Studying the Psalms and Worship
In this series on the book of Psalms and on worship, we begin with the historical background of one of David's psalms and then look at the psalm that sprang from those events.
There are 14 psalms that bear a specific title linking us back to an actual event in David's life. David didn't just decide one day, "I think I'll sit down and write a psalm," or "I think I'll write a prayer to God." No, he was in the midst of some particular circumstances—often tough times when he wrote Psalm 3, 7, 18, 30, 34, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 63, 142. This series was inspired by those events!
"Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left."
I want to begin with a question. Why would anyone write this verse?
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Let me begin by asking you two questions. What prison do you think the author is referring to in the following verse, and what might that have to do with us? In good Bible study we ask
- what does it say
- what does it mean
- what does it say to me
This series, "Cave Psalms," addresses many of the things we go through in life: times when we are in stretching moments, way beyond our ability to endure; maybe crushing moments or experiences that even take our breath away... defeat, mistreatment, divorce, abuse, break-ups, failures, betrayals, rumors, lies, disappointment, disloyalty, even death. How about problems at school, at home, at work, with family, with relationships, with finances, with friends? Scriptures call these moments trials, tests or persecution, and sometimes temptation. These are the kind of circumstances when, in fact, you want to run, to find a place of safety.
How to have a meaningful listening and worshiping experience and avoid the speech and sacrifice of fools.
In Ecclesiastes 5 we have a very potent encouragement as to "how to we can have a meaningful listening and worshiping experience and avoid the speech of fools." This passage makes it very clear that worship is to be entered into with forethought and with certain precautions. It is rare to see any reference to prayer or worship in Solomon's writings, but in Ecclesiastes 5, he holds nothing back. In a quiet tone, but with razor-sharp words, Solomon gives us some cautions for prayer and worship.
The Westminster Confession of Faith says, "The chief purpose of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." Man's chief purpose is summed up in two words, both of which are centered on God—glorify and enjoy! Every community of believers should adopt these as their chief priority. We should purpose to glorify God in every action and in the process, enjoy the presence and friendship of God forever!
What can we learn by looking at our hands? (Stop for a moment and do just that.) What do we learn about God when we look at His hands?
What is the difference between the hands of God and our hands?
Or, Worship That Smells Right: five principles that can help guide us to worship God in a way that is memorable to Him and to usJohn 12:1-8; Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:1-11; Luke 7:36-50.
I’m sure you have heard the expression, "Somethin’ just doesn’t smell right." In our house, the contest is over the smell of tuna fish. I love it; Nancy doesn’t. So we recently negotiated a settlement. If we have it, I will immediately clean up the bowl and can, make sure the sink is clean and the garbage disposal is deployed.