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June 8, 2020 10:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit begins a chapel series entitled “Encountering God.” This series is from the book of the Psalms.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University travel platform today on The Daily Platform. Dr. Steve Pettit will begin a new study series from the book of Psalms entitled encountering God and with us today to introduce the series is Dr. Alan Benson, VP for student development and discipleship at Bob Jones University. Alan, thanks for being here.
It's my pleasure to be here today. What a wonderful opportunity we have two consider together the book of Psalms, and particularly with the focus of encountering God. Psalms would be the preeminent example of Hebrew poetry in one of the wonders of Hebrew poetry is that it provides us a means of encountering God in our reality. Psalms gives us a means of giving biblical expression to our emotions as you watch that the various types of Psalms. At times, if you don't read into the right lens, they can almost seem frustrating someone is overwhelmed or they can seem somewhat detached from life until you read them all in their context and actually is bringing both of those truths together.
It is giving an expression to that the struggles of life. Whether an adversary is against me or it seems like I'm completely encompassed by my circumstances and so there's an accurate means of Beverly giving voice to those emotions and yet they follow this rise and fall that manages to bring an encounter with God into those circumstances, the psalmist asked where's my God, and by the time he's done he's giving voice to an answer. He's been here all along my fellow seems to be overwhelming me.
My God is my strong armor I he's my high tower and so Psalms gives us a wonderful opportunity to deal with life in its reality and encounter God in that reality. Well I'm excited to begin this series and I want to remind our listeners that there's a study booklet called encountering God and we would invite you to study along with us, you can get the study booklet on Kindle or you can get it from our website. The Daily Platform.com this morning as we began our series on encountering God.
A study of the Psalms. I want to make sure that all of you did get our book that is been published and it is for your own personal benefit. I would encourage you to bring the book to chapel and make it a part of your study because many of the notes that I'm going to be giving my sermons are actually in the book itself and also you can keep the notes from chapel right here and have them with you all the times I'd encourage you to do that in your estimation what you think is ranked the most popular book in all the Bible to read their 66 books what's number one well if your answer is the Psalms, then your answer is correct because the Psalms are consistently ranked number one book that people go to to read when they have time to read Scripture. So the question this morning is why what is it that makes the Psalms so appealing to the people of God. Why is it that God's people turned this these chapters so consistently in the autobiography of the early church father Augustine entitled confessions. He quotes the Psalms on nearly every page. Why because Augustine saw that when he was saved. The Psalms were central to the reorientation of his life towards God that is in the reading of the Psalms. He was constantly orienting his life spiritually and morally. He spoke of being set on fire when he read the Psalms and most importantly he viewed this us all. As the story of his own soul. It's like he's reading his own life. In the song. It's as if God is telling the story of Augustine's own heart and that's why you and I are so connected to the Psalms 1 writer Trevor Longman writes the Psalms appeals to the whole person.
It informs our intellect. It arouses our emotions. It directs our wills and it stimulates our imagination when we read the Psalms.
With faith we come away Shane. It is through the Psalms that we have life changing encounters with God and that's our hope. This semester, that is you get into the Psalms that you will not only see yourself, but you will see your God, and the connection to both. So here's a question like this.
Have you ever felt like you encountered God when you read the Psalms 1982 I was a youth pastor in Saginaw, Michigan area. We took our seniors from a Christian school down to the wilds for the annual senior trip early one morning I got up and went up to a room there and the logical wilds to have my morning devotion at the same time I was.
I was personally having a real struggle in my ministry. That wasn't the ministry that was the problem it was the fact that I was struggling financially.
I was living own youth pastor wages when I started in the youth ministry. I made $250 a week.
That's a little over $10,000 a year when I started in the ministry. I felt like tithing is just kind of the lowest level of giving to God because if you don't have your thief sound like one step above a thief so I was gay 20% back to God's eyes, giving $50 out of our $200 paycheck back out at 250 a paycheck. Back to the church and we were living on $200 a week when our second year we started to build a building program called together we built and of course as a staff member and I'm responsible to give so I decided to give another of tie to the building program so we change the name personally from together, we grow to together we die because I was living on $175 a week.
