Sports have gripped the soul of our culture, and they are not about to let go. ESPN and Fox Sports usher us from one mountaintop religious experience to another. Sports trigger our adrenaline and fire our passions. We are possessed, enthralled, and captivated by the spiritual power of sports. They do more than entertain us; they define us. There are so many positive reasons to participate in sports, as both athlete and spectator, that if I were to list them all, we might surmise that a few excesses in the name of sports should be no big deal.
Psalm 29 – The Voice of the Lord Vital worship in the first person is invited to take a knee. Instead of confessing, repenting, pleading, and praising, we are summoned to behold and listen. The creation psalms re-calibrate the soul. They refresh the worshiper. There is a reprieve from the usual demands of the soul. Just for an interlude personal intensity is not front and center.
Psalm 72 – The One Greater Thank Solomon Psalm 72 completes the three psalm sequence that concludes Book II. The third panel in this worship triptych is a royal psalm. The people of God are led to pray for the king, specifically that the king will be endowed with God’s justice and God’s righteousness. They pray that the king will champion the cause of the poor and needy, that his reign will endure like the sun and moon, and that he will be honored among the nations and known for his compassion.
Psalm 71 Resilient Saints To enter into the spirit of this psalm is to embrace the all-encompassing reality of “always” – always trusting, always praising. This is necessary to know the health and wholeness of relying completely on the Lord, our rock and our refuge. This is the all that must not be evaded but embraced by all who desire to please God, because God’s holy claim rests equally on all.
Psalm 70 – Hurry, Lord, Help The human condition is fallen and broken. We are in danger from every conceivable angle, from our own sinful nature to a vast array of enemies who lurk in the shadows to pounce. The cry “save me” has run through Book II as a dominate theme. It is fitting that a quick spontaneous cry for help should bring these deliverance psalms to a clear finish.