Monday, July 4, 2011

The Morning After: Will You Give Thanks? (Psalm 34)

Yesterday, I started a series just for the month of July that I am calling Summer in the Psalms. This is one of those things I have always wanted to do when I became a Senior Pastor and had some control over the preaching calendar. I know that usually the month of July is a time when many people go on vacation. It is hard to continue in a series that builds upon each other. So, I have always wanted to take very July and preach through selective Psalms. I hope I can do it each year.

I started with Psalm 34, which has always been one of my favorites. And the context of this Psalm means everything to understanding it. In most translations, there is a subtitle to the Psalm that says something like this:
"A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed."
This is a reference to the events that took place in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. David was on the run for his life. He was anointed to be the King of Israel, but the only problem was that Saul was still the recognized king and wanted him dead. Saul had tried several time to kill David and was chasing him all through the countryside of Israel trying to end his life.

This was a particularly difficult time for David because he had just left his best friend, Jonathan. He was all alone, on the run for his life. In fact, the time was so difficult that he found himself running into the land of the Philistines, to the King of Gath. This is just a few years after killing their giant, Goliath. As he gets there, he is so scared for his life that he pretends to be insane. He drools on himself. He scratches and claws things. He does such a good acting job that the King of Gath doesn't want to kill him, but doesn't want him around. He kicks him out of his country.

We are told in 1 Samuel 22:1 that the only place he finds to stay is in some cave in Adullam. It was from here that he writes this Psalm and says,
"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (vs. 1)
Did you get that? He was going to give thanks in all things, praise God in all things. Would you say that you are a thankful person? My main point:

As Christians, We Should Be Thankful Because Even When We Are At The End Of Our Ropes, The Lord Is There To Comfort Us!

Do you believe that? I gave Five Reasons To Be Thankful.

1. The Lord Invites Us To Worship Him (vs. 1-3)
2. The Lord Answers Prayers For Help (vs. 4-7)
3. The Lord Provides Ultimate Fulfillment (vs. 8-10)
4. The Lord Has Given Us Rules To Find Joy (vs. 11-14)
5. The Lord Is Favorable Toward The Righteous (vs. 15-22)

If you want to listen to the entire sermon, you can find it posted HERE (usually by noon on Tuesday).

What Do You Have To Be Thankful For?

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