I gave my wife $35 a week for food. We had to buy all kinds of stuff and so it was extremely tight. I was driving an old Baptist beater car you know basic youth pastor and it was okay for short period of time, but after couple of years got really really old. We barely had enough money to buy even any furniture for a house and for a while we had almost hardly any furniture in our living room is over process of time I got irritated and I remember going down the wilds kind of chairing this irritation with me and I went up to that room that morning in my Bible reading was through Psalms and I came to Psalm 73 and I had a revival, because in it. The rider I guy name Asaph says that he almost fell away from God the kid because he became envious at the foolish because of the prosperity of the wicked because I had a business degree from college. I have a lot of my friends there were already in business and they were making good salaries, buying homes, driving nice cars, and here I was having hardly anything, and I found myself becoming envious and all of a sudden it was confrontation and he goes down and he talks about all that the wicked yet it seems like they have so much there, prosperous, and then and then the righteous have so little and then God chastens them and that sort of the process of the Psalm until you get closer to the end and then it says he was foolish and he almost fell away from God until he went into the house of God, and he understood there and that is the end of the wicked. Then he began to realize of course he was foolish he began to see what he had in God and his eternal destiny with the Lord in this fellowship with God and become to the end of the Psalm, and says, who do I have in heaven. But the and there's not a punter that is are beside the my heart my strength fail of God is a strength. My heart and my portion forever, and I remember reading that psalm in their meeting with God and coming to resolution that God is my strength and he is my portion and he is enough for me, a God encounter with the Psalms. What happens when we encounter God in the Psalms. When Moses encountered God speaking out of a burning bush in the Sinai desert. What did he do the Scripture says that he takes off his shoes and irreverently reverently worships God the Psalms were written so that we can hear God's voice directly and worship God reverently. One writer says the Psalms illuminates the mind for the purpose of in kindling the soul.
Indeed, to put it on fire.
It may indeed be said that the purpose of the Psalms is to turn the soul into a burning bush.
Are you on fire for God, have you had God literally stir your soul. Perhaps no one understood this better than David.
He was the primary author of 50% of the Psalms Samuel describe David in a way that I think summarizes David's experience of encountering God for Samuel says that David was a man after God's own heart. When you encountered God you pursue him. David had multiple personal encounters with God and express them in the soul's doctor let solo will be speaking here in our Bible conference calls these encounters getting on the IM level with God. That means to be real and honest with who you are where you are in the light of who God is and when David encountered God on that level.
He responded to God in humble dependence and obedient.
So here's my hope for this semester that you will personally have encounters with God on that I am level as we study the Psalms and hopefully you'll take off your shoes and your worship God.
So this morning, I'd like to just began with as we start this journey of encountering God through the Psalms. I like to start with just some basic overall important elements of the book of Psalms, because obviously there hundred and 50 chapters were not going to study them. All were going to look at 10 select Psalms were some basic overall things about the Psalms number one personal limit began with special features, I think we all know the Psalms is the largest book in the Bible. It has 150 chapters in 2461 versus what's the longest chapter in the Bible. It's usually in the Bible and in the Psalms.
What is it somewhat Psalm Psalm 119 is a challenging one to memorize. By the way, what's the shortest Saul Psalm 117. It's only two verses Psalm 117 is the middle chapter of the Bible the center of the 1189 chapters in the Bible. Psalm 118 verse eight is the center of the over 31,000 verses contained in the Scripture is the middle verse of the Bible Psalms is written by more authors than any other book in the Bible I mentioned earlier, but David is the chief offer author of the songs he's written 75 of the hundred Psalms took the longest time to ride it was over a period of somewhere between 900 and a thousand years, dating all the way back to Moses who wrote Psalm 90 all the way forward to Psalm 126 that was written after the Babylonian Babylonian exile.
I think this is important. Psalms is the most quoted Old Testament book of the New Testament of the 300 and 360 Old Testament quotations and allusions in the New Testament hundred and 12 of them are from the Psalms. The Psalms mentions more about Jesus than any other book in the Old Testament that they were the most important things about the Psalms is that when it was written.
The Psalms was the Jewish hymnbook so we look at Psalms what were looking at is were actually looking at a hymnal so it was intended to be sung by the Jewish people. So that's the special features.
