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Psalms Study

New content posted weekly from August 9-November 22.

Introduction to Psalm 27: 1-6

David claims the Lord as his light who exposed his enemies. Even when an army sets up camp and wages war against him, even then, David trusts the LORD who will keep him safe. The LORD, his light, is the solution to his fear.

Psalm 27: 1–6

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
 
When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
 
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
 
One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in his temple.
 
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
 
And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

Introduction to Psalm 25: 8-22

This second part of Psalm 25 is where we can put our roots down and get to know even better why Samuel and Paul both called David a man after God's own heart. It's also a place where we can press deeper into Christ and become men and women after God's own heart.

 

Psalm 25: 8-22

Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

For your name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the LORD?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.

Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.

Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all his troubles.

 

Introduction to Psalm 25: 1-7

Remember me not according to the sins of my youth but according to the LORD's own character. He is merciful.
 

 
 
Psalm 25: 1–7
 
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

Responding Personally to Psalms Seminar

Dr. Malcolm Guite of Cambridge University will take us into the purpose of the psalms and delve specifically into Psalms 20-24. Malcolm Guite is a minister in the Church of England, a renowned poet, a rock musician, and was for many years chaplain at Girton College, Cambridge. His specialty is the intersection between faith and the arts. Malcolm is the author of four volumes of his own poetry, several books on theology and literature, the editor of both Advent and Lenten collections of great English poems, and many essays for the Church Times. He has two cuddly greyhounds. And he loves C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George Herbert so it should be no surprise Gerrit is a huge fan!

Supplemental Handout 

 

Weekly Psalms Readings

Praying the Psalm of the Week Five Different Ways! 
 
Monday: As a Personal Prayer 
 
Read the psalm to get a sense of it. 
Read again, listening for phrases that grab you, then ponder those.
Pray the psalm aloud a third time, as a prayer of your life.
 
Tuesday: As a Prayer of Jesus 
 
Read the psalm once. 
Read the psalm aloud, imagining that Jesus is praying it.
Say “My Father” whenever you see LORD or God.
Ponder at what stage in his life this psalm might have fit Jesus.
Pray the psalm a third time joined to Jesus’ prayers.
 
Wednesday: For Someone You Love
 
Hold someone you love in mind as you read the psalm aloud. Consider how its words relate to their life. Pray it aloud again as if your loved one were praying it. 
 
Thursday: As Part of Community
 
Follow the same pattern, only today pray the psalm imagining that you are surrounded by fellow Christians in a great worship service. Imagine as you pray it aloud twice that everyone is vocalizing it together.
 
Friday: For Someone Who Is Difficult or Hostile
 
Follow the same pattern, only today pray the psalm imagining someone you struggle to love: even, especially, if it seems unlikely this person would ever pray a psalm!  
 
 
 

August 10-14     Psalm 23

 

Restoring Your Soul Through Psalms

This wretched distancing goes on! Yet so does the need to connect to others. And to God. Our hearts are still made to be in communion. So how do we stay connected in isolation? This month we begin a series of interlocking ways to encounter Christ through the Psalms. I’d like to tell you about it in advance of a mailing you’ll receive next week. 
 
For 3,000 years, the LORD’s people have climbed the stairways of words that are the Psalms. By making these prayers their own prayers, they have ascended through psalms straight into God’s presence. The Psalms were the very prayer book of Jesus himself. We find Christ’s heart for his Father when we pray psalms in communion with Jesus. We get drawn close to each other when we pray psalms together and for one another. We even find words to pray for our enemies when we pray psalms on behalf of those hostile to us! Psalms express our souls; they also transform our souls, taking us deeper than we could ever go on our own.
 
This fall, for 100 days, we’re going to hone in on the Psalms. Spiritual riches beyond price reside in these songs. So I’ll be inviting you to engage these psalms in a variety of practices. 
 
Next week, you’ll receive in the actual mail a beautiful bookmark with the schedule of psalms we are studying and five ways—one for each week day—we can pray the psalms with different people in mind. Beginning August 10, each Monday you’ll receive by email a three-minute video introducing the psalm of the week, and then, the following Sunday we’ll use that psalm in worship. And, very exciting to me, for three Sunday evenings at 5 pm, we’ll be launching by livestream special presentations introducing these psalms. Guest speakers include one of my spiritual heroes, Malcolm Guite from Cambridge, and one of Darin’s heroes, Mark Futato from Reformed Theological Seminary. We’re hoping those of you with big TVs and spacious seating areas will host watch parties. And consider joining a Shepherding Through the Psalms group to encourage one another. These groups will consist of 3-6 friends who will weekly connect with each other via a text, phone call, lunch or coffee—whatever works best for you. Spur one another on by discussing what you’re learning from the psalm of the week, how the prayer rhythms are going, and how to intentionally pray for each other. For more information visit fpcbr.org. To sign up as a group shepherd or member, email Kelly Wood.