August 11, 2009

Telling a Psalm

I was challenged recently at a Simply the Story workshop to also use the psalms in bible storying. The Psalms are quite different than stories and harder to learn and teach, but they are part of God’s word and they stick just like stories do. There is something very memorable and comforting in the way the Psalms re-tell the acts of God and announce the character of God. Sometimes you can connect a Psalm to another story of Scripture and open its meaning even further.

Sunday I was a guest speaker at another traditional church in the big city. I decided to try using Psalm 90 and 91 for the two services.

Psalm 90 is a prayer of Moses and is connected to the time when the Israelite men were denied entry into the Promised Land for the rest of their lives because of their rejection of God’s command to enter. The 40 years that they wandered in the desert wilderness were the years where this prayer has it’s initial context. I prayed this Psalm then told chapter 14 of Numbers. We then learned many things from Psalm 90.

Psalm 91 is a psalm about the Lord’s faithful protection of the godly and how he delivers them from dangers of war and plague. They do not suffer the wrath of God like the disobedient do. This was the psalm that the Devil used to tempt Jesus to throw himself from the top of the temple in Luke 4. I told this story after the psalm, so that we could learn from how Satan tried to misapply the promise of God and how Jesus applied it correctly.

Preparing psalms takes more time than stories, and to be honest, I did not use the STS method this time out, but am anxious to do that in a small group soon.

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