The second thing is actually this the style of the Psalms, Psalms, or Hebrew poetry that when we write. He written we write Portree we we write it primarily with rhyme and meter okay so everything has to rhyme together Hebrew Hebrew poetry is quite different. It's written more with parallel thoughts. So when you read the Psalms you read it like it with two lines in there and the first line in the second line parallel each other so that you take in turn to Psalm six if you will. Psalm six and I want you to see some of the parallelism because the most common parallelism is what we call synonymous. That is the second line is essentially saying what the first line says just slightly different. The second one is an and antithetic, which is the opposite.
So the second line will say the opposite of the first line and then the synthetic is more the second line builds on the first line. So as we look at Psalms 6 very short 10 versus as I read through it just which one is that which which, parallelism is verse 10 Lord rebuke me, not in nine anger neither chasten me in the hot displeasure synonymous, have mercy upon me.
Oh Lord, rhyme, week oh Lord, heal me for my bones are vexed okay what is he doing saying basically the same idea, just expanded a little bit. My soul is also sore backs. But now, oh Lord, how long that's the opposite Psalms there is antithetic verse for return no more deliver my soul. Oh, save me, for thy mercy's sake, that's a prayer. The synonymous verse five, four, and death.
There's no remembrance of the in the grave, who shall give thee thanks again synonymous verse six.
I'm weary with my groaning all the night, make I my bed to swim.
I water my couch with my tears.
That's called synthetic is building owned and more climactic. Verse seven mine I is consumed because of grief and wax it though because of all mine enemies again that synonymous so I'll stop there. You can read more if you will. The idea is when you're reading it.
The second line is parallel with the first line and also the Psalms were written in such a way to to create imagination so there many colorful pictures in the Psalms. Let's take Psalm 23 probably the easiest one. What are the colorful words that are expressed in Psalm 23 that give us images. The Lord is my wife. He makes me lie down in. He leaves me besides the still waters. He restores my soul. Yay though I walk through the valley of the what yeah you got pictures. You anoint my head with oil you you prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of the type of my life by Rod and my staff they comfort me. All of these are word pictures and what is that teaches it teaches about the Hebrew mind, and his attitude towards God. For example in that timeframe. There's a Greek world and there's the Hebrew world and there's a Greek mindset and Hebrew mindset so if I were to ask you. So which which kind of mindset do you have about God if I would ask you today. What is God like you would say God is what say you say something say something.
Yeah, God's holy God's why good gods, what great God's merciful God's righteous God's just okay so that's what you think about God is very clear that you have a Greek mindset besought because you actually see God more and concepts, ideas, but if you would ask a Jew what's God like you would say, well, God's like a rock God like a shepherd God like a strong tower because they thought more in word pictures. They the bid. There are more images and when you have a picture you have an image. What does it affect. It affects both your thoughts and it affects your emotions included in the styles of the Psalms are various types of Psalms. These are different than when you read the Psalms you see that and so their differing opinions on how many genres of Psalms.
There are but not taken the seven different types of Psalms in the book by Trumper Longman in his book on how to read the Saul and so there are seven of them. There's wisdom salts that is Psalms that point to how to live a godly life were going to look at one of those.
Psalm one then there Psalms of lament, almost 1/3 of the Psalms or Psalms of lament. That's basically meaning that life is hard. My situation stinks. My life is difficult, but God you're still good.
Imagine almost 1/3 of the Psalms or Psalms of lament and so were going to look at two of those Psalm 51 and Psalm 90 then there certain Royal Psalms.
These are Psalms to speak of the prophecy of the coming of Christ were not going to be able to take time to look at one of those but one of the most famous are Psalm 110. Then there him. Psalm songs Psalms of praise to God were going to look at Psalm 100 there Thanksgiving Psalms expressed gratitude to God for his blessings and were going to look at three of those.
Psalm 19 139 and 150 there Psalms of remembrance.
The speak of the history of the Jewish people and what God did through their history.
