So get your Bibles out if you brought them or your devices if you would prefer to use those we’re going to read from Psalms and start a chapter 107 verses 8 and 9 let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love for his wonderful works to humankind for he satisfies the thirsty and the hungry he feels with good.
Things and then reading from Psalm chapter 44 verses 23 and 24 rouse yourself why do you sleep O Lord awake do not cast us off forever why do you hide your face why do you forget our affliction and oppression and then from.
Psalms chapter 145 verses 1 through 3 I will extol you my God and king and bless your name forever and ever every day I.
Will bless you and praise your.
Name forever and ever great is the Lord and greatly to be praised his greatness is unsearchable as we begin though again we are spending these weeks looking at the Bible it is a book but it’s not just a book it is a collection it is a library there are 66 books contained within these pages we call the first 39 of them the Old.
Testament written primarily in Hebrew they take place before the life and death and resurrection of Jesus the remaining 27 we call the New Testament written in Greek after the life and death and resurrection of Jesus these 66 books are written by countless authors they are written over thousands of years and the stories and instruction and wisdom and poetry contained in these pages have inspired people through the centuries to live and to be engaged in their communities so that their communities might further come to reflect God’s kingdom here on.
Earth again I realized that to address the contents of this great book in five weeks we’ll be able to only barely scratch the surface but my hope would be that will find woven through these weeks the significant themes about God’s creative generosity the God as we talked about last week that creates everything that is and then invites us as human beings to be.
Caregivers and to be stewards that we would come to further understand that everything that we have and everything that we are comes first.
As a gift from God and I believe that the more that we can come to live into and understand that reality the more we can reflect the generous goodness of God for the world around us and so these stories in these.
Pages these 66 books it is my hope that the more we come to understand the stories of God’s love for us contained in these pages the more that we can exist.
And live for the good of the city now last week I joked about how we would begin by a quick.
Overview of the first 18 books in the Bible Genesis through Job and we really didn’t look at all of them in great detail.
We just grabbed three different snapshots to paint the picture of God’s work in creation but today we turn our attention to just one.
Of the books of the Bible it’s the 19th if you’re keeping track the Book of Psalms located right in the middle of your Bible if you were to just open it up kind of in the halfway place you would likely fall into the Book of Psalms.
Somewhere the Psalms are a collection of songs the 150 that are in our Hebrew Scriptures were the songbook of ancient Israel now as we think about that phrase the songbook understand it was never put together like the hymnal and the pews in front of you right it was never.
Like here’s the synagogue songbook but these 150 songs were sung shaping the communal life of the people of God as they sought to live in relationship with one another and with God if you look at the 150 Psalms you’ll find in their.
Great rich poetry even on the pages as you look it’s laid out as poetry we don’t always know the tunes to which they were sung or chanted but the poetry continues to.
Tell those rich stories of God’s love as we look at the Bible today even if you open up to the very beginning of.
The Book of Psalms many Bibles will say book 1 and within the songs themselves they are broken down and divided into five different books I think it’s.
Confusing that we call those books it’s probably more appropriate to call them sections because the Book of Psalms is a book into itself.
Five sections are one way that the text can be divided up my preferred division of the texts though is more thematic and there are lots of different.
Ways to do this different people at different times have broken the Psalms down into different groups but I find it most helpful to focus on three and those are the three and Jana read an example of each of those three types of Psalms we’ll look at those briefly this morning with the hope that we can understand.
How they are shaping us and forming us those three types of songs our Psalms of Thanksgiving Psalms of lament and the Psalms of praise and the hope is that as we come to understand the collective beauty of this songbook that the songs of ancient.
Israel captured in the Psalms will help us better understand and experience the work of God in our lives and in the world today now solvents of thanksgiving is where we begin hymns and.
The psalms and these songs that were a part of communal worship were almost exclusively communal songs not individual songs there would be a song leader that was leading worship in the temple but it was rare at for it to be a solo you know it was not that a person would come and stand.
Before the gathered body and sing and the gathered body would just kind of sit back and think oh they’re a little flat today oh I really like this song I mean it wasn’t about kind of having that performance mindset that often exists it was about that leader leading the collective people of God together in singing community songs about what God had done in the lives of the community and so when those psalms of thanksgiving were sung they were not always just about one person saying I am thankful for this thing.
They were community songs sung with Thanksgiving for what God had done in the.
Midst of that community the first of those songs that Janet read from this morning is a psalm of thanksgiving Psalm 107 I want to point you just to those eighth and.
Ninth verses that she read again if you’d open your Bible to Psalm 107 you’ll find it there.
And this is an example if you look at the top of that Psalm at least in this study bible it says book 5 Psalm 107 -.
150 so this is the first of that fifth Division of the Psalms verses 8 and 9 I invite you to hear these words of.
Thanksgiving that come from the community let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love for his wonderful works to humankind for he satisfies the thirsty and the hungry he fills with.
Good things it is a song of Thanksgiving for the way in which God has provided for that community in that time a psalm of thanksgiving for god’s provision it is an acknowledgment that anything that persons have to drink comes as.
A gift from God and anything that persons have to eat comes as a gift from God and so as we sing the Psalms of Thanksgiving as we today pray and study the Psalms of thanksgiving the hope is that it helps us assume that posture.
Of gratitude and understand that everything that we have and everything that we are comes to us through the work of God.
In our lives that we can be thankful for that so often it seems we fall into the trap of thinking that if we have something if we have something to eat if we have something to drink it’s because we earned it and.
Because we’re worthy and because we’re good enough our entire system of living and community is structured around that idea that you have to earn what you get but the Grace and.
The economy of God that gives freely gives to those who are thirsty and gives to those who are hungry something to eat and something to drink and we are invited as stewards and caregivers of God’s creation to receive those gifts but not to hoard them and.
Hold them for ourselves but to share.
Them in community so that everybody has access to those.
Things that are needed when we sing the Psalms of Thanksgiving they can help us better understand and experience what God has done for us and is doing in our lives.
And in the world the second of the types of Psalms are Psalms of lament and there are often in the divisions that people make about different types of Psalms they talk about individual lament and communal lament but for the sake of our brief time this morning we will weave those together and talk about lament generally this is a psalm that cries.
Out in anguish the lament is a psalm that indicates.
That something is not right and that God’s presence is needed in the midst of that time throughout the Psalms you’ll read expressions of people crying out in pain and crying out in.
Anguish and crying out in the in Justices that people are facing and as those cries come they indicate a dependence upon God and it allows us to remember that even in the midst of those most difficult.
And painful times God is with us one of my favorite of the Psalms of lament is the 23rd it’s believed that King David wrote the 23rd psalm after learning that his son had been killed by his troops in battle and so when he speaks about the God who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death it is a crying out that he in the midst of those difficult times we look to God for support and for.
Strength and then finally transitioning to psalms of praise if psalms of thanksgiving are giving thanks to god for specific things that God has done and Psalms of lament are crying out to God in anguish.