Jun - Aug 2019

Psalms 1 & 150

Barry Rodriguez

Aug 4, 2019

All summer we've talked all about the extreme range of human emotions found in the psalms: from the heights of joy and the depths of despair. Hopefully, it's been a moving and thought-provoking series for you.

Psalm 1
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Psalm 150
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heaven!
Praise him for his mighty works;
praise his unequaled greatness!
Praise him with a blast of the ram's horn;
praise him with the lyre and harp!
Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
praise him with strings and flutes!
Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Today, as we bring the series to a close, we're going to do something a little different. Instead of diving deep into one specific psalm, we're going to take a step back and considerthe book of psalms as a whole. Let's take a few moments and think about what falls between Psalms 1 and 150. It's what we've been talking about throughout this whole series.

  • Psalms of Orientation - psalms which describe the order and goodness of Creation, the presence of a loving God, his righteousness and justice experienced in the world.

  • Psalms of Disorientation - psalms which lament that perfect world being broken. These are the heart-wrenching psalms which wrestle with the disarray and chaos of sin and violence and death all around us. As we've seen, sometimes they're brutally honest - even shockingly raw.

  • Psalms of New Orientation - these are psalms of gratitude and praise which spring out of the surprising new life found in a God who saves. God comes through for the psalm writers in their disorientation, and they respond with joy and delight and praise.

The story of the Psalms is the story of our world - God's beautiful design, the brokenness of sin and death, and the redemption of it all through New Creation.

Look at how the unfailing love of God - his hesed - has played out again and again through brokenness, through pain, through loss, through grief, through loneliness, through confusion, through doubt.