Summary: This was an introductory sermon for a 6 month series trhough the book of Psalms.
Getting Real With God
A Journey Through The Psalms
Last year at this time we began a journey as a church through the Gospel of Mark. It was a fruitful journey. I enjoyed that experience and happy to say that several of you expressed your enjoyment of that journey. Last year we explored this gospel coining it the Jesus reality, a take on the reality TV phenomenon that has not lost its steam. The reality phenomenon is one that is fueled by our desire to see real events unfold before our very eyes. It’s not that we don’t enjoy fiction, its just our appetite for reality seems to be greater. Furthermore, we want to see real responses of real people in real situations. No scripts, no acting… Real!
Church, how many people here want:
1. A Fake God?
2. A Fake Faith?
3. A Fake Relationship with God?
Don’t you want:
1. A Real God
2. A Real Faith
3. A Real Relationship with God
We want the real stuff… The real deal… And in the world of the real, we see Real and honest language. So many times we just seek the language to express our real thoughts and our real feelings and our real heart in response to real situations and real circumstances. The language we use is important. And we live a life full of searching for the language – Like the line in O Sacred Head, “What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,”
One of the ideas that we have to try to communicate to people who do not share our convictions is that God is real and they can be real with God. Too much of what non-believers see is FAKE… They want the Real deal!
So why the Psalms… Why do we go to the Psalms… The Psalms were written by real people who had real reason to write about real feelings who sought real justice, real redemption and real help… They expressed real joy, real sadness, real anger real confusion and real resolve. And they addressed a real God! – listen to Psalm 4 –Here David the author of this Psalm expresses the implications of his real relationship with a real God!
• God is David’s God – My God
• God is righteous
• God is the grantor of mercy, relief
• God hears prayer
• David expresses his distress – How long will men deny God
• God is the fills hearts with Joy He gives peace and gives him safety!
The Psalms isn’t full of fairy tales. They contain violent requests from the Psalmists. They contain real responses to the events that fill the life of the believer. There are responses to sinful behavior… There are responses to victory in war… There are responses to wonders of God. There are responses to witnessing the prospering of the Wicked and the oppression of the poor.
As a church, we have to claim this collection of Psalms in our Bibles as our own. In Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, Paul encourages the early Christians to communicate using Psalms. There is an assumption that the Psalms were to be read, studied and used in the life of the church. It was assumed that Old Testament Scripture would have a life in the church and that the Psalms were not to be excluded.
The New Testament Quotes from the book of psalms 69 times. They were quoted in different settings which communicate the diversity of the Psalms. While not written to be theological discourse they were quoted to give weight to theological positions. While not written necessarily as prophetic utterances of things to come, allusions to the messiah Jesus Christ were contained in the Psalms. Understand that the Psalms in it original context as a collection of poems and prayers spanning several thousands of years were meant to be used in worship (See note for Psalm 4)
Throughout this journey through reading together and preaching, we will learn more about these Psalms. We will explore how they differ form each other and how they function. We will explore terms like lament, praise, selah and imprecatory. And throughout we will explore this collection of writings also referred to as the Psalter that contain and display:
1. Real Emotion – Ex. Psalm 42
2. Real History – Ex. Psalm 135:8-12
a. A Celebration
b. A Reflection on God’s Activity
3. Real Relationship – Ex. Psalm 23
a. Revealing Who God Is
b. Revealing Who We Are
Time To Get Real With God!
Bare All Before The Lord – Get Real!