(038) Every Season Of The Soul- Psalm 8

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Psalm 8
1 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Have you every experienced something you would describe using the word “majestic?” What did it feel like to you? How did you respond? (Take that sense into the following questions.)

The phrase “When I consider” sets up the author’s perspective and he uses imagery familiar to him to invoke a sense of wonder. What imagery, ideas, or epiphanies help invoke a similar sense in you? What memory or scene can you “consider” that brings you closer to a desire to express the majesty of God?

When the author considers all this he is amazed that God would give man so much authority on earth. When we get a sense of the authority God has given us as humans, do you get overwhelmed? Does it make you wonder why we have been given so much influence over our loved ones, our communities, and even our planet? How do you experience the weight of what God has placed in our hands to care for?

Take a few moments with all this in mind to do a silent meditation with your eyes closed. Take deep breaths and inhale “gratitude” and exhale “grace.” As you meditate on these two words see what comes to mind from the previous discussion.

(037) Every Season of the Soul- Psalm 1

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The Psalms is a collection of Hebrew poetry that spans over a 1000 years and a wide variety of human experiences. We want to feel good about life but the human experience is so wide and deep that we can take solace in the fact this truth is reflected in scripture. Week 1 of the series we take a deep dive into Psalm 1.

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

The author is encouraging people to have a good life and wants to give instruction about how to obtain it. Out of all the Psalms written the editors chose to put this Psalm first. Why do you think that is? Why this poem? How does this Psalm set the table for us to take a deep dive into an emotional collection of wisdom literature?

The author wants his readers to be blessed, happy, fortunate… and that won’t happen if we WALK, STAND, or SIT in the wrong place. If we mindlessly move in the direction of those on the wrong path we will end up in the destination of the wicked. If we stand with sinners we’ll blend in with values that won’t allow us to carry our blessing. If we passively sit among voices that are critical, negative, sarcastic and knock everything down it will influence our inner monologue. Take a moment to evaluate the voices influencing your life on a daily basis. Are any of them impacting you negatively? Have you ever successfully broken a negative voice taking up space in your heart?

Our call is to delight in what the Lord instructs (law). To keep in step with the spirit (Gal 5:25) and dwell (meditate, muse, take focused time) on what is true, lovely, pure, admirable, and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8). What has helped you gain a wisdom perspective on your life in hard times? How do you listen when your soul speaks?

Take a moment of silent meditation with eyes closed to picture yourself as a tree planed by streams of water. Deep roots. Strong and grounded. Well nourished. Lush and nurtured. Bearing good fruit in season. Brightly colored leaves. Ask yourself how you can become more of that person this year.