standard Version) “Well…I never!” she replied to the King. Reading this proverb, it seems highly probable to me, given the stories of King Solomon and all the women in his life (1 Kings 11:3), that this was probably a proverb born from experience. He comes along a beautiful woman, of high social standing, of influence and power; but in his interactions with her, he begins to see her true self shining through all her external adornments. She has no discretion—she is a woman of loose and dissolute conversation, her mind and conscience are defiled. There’s a beauty for the eye, but the corruption of her character slowly transforms how Solomon sees her, and no amount of jewelry will cover that up.
Day Twenty-Nine: Please—Quietly Hold Your Tongue
Anger. noun. “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” (New Oxford American Dictionary) As I entered day twenty-nine of Proverbs this morning, and came to 29:11, it struck me that this book has quite a bit to say about anger, strife, wrath, quarreling, fights, and rage. It is a theme that Solomon keeps coming back to, probably because he knows that it is a theme woven through humanity and history. Sometimes the best way to see a theme is to pull on that string so all the wisdom he has offered comes together for our observation. The accumulation helps us feel the weight of it.