This Sunday morning at 10.15 we meet to worship God together, singing, praising, praying, looking into his Word, the Bible - in the book of Psalms:
At the start of Psalm 3, we read it was written by David 'when he fled from his son Absalom'. What is that all about then?
Well David's life was wonderfully blessed, but also chaotic. He was God's anointed king, but he was far from perfect. Following the scandal he was in with Bathsheba, (something the newspapers today would have loved!) his own family life became a mess as different ones of his children were fighting one another.
In 2 Samuel chapters 11-18 we read of all of this. The short version is this:
- David and Bathsheba have an affair, and her husband is killed off in battle
- David is confronted and confesses
- One of David's sons, Amnon attacks and rapes Tamar, one of his half-sisters. The daughter's other (full) brother, Absalom, then takes revenge and kills Amnon.
- Absalom goes on the run.
- Absalom and David are reconciled but Absalom starts scheming and building up a power base, eventually declaring himself king.
- David runs for his life.
David was a musician and a poet, and as he was hidden away, in his distress he turned to music. What we have here is a prayer in song, as he processes all that is happening and prays to the Lord. He moves from a sense of being overwhelmed by all that is going on, through to a confidence that God will defeat his enemies - rendering them as toothless wild animals who can have no effect, and blessing his people.
There for 4 stanzas to it, and each one shows a step on in his thinking. This is a good model for us in facing trials and troubles. And is it something that even the ultimate king, Jesus Christ, went through as he faced the challenge of the cross and prayed in the garden of Gethsemane?
Stanza 1 - v1,2
Stanza 2 - v3,4
Stanza 3 - v5,6
Stanza 4 - v7,8
Have a read of Psalm 3:
A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
Great words and performance from the Irish couple, Keith and Kristyn Getty.
In Psalm 2 we read about the ideal king - God's king, also described as the anointed one, the messiah, the christ. In Psalm 2 in this is talking about David initially, but it also looks beyond him to his ultimate successor, THE Christ, the Lord Jesus.
But this king is not someone that is always popular with the world at large. Humanity is often hostile to what God wants because we all naturally want to do our own thing, and run our own lives our way; to be in charge of our own lives.
The trouble is, we are not good at this. We run our own lives and along the way hurt ourselves, others, and as a whole, we cannot figure out how to make this thing called 'life' work. That's because we are trying to do what only God can do.
In this psalm the songwriter is thinking of how the leaders of the nations of the world look to throw off God's ways and be 'free'. But God looks on and sees something which is just ridiculous and laughable! Little people thinking they know better than the God who made them, loves them, and is sovereign!
God has his king. Ultimately that is Jesus - king not of a geographical area, but of the world, and one to whom we must all bow one day. Kiss the Son - acknowledge him, worship him, take refuge in his loving leadership.
Here is Psalm 2:
Why do the nations conspire[a]
Psalm 1 shows us the ideal of the man or woman who lives for God and is blessed, happy and contented. This is contrasted with the person who lives without God and without reference to him. It really is 'two ways to live'.
The first person is described as stable, fruitful in their life, strong, long-lasting. The second is described as blown about like the waste chaff on the threshing floor of a barn, and facing the judgement of God.
The key difference? The delighting in God's word - drawing strength from what God has to say in the bible, as a tree draws its strength from the depths of the water through its roots.
How do we draw on strength for life from God's word? We talked about reading, listening to it on mp3/apps, memorising, listening to music, reading it to each other, and meditating on it - really meditating on it. Turning a few verses over in your mind, looking at them in how they can be applied and drawing them out.
We could do a lot worse than start off by doing that with this psalm.
Here is Psalm 1:
Blessed is the one
Over these weeks in Urban Life on Sundays we are looking at some of the Psalms.
They are the songs of the ancient worshippers of the Lord - many written by David, but also by others.
When we read them or sing them, we learn as they instruct us, but we also learn something from them as a model of how to engage with God.
We see what it is to be genuine and honest and humble and real and open and full of wonder.
We see what it is to be people of integrity, people in pain, people struggling with doubts, people wondering what life is all about and how they are going to get through the next day.
We see how to let the truth of God flood our minds and shape our thinking and fill us so that we can move forward.
We see how to honour and praise and worship God in all the breadth of his character, his faithfulness, his sovereign acts through history.
And we we see how to trust him, and how to depend on him.
Sing them with us. Let them shape your walk with God.
Urban Life communities - followers of Jesus living life and bringing life in an urban setting!
The blog gives a snapshot of our life together as we post things we are learning about; things we believe; songs we love; readings and prayers to strengthen and help us; and general information about what is happening in our communities.
So here are updates, reviews, reminders and support for those who are part of our communities, and a chance to 'look in' for those who are interested and wondering what we are all about.