Because history is his story. And finally, confidence solves Psalms and acknowledged trusting and relying in God to protect us to provide for us to give us his power and peace were going to look at two of those Psalm 23. In Psalm 121 and then the third area I just want to say a few words about are the superscriptions of the Psalms, and you see those that is little titles written underneath the Saul. There are hundred and 16 taught Psalms and have a variety of titles, headings and notations added in its beginning, for various reasons. For one, it may identify the author. Secondly, it may establish the circumstance in which it was written. This was going on at this time so you can go back and read about in the Old Testament, or it may explain how it should be sung or played on a variety of musical instruments. What's interesting to me is that we we have the solves we have the lyrics but we really don't have any tunes. There are no if I could say in this way, God ordained specific tunes. They were to write those tunes out but they were to be song by using particular instruments.
These superscriptions were included to assist the worship leader in the congregation as to how the Psalms were to be sung.
These superscriptions were preserved and therefore we should consider them as a part of the author's original composition. Perhaps the most famous superscription is what we see all the time is the word seal ISE LAH is found 71 times in the Psalm you probably sing that the meaning is debatable. Some believe is a change of musical accompaniment.
Some believe is like time for an interlude like we would say taking a break in the song.
Some think it's a notice to begin a new section so the sections are divided by the see lots most people think it's a calls to Paul's and to reflect or simply to take time to meditate and think about it.
So the question then, as we finish this morning. Is this how do we encounter God through the Psalms personally on a daily basis and three very simple, practical things. We need to do. Number one, we need to study and meditate on this meditation is the act of thinking. The Scripture over and over and over. This begins by reading, but it also means that you need to take time and write down your observations.
What we call this we call this journaling.
I started journaling before that was even a popular word and that is you read the Scriptures and at the same time you write your thoughts down. It's very difficult to read the Bible without engaging your mind because your mind wanders you read the whole chapter you don't remember anything. Read so what you do you take UPN you take your paper or you use your computer and you start typing out your thoughts and your ideas. That's called meditation, reading, and observing it inch in journaling, you can make a biography of God, look at how God reveals himself in each song. Focus your attention on what God is like and what is stated about his own character. One writer said that Augustine spent an hour of every day for several decades, meditating on the book of Psalms verse by verse.
In this fashion he put into writing his reflection on the Saul so practically you could read a Psalm a day. If you read one Psalm a day you read the book of Psalms twice a year.
You can read through five Psalms a day. That's not hard today are due generally and you can go through the entire Psalms in a month you can study the Psalm of your year. That's what I do so every year I am a birthday I get a new birthday. I get a new song.
So this year my Psalm is Psalm 39 so it's been a great year. As of and studying the word, so I encourage you to do that since study the Psalms number two.
Pray the Psalms and I would really want to really emphasize this led the book of Psalms be your prayer guide. It was in itself. It's a series of prayers the meaning of the Hebrew name for Psalms is praise, then this is what we should be doing when we use them so you can take the Psalms. Instead of trying to play your own faults. Meditate on the solves and then turn it in prayer. Back to God.
So today that's what I did because today is the 15th of the month and so I prayed through Psalm 15 this morning and when you do that you meditate on the Scripture and it does something to your heart and your soul. So pray the solves and then finally sing the Psalms.
The Psalms were both the Jewish prayer book and the Jewish songbook. And when you saying you get emotionally engaged in the truth.
The truth comes alive and I would encourage you.
For example, Psalm 25 verse one it's it's a Psalm at least we used to sing when I was a youth pastor under the old Lord, do I lift up my so on to the overload. Do I lift up my so and you can sing that wherever you are. Oh my God I trust in the let me not be ashamed that not by the enemies triumph over the is the first solo I've ever saw Bob Jones University but sing it from your heart.
I'm not really expecting any applause. Believe okay Dr. Cook is not asked me to be in his choir. Okay I got but it doesn't matter. You make a joyful what noise and you saying in your heart you know some of you never saying except when you're required.
But God intended for us to be singing people singing it from our hearts and melody and worship to God. That's why the Psalms were written so that we would have this experience of worshiping and encountering God. So this semester when I just got a study it, but hopefully we will experience you been listening to a sermon from Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University from the study series encountering God, which is a study from the book of Psalms we would urge you to get a copy of the study booklet so you can follow along as you listen to the sermons you can get the booklet on Kendall or get a printed copy from our website. The Daily Platform.com. Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we continue the study of Psalms here on The Daily Platform