Summary: just a brief intro to Israel's hymnbook as we begin a look at selected passages

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1. Sometimes when I pray I can't think of the words, I can't utter what is in my heart

2. For some reason I think I might offend God if I'm honest, or angry or guilty

3. The Psalms corrects me in this and anchors me in my soul

4. I want to begin a brief look at the songbook of God's people of old and be uplifted, challenged, encouraged, and more.


A. Ex. 19:3-9 God’s intentions for Israel

To be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation

B. Moses later reminds them:

1. Deut. 7:7-9---it was because the Lord loved them and was

keeping his oath he swore to their forefathers.

2. Deut. 9:4-6---it was not on account of their righteousness that

God was giving them the land, but the wickedness of the

nations and his faithfulness to his oath; they in fact were a

stiff-necked people.

C. This covenant was between God and Israel only, they promised

not to serve & worship other gods

D. Ex. 20:22-23:19 seems to be the “book of the covenant” which

is ratified in Ex. 24:7, everything else comes later to Moses

1. God instructs them in more detail what he had given them in

the 10 commandments.

2. no other god’s, idols or altars

3. respectful treatment of servants and one another---ch. 21

4. protection of property ch. 22

5. moral and social instructions 22:16ff

6. slander and deceit 23:1-9

7. Sabbath---23:10-13

8. feasts/festivals 23:14-19

E. After the covenant is confirmed, God instructs Moses as the

details of the tabernacle and its contents--God’s sanctuary, and

the priesthood

F. Two basic ideas are seen in God’s instructions:

1. separateness---God protected his holiness---on the mountain,

you can’t come close…only Moses can approach even though

70 elders are there; even the priesthood signifies

separateness—only certain ones can approach and they spend

much time preparing to do so.

2. Nearness—the idea of the tabernacle is God dwelling among

them---Ex. 25:8 “then have them make a sanctuary for me,

and I will dwell among them.”

G. the worship/liturgy that God commanded involved the whole

being of man as well as everyday throughout the year

1. It involved the heart, soul, mind, body of the Israelite, i.e.

sacrifice, song, festivals, Sabbath, etc.

2. it involved every day, every season to remind Israel of their

relationship with God and their dependence on him, i.e. feast

of ingathering/harvest, of Passover, Sabbath, etc.

H. But all worship to God was based on the holiness of the life of

he Israelite.

1. an unholy and sinful man could not approach a holy God,

reminded by the priesthood.

2. An Israelite had to be de-sinned: a sacrifice of blood had to be

Made---Day of Atonement, (Day of sin covering)

I. As we know, Israel actually never kept their promise to God and

served the god’s of the Canaanites.

J. But four hundred years later, a man came upon the scene that

forever changed God’s worship

1. an unknown shepherd boy who had the heart of God

2. who was chosen to be king and under his reign, the nation of

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