Summary: Teaching through Psalm 139 showing how God's divine attributes guide us through life
CCCAG March 19th, 2017
Scripture: Psalm 139:1-18
A pastor took his minivan into the dealer for an oil change. The waiting room was empty except for him and one other man. The pastor struck up a conversation with the other man, and after a while, the topic of President’s Day came up. The man thought it was a shame that instead of celebrating Lincoln’s birthday and Washington’s birthday like we used to, we now just have one generic holiday for all the Presidents. He went on to say that he considered Lincoln to be a great man, one of the greatest men in American history; perhaps even the greatest man in history, period. In fact, he even said that he tried to live his life according to the teachings and example of Abraham Lincoln.
This piqued the pastor’s curiosity. He had heard of Confucians, and Buddhists, but had never met a "Linconian," a disciple of Abraham Lincoln. The pastor didn’t even know there was such a thing, so he inquired a little further:
Are there others like you? (he asked) "Oh yes, there’s a group of about 40 here on the West Side; we meet once a week on Friday evening (that’s the day Lincoln was shot). Our leader is a man with a Master’s degree in American History. Every week, he reads a selection from Lincoln’s writings, and then he gives a talk explaining what it means, and suggesting ways we can apply it to our lives. And of course, February 12th, Lincoln’s birthday, is a big holiday for us. We have parties, and exchange gifts, and sing Civil War songs. Sometimes, one of us dresses up like Lincoln in a beard and top hat, and he gives out presents to the kids. It’s a lot of fun.
The pastor said- That’s fascinating! So you must study Lincoln’s life and writings? "
The man replied, “Well, not exactly. I do own a leather-bound copy of Lincoln’s complete works -- his speeches, his writings, his letters. It’s beautiful.
I have it displayed on a table by our front door, so when anyone comes in the house, they can see that I’m a follower of Abraham Lincoln. I also own several biographies of Lincoln. One of these days I really do plan to read them. I just haven’t had the time yet."
Probing a bit deeper, the pastor asked, “But how can you be a disciple of Lincoln if you don’t read what he wrote?”
"Well, it’s mostly common-sense stuff.” The man replied. “Really. ’Do unto others,’ the golden rule, be nice to people, free the slaves, that kind of thing. And besides, I listen to a half-hour speech on Lincoln every Friday so why do I really need to read what he wrote?”
The pastor said, “I see. So how does being a follower of Lincoln affect your life?
"Well, like I said, I go to a meeting every Friday. I celebrate Lincoln’s birthday once a year. I own a leather-bound edition of his writings and speeches. Oh, and most of my friends are also Linconians."
The pastor replied- “So when you get together with your friends, you talk about Lincoln’s life and how to live out his teachings?”
"Oh, no. That stuff’s for Fridays, when we go to the meetings. No, we just talk about sports, politics, our families. The same things everybody else talks about." “We are THAT serious about it”
Obviously this is satire, meant to probe into our own hearts about how we see our relationship with God-
Is your Faith a part time hobby, or shown through a changed life lived in the believing that God is everything?
In the Psalm we are going to read and study this morning, King David is meditating on God.
Yes, Meditating. Meditation has gotten a bad name because of eastern religious influence on the church, but mediation is key to learning how to live your life hidden with God. That will be next week.
As David meditates on God, he writes what most ancient Jewish Scholars call “David’s most excellent Psalm”, and we are going to unpack that today as we read and learn to mediate on our God and His relationship to us.
Psalm 139 1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?