over the summer, Nancy and i have been speaking from the Book of Psalms on Sunday mornings during worship.
the Book of Psalms contains some wonderful literature and language; the poetry and prayers are beautiful for reflection and reading. the Psalms are great for several reasons.
1. they’re complete passages/thoughts. when a pastor/teacher/anyone speaks from sections of a book or letter, it’s impossible to truly get the vibe and tone of the whole text; there is something lost. not so with the Psalms.
2. excellent prayers, poetry, songs. this is the prayer book of the Old Testament. these are the praise and worship choruses of the Old Testament.
3. they speak eloquently of the character and nature of God.
it’s my turn to speak this coming Sunday and i’m speaking from Psalm 146.
first and foremost, Psalm 146 is a praise Psalm. it has the classic structure of a Psalm of praise.
an introduction, verses 1 and 2, which is a call to praise: “Praise the LORD! Let all that I am praise the LORD. I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.” (New Living Translation).
the body of the Psalm gives the reasons for praising the LORD. verses 3 through 9 in the case of Psalm 146.
and a conclusion, verse 1o, which is a renewed call to praise: “The LORD will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the LORD!” (New Living Translation).
on another level, this Psalm has significant implications for social justice.
verse 7: “…[the LORD] gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry.” (New Living Translation)
verse 9: “The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows…” (New Living Translation)
Psalm 146 ties praise and worship and acts of social justice together. could it be that God is just as pleased with acts of service and social justice as he is with singing songs of praise? could it be that social justice and acts of service to others are acts of praise?
the political, social, and Kingdom implications are clear.
do we have ears to listen?