Not everyone loves the ‘Hokey Pokey’. I am one of those who doesn’t. Ultimately the Hokey Pokey is noy what it’s all about. Mankind was created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The final Psalm of the book of the Psalms, Psalm 150:1-6, ends the book on a note of great praise to God. He is worthy of all the praise that we could ever muster, and to live a life that praises God is surely one of our highest callings. If all creation is called upon to praise God, then let’s remember this. We have voices. We can communicate. ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!’
We all have memories. Some are special. Some we would like to forget. Some that shape us into who we are! The writer of Psalm 126 also had a memory, a very particular one that involved the amazing deliverance that God gave to His people. And based on that memory, the psalm writer prayed what we find in this psalm – bring that memory to mind and letting it chapre his prayer for the now and the for future – that God would show His delivering power all over again!
While the majority of people have physical sight, there’s a high percentage who are blind in another sense. In Psalm 73:1-28, the writer, Asaph, confesses to this. When his eyes were on the wicked and their prosperity and the ease of their lives, he began to lose faith in God. and doubt whether serving Him was worth it at all. In other words, he baceme blind to the things of God as envy took hold of his sight and he began to slip. But something happened that changed this downward progression. It happened when he entered the sanctuary of God and his persepctive on what really matters in life was restored. We all need the reminder to keep on ‘looking to Jesus’. For when all is said and done, all He’s the only One worth looking to.
It’s not unusual these days for anyone to struggle with stress. We all have to manage it in some form. In his role as King over all Israel, David knew stress too, and this Psalm 86:1-17, we find him dealing with it through prayer to the One who could help him. In fact in the Psalm we find these elements present – sometimes David speaks to himself about God. Sometimes David speaks to God about God and sometimes David speaks to God about himself. All three are present in the psalm and all three are valid forms of prayer, and helpful with dealing with the many stresses of life.
Psalms 132,133 and 134 are three psalms that are linked by a common theme of being part of the ‘songs of ascent’ that were sung by the people of Israel going up to Jerusalem. Psalm 132 highlights that the city of Jerusalem was the city where God’s King lived. Psalm 133 celebrates the unity of the people of God in that city, and Psalm 134’s focus is upon the worship of God’s Name that happened there by day and night. Heaven will be all this and more for God’s people upon a ‘pilgrim journey’ to that heavenly city. (First preached March 2013)
David is one of the key characters in the unfolding story of the Scriptures. We can often forget that huge responsibilities and pressures were placed upon his shoulders in his role as King over Israel and Judah. One of those pressures was simply maintaining the stability of his kingdom – especially when it threatened, at times, to crumble from within. Psalm 63:1-11 records David’s feelings in one of those crisis times and shows us what it is we need the most in life – regardless of whether our circumstances are good or bad.
The Christmas hymn ‘Joy to the world’ is well known and loved. But did you know that it comes from Isaac Watts’ paraphrase of Psalm 98? Maybe you wouldn’t think that a Psalm like Psalm 98 has much to do with Christmas? Watts certainly thought so. In fact he saw in it much more than Jesus’ first coming (as a baby), but also his second coming (as King).
While the search for the meaning of life continues in many ways, including the fruitless exploration of outer space, Psalm 139:1-24 gives us a far different perspective. The psalm, written by King David, is a masterful and profound piece of poetry and a leading favourite of God’s people. There are many reasons why this is so, the main being that God’s intimate knowledge of us leads us to a wonderful knowledge of Him.
The Psalms are a great source of information and encouragement to the belever and Psalm 127:1-5 is no exception. The psalm was composed by King Solomon, who simply should have put into practise what he wrote! Life is busy, very busy, with work, houses, family and sleep all part of the picture. But all of it – without the Lord – will only lead to frustration. The Psalm tells us that much and puts life into perspective, but it also points forward to the One who came from heaven for us to build us and incorporate us into His house – forever!
Who would want to be a parent these days? The task has always been a hard one, but in these days there are so many more complicating factors and influences. This message examines the high calling of parenthood, some helpful texts from Psalm 78, Psalm 127 and Psalm 128 and a challenge to all to pass on the faith to the next generation.