Psalm 32 – Confession and Celebration Augustine claimed that this penitential psalm of thanksgiving was his favorite psalm. He read it frequently and had its words inscribed on the wall by his sickbed. Faith in God’s mercy, and not in our merit, gives us the freedom to acknowledge our sin and trust in God “who justifies the ungodly” (Romans 4:4).
Psalm 31 – Into Your Hands The emotional and poetic range of worship provided in the Psalms is greater than we are accustomed to in our personal devotions and in our corporate worship. Shame and entrapment are not typical Sunday morning themes. The Psalms resist our efforts to exclude the realities of violence, war, cancer, death, abuse, and betrayal from our worship. Psalm 31 rings true to the Psalms, but it jars the sanctimonious piety of polite religious people.
Psalm 30 – Confidence Reclaimed If Psalm 29 re-calibrates worship by affirming the sovereignty of God and the matchless power of Yahweh’s voice and glory, then Psalm 30 reminds us of our utter dependence upon this all-powerful God for help and healing. Human frailty and depravity are such that we know we need the Lord — desperately.
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.