Summary: Passages in different locations are often interconnected in such a way that one avenue of thought springs from another. Although these psalms were not written with the intent that they be interconnected by us today, they collectively express a message relevant today.
For Sermon Central researchers: I have posted a series of 15 sermons on the Psalms. In recent personal studies I have found the psalms to be richer and more thought-provoking than I had fully appreciated. I had too often swept swiftly through psalms without slowing down to inquire as thoroughly as I might have into the depths of meaning and feeling that are expressed by the psalmists. Upon deeper examination and reflection, I find the psalms to be highly relevant to Christians in every age. My most recent foray into the psalms led me to present a series of studies of selected psalms in a class environment.
In my classes I did not examine every psalm, or every verse of the ones I did. Rather, I presented selected psalms that I believe to be representative of the collection in the book of Psalms. The studies were held in a class environment suitable for pauses for questions and discussion, and to pose “thought questions” where the meanings are not readily apparent, as is often the case in poetry. My notes include suggested points for such pauses, and I have not removed them in Sermon Central posts.
I developed the material with the view in mind that the series may be well used as sermons. There is an introductory sermon that describes what psalms are (whether they are in the 150-chapter book or elsewhere) and explains my approach to the series. The psalms I selected were presented in no particular order in the classes; however, I suggest that anyone using this material as a series begin with the introductory sermon and follow it with Psalms 1 and 2 in that order, as the first two psalms function as a pair. Beyond that, the selected psalms may be presented in any order.
To get as much enjoyment as we could from our study, I did some of the reading from the KJV, which I believe is the most beautiful of the English bible translations. For clarity we also used other versions, mainly ESV, which I have used for several years and the one I have come to prefer.
Psalms 27, 37, and 84
One of the aspects in the divine design of the scriptures is the themes that run throughout them.
This is simply the continuity of the scriptures. For example, God has an eternal plan that runs from the beginning to the end of the bible. God’s plan was the same before the creation as it is now. His plan extends beyond the destruction of the heavens and earth we now know, to the abolition of time, which is itself a part of the creation.
Other themes are
• Progressive revelation (God’s plan was not revealed all at once).
Speaking to the Athenian philosophers on Mars hill, Paul said:
Acts 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent
“Ignorance” as used here is not disobedience, or rebellion. In those times Paul refers to, men were ignorant of things that had not yet been revealed. God “overlooked” the offenses of those who had no way of knowing their actions were offending.
• Redemption and reconciliation
• Laws-statutes-commands to regulate behavior
• And the absolute, unchanging love of God.
That is why a person reading in one part of the bible might flip over to another part, and then another, and find that the passages are intertwined with one of the grand themes of the bible.
Or one’s study might fall into disrepair for a time because of the busyness of life, and the habit of regular bible reading falls by the wayside. But a lover of the word will re-engage the word and begin afresh his acquaintance with divine things. It is amazing how quickly things then start falling back into their familiar places across the spectrum of revealed truth, and the people in whom it was revealed.
As we have been going through this series we have seen no reason to think otherwise.
Tonight we are drawing texts from three psalms in which we see this principle – 27, 37, and 84.
Although these psalms were not written with the express intent that they be interconnected by us today, they collectively express a message relevant today.
For our purposes we will accept the title and treat Psalms 27 and 37 as being the work of David. The authorship of psalm 84 is titled “For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.”
We will talk more about the authorship of Psalm 84 in a few minutes.
I’m reading from the NASB tonight.
NASB is a highly respectable translation – I have some old, seriously worn NASB bibles.
But it’s not the only good one.
There’s a specific reason I’m using the NASB tonight. I’ll explain in a few minutes.