Noah interviews Terence Lester about his new book When We Stand (IVP), talking together about racism, the church, justice theology, ministering to people without addresses, and being in proximity with the marginalized, all centered around what it means to literally follow Jesus.
Meanwhile God isn’t trying to deprive people of delight, he’s trying to draw us toward real delight. He’s trying to draw us toward a solid foundation that doesn’t eventually evaporate. I’m reminded of Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-29. Psalm 36 takes it up to an even more worshipful notch though. It lays out the path of the sand, the path that evaporates, and it lays out the path of the rock. The path that holds up when life’s trials come. The path that holds up for all of eternity. But then it uses these two paths to lead us into worship. It leads us to praise God for his love and faithfulness that reaches to the skies, his righteousness that’s like the highest mountain, and his justice that is deeper than the ocean. What imagery! What beauty. It leads us to his unfailing love. His priceless, unfailing love. There is no better picture than this in all of Scripture. God loves you so much. His love for you is worth more than all the money, gold, and treasure in the world. And his love for you never, ever fails.
We love these pretty red bows in our contemporary sermons and ideas of prayer. But the psalm does not stop here. The transition from verse 10 to 11 feels like taking a stick shift automobile from 5th gear to 2nd. One minute the psalmist is extolling God for rescuing the poor from their oppressor, the next he is writing about his ongoing, brutal oppression. Verses 1-10 paint the picture that God has throttled the oppressors and the poor (and the psalmist, written as one of the poor) are free. Verses 11 and following take us down the dark road of the real, daily, in-your-face oppression that the psalmist is still currently under.
Only God knows why he sometimes answers these prayers in the moment and other times, like with the Hebrews’ enslavement in Egypt, or blacks’ enslavement in the United States, it takes centuries. But the psalmist rests in the truth that God is King for ever and ever and that these wicked nations will perish from the land. God is more powerful than the wicked nations who oppress and enslave and exploit. He was more powerful than Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Rome. And he’s certainly more powerful than the United States and the rest of today’s world powers.
Episode 10 discusses the June 2nd scenario of Pastor David Platt praying for President Donald Trump from the stage of a McLean Bible Church worship service. You probably already have lots of predetermined feelings about this, so rather that write something that will make you listen (if you agree), or dismiss this (if you disagree), go ahead and listen and see if there’s a different way to approach topics like this than you are used to.
In an age of all out social war over issues like abortion, this is an attempt at a fair look at the debate. It’s an attempt to not shoot missiles at the other side, hoping the same can be done in return. The debate about abortion hinges around several key disagreements: When is a fetus […]