Psalms

Serve the Lord with Gladness - Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness! 
Come into his presence with singing! 

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise! 
Give thanks to him; bless his name! 

For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

(ESV)

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Good book on preaching the psalms

In his splendid book, How to Preach the Psalms, Kenneth Langley’s burden is not to teach you how to interpret the psalms. Plenty of folks have already done that. Nor is it about exegesis―there are already far too many guides to what Abraham Kuruvilla maligns as a “hermeneutic of excavation.”1 Instead, Langley’s aim is to help pastors preach the psalms as the literary treasures they are.2

Langley explains that, early in his ministry, he avoided preaching the psalms. They were too raw. Too emotional. Perhaps even unsuited to preaching.3 When he tried his hand at the genre, he felt like a failure. It was flat. Stale. Cold. Something was missing. “I had been faithful to the meaning of the Psalms, but their emotion, imagination, and aesthetic appeal never quite made it into the sermon. I had not captured the poetic essence of these texts.”4

630 reads

Anne Steele: 17th Century Writer of Hymns of Sorrow

"...while most hymns written by Watts and his contemporaries are well-written, moving, and scripturally sound, few of them delve into the depths of pain and questioning that characterize some of the Psalms. Anne Steele’s hymns were among these few, as were the hymns and poems by William Cowper" - Cloud of Witnesses

550 reads

What the Psalter Should Teach Us about the Songs We Sing

"...if the Psalter is indeed a hymnal for God’s people, then shouldn’t we also make sure that our own singing covers both the full breadth of Christian doctrine and the full range of human emotion? Our singing should consist of more than pithy praise choruses. We need to sing songs that boldly proclaim all the truths contained in God’s Word." - 9 Marks

1008 reads

How Might We Glorify God in His Attributes? (Part 1)

Calvin on God’s Powers

John Calvin’s treatment of Psalm 145 offers some great ruminations about the attributes of God. The psalm can be broken down into three parts:

Verses 1-3 are David on his own speaking of the greatness of God celebrating God’s praise.

Verses 4-9 speak of David bringing in the people of whom he is king and bringing them to praise and prompting them to consider God’s greatness and goodness.

Verses 10-21 he brings in the whole of creation; he is not satisfied with just himself praising God or with Israel praising God, but he wants the whole of God’s creation to do what it ought to do, which is to look at the revelation of God that He has given and to respond in worship and praise to Him.

Calvin deals with Psalm 145 he speaks of his comments on verse one: “since God is constant in extending mercies, it would be highly improper in us to faint in his praises.” He continues by saying that even when David was in his ascendancy he did not permit his royal trappings to “interfere with the glory due to God” (John Calvin, Commentary on Psalm 145:1).

It doesn’t matter what we are in this world, God is far above us, God is transcendent, God is King over us, and our proper position is of worshipers. Calvin then refers to being overwhelmed by “the immensity of His power.” Calvin means that we are brought out of ourselves and our condition by our ruminations upon God and His wonders.

1370 reads

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