BOOKS ONE TO FIVE OF THE PSALMS, MIKE REEVES SAYS,
PARALLEL BOOKS ONE TO FIVE OF THE BOOKS OF MOSES.
THEREFORE, BOOK ONE OF PSALMS, WOULD HAVE PARALLELS TO GENESIS.
I’M STILL CHECKING TO SEE IF I AGREE, FOR THIS IS SUCH A NEW THOUGHT —
BUT I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THE CREATOR OF THE REVOLVING SOLAR SYSTEMS COULD DO THIS!!
ONE EVIDENCE REEVES MENTIONS IN BOOK ONE IS
THE REPETITION OF MORNING AND EVENING, AS IN CREATION.
PSALM 3 IS A MORNING PSALM, PSALM 4 IS AN EVENING PSALM, PSALM 5 IS A MORNING PSALM.
PSALM 4 GIVES US THE SECRET OF RESTFUL SLEEP,
EVEN WHEN, AS WAS DAVID’S CASE, ARMIES ARE AGAINST US.
THIS LIFE IS CHALLENGING, AND ANXIOUS THOUGHTS CAN MULTIPLY
THERE ARE REAL EARTHLY ENEMIES
HOW CAN WE LIE DOWN IN PEACE AND SLEEP?
This psalm has helped me this week. I have children facing persecution. For the last two weeks I have had trouble sleeping because my eldest son has been repeatedly threatened by a co-worker who has guns. This was a problem I could not fix.
And you have problems you cannot fix.
We need this psalm. And the sermon this week is a treasure — it helped me with the problem I cannot fix, and I’ll tell you more, later in this lesson.
in God’s mercy, I came upon a treasure this week that made Psalm 4 so clear and practical. My (and practically everyone’s) favorite Professor at Covenant Seminary was Jerram Barrs, a wise and gentle man who radiates Christ, as do his books. In a 22 minute sermon, he makes Psalm 4 so clear, and also demonstrates the beauty of excellent expository preaching. What is expository preaching? We’ll look at that first, on Monday, because you need to recognize it and seek it, and then we will hear it beautifully demonstrated by Jerram Barrs. Finally we will do the lesson and apply it to our lives.
It is going to be a practical and helpful week. If you are memorizing a verse from each psalm to help you pray when you don’t have them, I suggest you choose the verse after you do the lesson. We’d love to hear what you chose and why.
I’m also happy to share with your that our own Renee has offered to administrate a closed (and in two weeks it will also become secret) Facebook Account for those who are actively involved in the blog. Here is a place you can post prayer requests or personal pictures to help us know you better. You can still ask for prayer here, but it will help newcomers especially not to feel overwhelmed, if many of you use this resource instead. If you are interested in becoming a member, click here for more information and for Renee’s e-mail should you have questions.
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
MONDAY: RECOGNIZING EXPOSITORY PREACHING
I have a new friend who is a Bible Study Fellowship teacher in Chicago, and she told me how she was mentored to teach. Her mentor said, I want you to say: Verse 1 — and then teach; Verse 2 — and then teach; Verse 3 — and then teach.” Though I think it is possible to to expository teaching without being quite that strict, that would certainly keep you from wandering.
As teachers of the Word, God calls us to teach what His meaning is — not what we want it to say, or to try to make it fit in a topic we want to speak on. The safest way to do that is to keep it in context, going through a book. You also need to keep the book in the context of Scripture, and Jesus Himself told the disciples on the walk to Emmaus that He and the gospel are the heart of the Bible.
I am not saying there is not a place for topical teaching, for there is, but the mainstay of our diet should be expository preaching.
I asked Greg Scharf, who is such a gifted expository preacher and is the head professor of preaching at Trinity Seminary, “What is the difference between expository preaching and gospel-centered preaching?”
He said, “There shouldn’t be. Expository preaching should always reveal the gospel or Christ — but sometimes preachers get so excited about the trees, they lose the forest.” This week, when you hear Barrs, I want you also to see how he uncovers the gospel. Keller, of course, is a master at this, heating our hearts as we see Christ clearly every time.
Read this article (LINK), and then share your comments.
2. What comments do you have on the above article? Where are you getting good expository preaching.
TUESDAY: TAKE NOTES ON THIS 22 MINUTE SERMON ON PSALM 4.
Sermon link here. (By Jerram Barrs)
3. Share your notes.
4. How was this a good example of expository preaching that was also gospel-centered?
WEDNESDAY/FRIDAY: BIBLE STUDY
5. Read Psalm 4:1
A. What does David call God and what does this mean? How do you see the gospel?
B. Satan reminds us of our failures so that we are hesitant to come boldly to God and cry for help. How can you overcome the enemy with the gospel truth?
The above reminded me of what our own Elizabeth shared in a former post:
I have noticed lately how often I lay in bed at the end of the day and feel guilt. Over words said or left unsaid. Actions I could have taken but didn’t, others I regret taking. But the Gospel has washed away all guilt. Perfect love casts out all fear. I have not only been pardoned, but have been given the gift, a new identity. I am no longer a guilty child, but beloved, though broken, I am His beloved.
He is “the God of our righteousness.” No matter what we’ve done, in Him, we are as pristine as new fallen snow.
When I was snowbound last week, I kept looking outside and seeing the gospel.
6. In addition to remembering that it is God who makes him righteous, David is recalling past mercies. How do you see that in verse 1?
7. Recall a past mercy of your own and thank God for it here.
8. Read Psalm 4:2-3
A. What lament is in verse 2?
B. What truth does David speak to his soul in verse 3?
C. What lament do you have right now — and what truth can you tell your soul — right here?
9. Read Psalm 4:4-5
A. It was illuminating to me that Barrs said that now David is praying for his enemies. How does he pray?
B. Now you pray for those who are against you or those whom you love.
This was the part of the sermon that helped me with my fear for my son who was being threatened by a real enemy. I began to pray that this co-worker would search his heart on his bed and see his sin. We have hope this is happening for he did apologize to my son. My son is developing compassion for this co-worker, seeing his brokenness. And my son has peace. (Do I? Not completely — though I am sleeping again, and I know I can put my son in God’s hands.)
10. Read Psalm 4:6-8
A. What answer is there to the taunt of verse 6a in verse 6b? Do you remember where 6b is from?
B. In what does David rejoice in verse 7?
C. If God has done this for you, thank Him here.
D. What is the result of this prayer, according to verse 8?
E. Barrs said this didn’t necessarily mean physical safety, but eternal safety. Comment.
11. What is your take-a-way and why?