Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Sermon Notes: Psalm 4 An Evening Prayer

Westlife sang about flying without wings; on Sunday evening in the Brooke Memorial Hall I was preaching without a script. Normally, I'm a full script preacher, but there was the opportunity to attempt to preach from just a few notes.

I'm not sure if the congregation noticed any difference, you would have to ask them, but I sure did! The notes (below) were probably fairly full, yet I was very aware of not having the full script at several points. Occasionally my language drifted back to the same few sayings, whereas a script enables a wider variety of approaches (look at, do you see, consider, think for a moment - as just one example). I also found it hard to transition from one point to the next. If the notes are the dots of the sermon, I perhaps struggled at joining them - the dots were certain, hopefully good points, but the connection and flow and sustaining were lacking.

I'm not sure how long the sermon lasted, probably about the same length as normal, but with a full script I can be more confident of the time it takes to preach a page, so I can write to length (while still allowing space for inspiration or further explanation/illustration if necessary).

For what it's worth, here are my preaching notes from Psalm 4:


Sticks and stones may break my bones
but names will never harm me?

- Verbal assault; how do you respond?
- Psalm 4 - links to Psalm 3, possibly same situation David finds himself in, fleeing from Absalom (his son), gone from Jersualem
- All we know for sure: Psalm of David, finding himself facing opposition - this time of the verbal assault

Urgent Prayer (1)

-Answer me when I call
- Description of God to whom he prays - O God of my righteousness - God is the one who justifies him
- Not the first time to pray - precedent, David calls on previous experience of answered prayer - lit. you have given me space in my narrow places
- Request for grace - knows he doesn’t deserve it

Apply: do we turn to God; when we pray knowing who we pray to and asking for urgent answer?

Confronting Enemies (2-3)

- Attack of enemies not physical (as Ps 3) but verbal
- Turning things upside down - David’s honour (as king) turned into shame
- They love vain words (delusions) and seek after lies
- Definitive answer: know LORD has set apart godly for himself; LORD hears
- Not about what others think of him; but what God thinks of him - this is what really matters - who he really is e.g. ‘Graeme’ aka Mr Philips

Apply: are we prone to run after vain words and lies too? As we look at others; talk about others?

Comforting friends (4-5)

- Seems David’s friends are as agitated for him - offended on his behalf
- David urges them to be wise - be angry, ok, but don’t sin - Paul picks up on this in Ephesians 4:26
- Instead, be silent, offer sacrifices, deal with your anger, trust in the LORD - he will right the wrong, not you!

Apply: do we choose anger too easily, which leads to sin?

Addressing God (6-8)

- Some friends despondent, is there any good? in the face of all this bad stuff happening, who will show us some good?
- David turns to the old Aaronic prayer (Numbers 6:26); asks God to shine on them; light of your face
- David finds joy in his heart from God - even in the midst of this difficult situation
more joy than some do at harvest time - or, modern example, pay day - January a long month, some looking forward to payday!
- David has peace to sleep - not due to nytol, but due to the LORD over all - LORD makes him dwell in safety

Apply: even in difficult situations, will we find peace in God and joy in God?
- All comes down to what God thinks of us -in the gospel of the Lord Jesus: God of our righteousness, regards us as godly because of his grace; protects us, and working out his good in our life, for his purpose

This sermon was preached in the Brooke Memorial Hall, Brookeborough on Sunday 5th February 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment