I took a class at Alliance Theological Seminary on the Psalms with Dr. Bryan Widbin, and it was really incredible. I have always had a connection to the Psalms, but it isn’t always easy to understand ancient texts. Having the opportunity to learn how to properly analyze these passages with respect for their cultural context was immensely rewarding and will provide me with endless possibilities for study in the future.
The Psalms have always appealed to me for their emotional depth and honesty. There were times in my life when I was so depressed that I didn’t even know how to pray, so I would open the Psalms and read them as my prayer to God. It kept my eyes fixed on God during some very dark times in my life when I would have rather given up.
It is astounding to think that God included songs filled with such raw human emotions in the Scripture. It comforts me to know that God knows our nature, and invites us to wrestle with all the emotions that come with the human experience in His presence: imperfect people living in a imperfect world that is waiting for its full restoration. As I’ve said before, living on this side of the Tapestry isn’t easy, but it is okay – God doesn’t expect us to have it all figured out. I think that sometimes He only asks us to be honest with our struggle. There is no need to hide it from Him.
I had the opportunity to preach at my home church, New York Covenant Church, and I decided to share what I’ve learned when studying Psalm 127. You can find the video below or on vimeo. I go through this fascinating passage to see what God is communicating to his people about work and children (whether we are parents or not!):
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.