Welcome to the Weekly Digest!
Below you will find resources to help you on your journey through the Book of Psalms. We've provided you with a reading plan for the upcoming week, journaling prompts, a weekly Spotify playlist, and ideas for prayer. Be sure to check in every week to see what we have for you next as we continue to enrich our journey through the Psalms.
Reading Plan June 5th-June 11th
Scripture memorization is an important discipline to introduce to our lives as a way to actively hide God's word in our heart. It allows us to not only internalize the text, but to share that truth with others more readily.
Memory Verses for May: Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
* A quick note on journaling: if you're new to this practice, our journey through the book of Psalms will be a great way to get started. The most important step to forming this discipline in your life is to write anything and write often. Journaling is an incredible way to slow down, digest the content of a text, let your brain internalize thoughts that may come up, and keep a record for future reflection on what God was speaking to you during your reading. Journaling can take many forms such as written prayers, bullet points, stream of consciousness, or even poetry. Try some different methods and find the one that works best for you.
Journal Prompts / Discussion Questions from Today's Teaching
What a journey we have experienced over the last 31 weeks together as we’ve worked
our way through the Psalms. As we have said so many times during this study that the
Psalms is a collection of songs, poetry and laments that are meant to be felt and
experienced. Psalms is not a book that can be properly absorbed through just an
academic approach. Many of the Psalms are written by David or to David and he is a
very emotional person. Side note, to all the men, it’s not a breach of your masculinity for
you to display emotions. Now back to the topic. The emotions are there in Psalms
because within the five books you’ll experience all the ups and down, the seasons and
stages of life. Psalms begins with the phrase “Blessed is the Man” and concludes with
“Praise the Lord” or the final hallel.
The Psalms end with Psalm 150 which is a doxology. All of the 5 books end in the very
same way with a doxology. The Psalmist brings us back to worship and that we were
created to worship the creator. Worship is more than just coming to a house of worship,
but it is how we live out our live in the shadow of who He is. We make Him know to the
world by living a life of worship. Worship is surrender. It is humbling ourselves before an
omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent God.
The Final Hallel that brings Psalms to an end, at least for the written portion uses the
word sanctuary to refer to where God resides. In the historical context it would be a
reference to the tabernacle in the wilderness and then later the temple in Jerusalem.
The Israelite's view of the temple was that it was the “axis mundi”, the center point on
which creation balances. The presence of God was the centering point of the nation and
world. God’s presence would dwell there. Then the Psalmist tells us that God rules over
the heaven. God inhabits both the earth and the heaven. Here is the point.
Yahweh rules overall not just the heavens but also the earth. He is not a deity that is
just all knowing, ever present and all powerful yet distant from His creation. If He only
inhabits heaven, then He is still God but uninvolved in your life. If He only inhabits the
earth then He is limited.
This Psalm as many others has a prophetic and messianic edge to it. God not only
inhabits or dwells on the earth and in the heavens but through Jesus the incarnate
Christ, He inhabits the believer.
1 Corinthians 3:15 Do you not know that you [a] are God's temple and that God's Spirit
dwells in you?
This is a mystery according to the Apostle Paul.
Colossians 1:26-27 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to
his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the
riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Where God would visit the tabernacle in the wilderness and the temple in Jerusalem,
He now inhabits the sanctuary of our lives. It’s the difference between visitation and
habitation. He lives within you! Being His temple is not just about us, but we are saved
from something to something. Saved from sin and into mission. Agents of reconciliation!
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. [a] The old
has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ
reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
The Psalm ends with this doxology that reveals the truth of who we are in Christ. It is
Christ within us the hope of glory! Saved from sin and called to mission!
Journal Prompts / Discussion Questions for This Week's Reading
Psalm 146 Pastor Jordan
In Psalm 146, the Psalmist is pointing us to see the two places we usually find ourselves placing
our hope and trust in, in the “son of man,” or in “the Lord.”
