Thankfully Assigned Hard Work
It was good to worship with you all this past Sunday. Following the service, I told Pastor Jones that I thought his sermon on Psalm 136 was one of the better sermons I’d ever heard from anyone. I also told him I was going to “rip it off” and not give him credit. (That’s a joke, in case you missed it.)
I have not often preached from an assigned text, but that’s what I’ll be doing Sunday morning at CPC. You have been fed rich food the past few weeks, as you’ve heard sermons based upon various Psalms. Several weeks ago, Pastor Jones asked if I would be available to preach July 28. I eagerly accepted his kind invitation. Then, he assigned me the Psalm from which he wanted me to preach, Psalm 59.
I have to confess that the first few times I read this Psalm, I thought Pastor Jones was out to get me! I’ve never preached on this Psalm, and my initial readings left me wondering if I would have ever chosen to preach from it on my own. Following Sunday dinner one week, I read this Psalm aloud to family, looking for their insights. All I got were blank stares.
However, I began my study and research. The more I studied this Psalm and consulted my sources, the more excited I became about the opportunity to share with you this wonderful piece of inspired poetry. Now I am looking forward to sharing with you what I pray the Lord has lead me to understand and appreciate. This Psalm’s application to my own life, as I’ve written and rewritten my sermon again and again, has been a profound blessing. I pray it will be to you, as well.
I do have an assignment for you. Please take the time to read Psalms 49-60. They are a unit. Psalms 49-50 summons the people of all the earth and the people of God to hear the Psalmist’s inspired wisdom as he calls upon them to understand who God is, to acknowledge their sins, and to turn to the Lord.
Then, in Psalms 51-60, David speaks of the enemies that are dogging him. In Psalm 51, the dogs are within David as he confesses his sin. In Psalms 52-60, the dogs are all around him. Most of these Psalms are written as David reflects upon particular moments in his life when God delivered him. Repeatedly in these Psalms, as David remembers how God has protected him in the past, he is reassured of the Lord’s steadfast love – the hesed love of which Pastor Jones spoke last week.
As you read, especially Psalm 59, take note of verses 9 and 17. Ask yourselves how these two verses differ and how they are the same.
I look forward to being with you this coming week. For your encouragement and edification, take the time to do as I request. Following this coming Sunday, I won’t be with you most weeks. Beginning the first Sunday in August, I begin preaching regularly at Chattanooga Valley PC, as they seek to identify their next Senior Pastor. Please pray for me. Pray for strength and wisdom as I open God’s Word to these dear people, and pray they quickly find God’s man!