Songs of Strength (Psalms 14-22)

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength.”
—John Muir

Why do mountains and oceans, the sun and stars move us as deeply as great art?

Because they are great art.

Nevertheless, we know that good, nonverbal communication is easily misunderstood. We need something more. We need Revelation!

“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”
― Abraham Kuyper

Nature tells us about God’s reality and power (Psalm 19:1-6) — and even our best attempts at quantifying His power and reality fall short — yet this “natural revelation” fall short, for the message is bigger and better: of His saving Grace! (See Psalm 19:7-14.)

Psalms 14-22

Message title: Songs of Strength (Psalms 14-22)
Third week of Summer Psalms coincides with the sixth week of #RenewSummer with the Story Catechism
Scriptures: Psalms 14-22
Preacher: Jeff Patterson
Date: 7/24/16

Listen or download:

These Psalms have a collection of themes, of emphases from God, to shape our prayers, which is one an important way in which the Father shapes our lives.

The tenth chapter of the Story Catechism is focused on the desperation Adam and Eve felt to be close to their Father again:

Adam and Eve were now sinners.
As hard as they tried, Adam and Eve could not fix what was broken.
They never stopped needing God.
And God could never stop loving them.
But the story doesn’t end there.

Story Catechism

Scripture readings:

Psalm 19:1-6 (NLT)

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world.

God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.
    It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.
The sun rises at one end of the heavens
    and follows its course to the other end.
    Nothing can hide from its heat.

Psalm 14:1-4 (ESV)

The Fool Says, There Is No God

To the choirmaster. Of David.

14 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
    there is none who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
    to see if there are any who understand,
    who seek after God.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good,
    not even one.

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
    who eat up my people as they eat bread
    and do not call upon the Lord?

Psalm 18:1-6 (ESV)

The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

18 I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me;
    the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
    to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears.

Psalm 22:1 (NLT)

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Why are you so far away when I groan for help?

Psalm 18:49-50 (NLT)

49 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
    I will sing praises to your name.
50 You give great victories to your king;
    you show unfailing love to your anointed,
    to David and all his descendants forever.

Psalm 19:7-14 (NLT)

The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
    reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right,
    bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
    giving insight for living.
Reverence for the Lord is pure,
    lasting forever.
The laws of the Lord are true;
    each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold,
    even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
    even honey dripping from the comb.
11 They are a warning to your servant,
    a great reward for those who obey them.

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
    Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
    and innocent of great sin.

14 May the words of my mouth
    and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Gigapixels of Andromeda

As mentioned and seen in person during the message, on January 4th, 2015 the NASA Hubble Space Telescope released the biggest image ever taken of the Andromeda Galaxy. (See NASA and 4K video.)

The resulting image is 65,536 x 22,230 pixels (a total of 1.5 billion pixels, requiring 4.3GB of disk space). This is our nearest galactic neighbor, and this “small” glimpse is startling and awe-inspiring.

This sweeping bird's-eye view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbor. Credits: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and L.C. Johnson (University of Washington), the PHAT team, and R. Gendler.

This sweeping bird’s-eye view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbor.
Credits: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and L.C. Johnson (University of Washington), the PHAT team, and R. Gendler.

Currently, Andromeda and the Milky Way are about 2.5 million light-years apart. Fueled by gravity, the two galaxies are hurtling toward one another at 250K mph. (But even at that speed, they won’t meet for another four billion years.)

Psalms: Songs of Strength
Audio for this teaching may be played above, and is included in the RENEW Church podcastsubscribe in iTunes here, or access the church podcast feed directly here.

This year we each of us are invited on an adventure to look up and love God first. What will be your plan to develop a new rhythm of seeking God each day? » Find some help here.

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