When reflecting upon your daily life, who do you oftentimes find yourself placing your trust,
hope, and dependency in?
The Psalmist shares with us why not to trust in man (verses 3-4), and then shares many more
reasons why we should place our hope and trust in God (verses 5-9). Spend some time to read
over and reflect on these reasons.
Take a moment to be honest with yourself and answer this question.
What do you wrestle with in your life?
In light of the answers you’ve shared, what has the truth in Psalm 146 taught you?
Writing the reflection questions throughout our Psalms series has been a challenging yet
extremely rewarding time for me. I used to approach Scripture with a mindset of trying to
“figure it out” and make sense of it all. With Psalms, being books that were written with such
raw and real emotion as the authors laid their personal relationships with God out for all to see,
God quickly taught me that His Word is intended to be felt, not just “figured out.” It’s been so
cool to see how God has used this new and more personal approach to reading His Word
through Psalms to strengthen and grow my conversations and overall relationship with Him.
I still have A LOT of growing left to do but at least I know even more so where the source of this
growth with God is found.
Psalm 147 Pastor Nathan
Throughout this journey of the Psalms, the thing that has continually stood out to me is the psalmists praise of God. It seems like anything and everything sparks this abundant praise to God whether he finds himself in joy, triumph, defeat, sadness, anger, or exuberance. In the midst of everything, he is still able to praise God.
- In your heart of hearts, do you find it “good to sing praises to our God” no matter the season? Why or why not?
Read verse 11 “but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but for me sometimes I get so focused on my sin, on the aspects of myself that I am trying to change, that I forget that I can bring Joy to God.
- Do you think that your life, or aspects of it, bring Joy to God? What aspects of your life do you think God “takes pleasure” in seeing?
God is worthy to be praised because he is God. For one last time in this Psalm series, write out every attribute that this psalmist writes of and take a moment to sing, shout, or say a praise to God for Him and his perfect, holy, and ultimately good character.
This journey has taught me a lot, and it has created in me a deep longing to pray like the Psalmist in my own walk. To cry out to God like the Psalmist does, to praise God as David does, to write poems and songs like the Sons of Korah do, and to reflect and remind myself of the never-failing, constant character of God. I long for these things deeply, and I am forever grateful for this opportunity to join with you all through this Psalms series as we have walked through this incredible collection of poems and songs that sing and shout of God. I pray you take these things we have done during this series and implement them in your own walk with Him as you strive to hunger for more of him and become more like him.
Psalm 148 Pastor Matthew
All parts of creation are mustered for the work of praise. The reasons for praise are so manifold and the possibilities of praise are so multiform, that every voice is put to work. No part of creation is exempt from the requirements and privileges of praise. How can taking this perspective both encourage your faith and help you be able to answer people who don't believe God exists?
PRAYER: With everyone else singing so heartily, Lord, let not my voice be silent. Assign me my part in the music, so that my joy, my life a song, will harmonize with the soaring melody of creation, to your praise. Amen. This journey through the psalms and getting to work on the questions/prayers for the weekly digest has been an honor. Hearing personal testimonies from our church of how these psalms have met them at just the right time in their lives. Whether it be experiencing the adversities in their families to navigating this global pandemic, I feel confident that both personally and as a faith family, we are a more emotionally healthy disciple of Christ. Thank you for all of you who have participated and shared these weekly digests with your friends and family.
Psalm 149 Hannah Bowen
Verse 1 - What are the “new things” you are discovering about God, His character, and His will for your life that cause you to praise Him with a “new song?” How does it make you feel to celebrate those things with others “in the assembly?” Do you prioritize corporate worship as a part of your faith journey?
Verse 6 - Giving God praise is more than just the words we speak but the actions that accompany our words. In what ways do you respond to God’s goodness with actions? If that’s an area of struggle, take a few moments to pray and reflect on some opportunities to worship God with the way you live your life.
Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever” (Ephesians 3:20–21, Jerusalem Bible). Amen