Psalms

“Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord” (Psalm 98)

Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord (Psalm 98) If we want to worship God in the way he intends us to worship him, we must come before him with reverence and joy. We rightly recognize God’s holiness as we gather for corporate worship. But how important is joy? How often do you stir up the joy of worship as you prepare your heart? That’s the primary emphasis in this psalm. It teaches us to sing with excitement. This psalm…

“Worship the King” (Psalm 96)

Worship the King (Psalm 96) The best classic novels often draw us in with a thread of unfulfilled longing. We keep reading with an insatiable desire to close the loose end. We feel ourselves longing alongside the characters. More often than not, authors wrap up their stories with satisfying conclusions. The mission is accomplished. The quest is completed. The boy gets the girl. The girl marries the boy and lives happily ever after. The end of the fictional story gives…

“The Steadfast Love of the Lord (Psalm 89:1-2, 19-26)

The Steadfast Love of the Lord (Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26) In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Despite the limited number of certainties Franklin possessed, we ought to strive for more confidence. If we take our cues from Scripture, we find that we can be confident in who God is and what He says. Last…

“Shouts of Joy” (Psalm 126)

Shouts of Joy (Psalm 126) In 2014, hundreds of undergrad students were ushered into a plain room at the University of Virginia. They were asked to put away their cellphones, books, and pens in order to engage in “thinking periods” lasting between six and fifteen minutes. Some were given prompts while others were told to think about whatever came to mind. It was intended to be a pleasant experience, but 50% of the participants didn’t think so. They tried “thinking…

“Revive Us Again” (Psalms 85)

Revive Us Again (Psalm 85) Illustration: Twilight Zone “A Nice Place to Visit.” After being gunned down during a burglary, Mr. Valentine, is ushered into eternity. To his surprise he experiences all the things he had been craving in this life (luxurious penthouse, fancy suits, all the alcohol he could want, an endless supply of money and women). But as the episode nears the end, he finds that his eternity is empty. It doesn’t leave him satisfied. He tells his…

“Restore Us, O God” (Psalm 80)

Restore Us, O God (Psalm 80) How do you approach God when you need restoration? Advent is about waiting/anticipating God’s restoration. In Psalm 80, Asaph longs for the covenant blessings to be returned to Israel. He pictures God as an angry Shepherd who left his flock, in the midst of their enemies, to feed upon their tears. He longs for the Lord’s restoration and favor. The Psalms teach us how to communicate with God. We learn to express our emotions…

“Wholehearted Thanksgiving” (Psalm 9)

Wholehearted Thanksgiving (Psalm 9) We’ve heard a lot about recounting in the news over the past few weeks. Once again, Florida was in the middle of the controversy. At least we have our act together over here in California… Hopefully, recounting the wonderful deeds of the Lord isn’t so complicated. Psalm 10 has no title supporting the theory that 9-10 were originally one (mostly acrostic) psalm. However, due to a significant shift in the mood, we will only focus on…