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How Shall We Sing? (2)

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“How shall we sing?”

- “How shall we sing?”
I. Read Passage: ...
Intro: Kids Psalms / A difficult Psalm to Sing /
Different Types of Psalms
1. Wisdom – , “Blessed is the man who…”
2. Thanksgiving: , “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good...”
3. Praise – , “Bless the LORD, O my soul”
Intro: Kids Psalms / A difficult Psalm to Sing /
4. Lament- , “My God my God why have you forsaken me”
5. Trust - , “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
6. Deliverance- , “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.”
7. Royal/Messianic- , “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed
8. Imprecatory
Read Passage: ...

An Imprecatory Quite Time

, , ,
· Ok, it is…
B.
1. Wisdom – “Blessed is the man who…”
2. Thanksgiving: , “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good...”
Psalm 137- “How shall we sing?”
I. Read Passage: Psalm 137
II. Intro: A difficult Psalm to Sing
A. An Imprecatory Quite Time:
· Psalm 136:1, Psalm 137:1, 9, Psalm 138:1
·
B. Different Types of Psalms
1. Wisdom – Psalm 1 “Blessed is the man who…”
2. Thanksgiving
3. Praise – Psalm 103, “Bless the LORD, O my soul”, Ps. 96 theme of the nations rejoicing
4. Lament- Ps. 22, “My God my God why have you forsaken me”
5. Trust
6. Deliverance
7. Royal/Messianic
8. Imprecatory
C. Why is it called an “Imprecatory” Psalm?
· These “imprecatory psalms” are prayer songs so designated because of their particularly vigorous attitude toward the enemy. The verb “imprecate” means “to pray evil against” or “to invoke curse upon” another, hence the name for these prayers. – Asbury Commentary
Could you sing this song? Should God’s people pray for the destruction of another human being? What are we as Christians to do with this? 2Tim. 3:16 says that all scripture is God breathed, so we must believe that there is something profitable and necessary for us to understand about Imprecatory Psalms. For it is only by His word that we can better understand who God is and by it for Him to correct our thinking on how to view evil in the World.
III. Sermon:
First, Psalm 137 teaches us that…
A. God will punish all evil
a. Historical Context: Exposition of 137:1-9
i. Babylonians
Spurgeon Quote:
“Let those find fault with it (Psalm 137) who have never seen their temple burned, their city ruined, their wives ravished, and their children slain; they might not, perhaps, be quite so velvet-mouthed if they had suffered after this fashion. It is one thing to talk of the bitter feeling which moved captive Israelites in Babylon, and quite another thing to be captives ourselves under a savage and remorseless power, which knew not how to show mercy, but delighted in barbarities to the defenseless. The song is such as might fitly be sung in the Jews’ wailing-place. It is a fruit of the Captivity in Babylon.”
1. Modern day Babylonians
a. Wicked Slave Owner
b. Adolf Hitler
c. Rwandan Genocide: Hutu/Tutsi
d. Sex Slave- Trafficking Industry
e. Abortionists
f. ISIS
B. We are evil… But Christ Died for His evil enemies!
a. Historical Context: Israel Deserved their captivity…
i. Idol Worship. Prophets warned them.
b. And so do we! Romans 5:6-10:
i. Ungodly
ii. Sinners
iii. Enemies of God
iv. SPURGEON: “Venomous Snake.”
Piper Quote:
There are a group of psalms that are called imprecatory psalms because they include imprecations, that is curses, judgments against God’s enemies. These psalms are usually considered problems for Christians because Jesus taught us, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28). And Jesus prayed for his enemies on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). So it sounds like these psalms are doing the opposite of what Jesus said and did.
Conclusion: How than shall we sing?
A. How than shall we pray when we encounter evil at it’s worst?
a. While watching the news of rapists, murderers, sex traffickers, child molesters, oppression, corruption, social injustice, terrorist attacks, ISIS ravaging through villages killing and raping women and children… “Basically, realize that calls for justice are absolutely right, and remind us how important God’s holiness and justice are. But secondly, recognize that the Psalmists did not have the justice of God completely satisfied in Christ. Thus we pray for our enemies, not wish them ill. Yet we as Christians can pray these Psalms as longings for social justice and hatred against the “power and principalities” behind the world. – Tim Keller
b. Judgment Day is coming… Entrust Judgment to the government and to Him who gave the government the power of the sword to reflect the coming eschatological judgment.
c. But it’s been over 2000 years… 2Peter: The Lord is tarring intentionally… Evil continues so that we might be saved. Christ comes back 10 years ago and I would be condemned to Hell apart from Christ for all eternity.
B. How than shall we sing in the face of evildoers?
a. Sing of the Gospel, where Justice and Mercy meet.
1. Instead let us not call down a curse, but declare them accursed all ready. For apart of Christ, no one shall be saved.
2. Pray Imprecatory Psalms over the injustices and evils of this world, Pray the LORD comes back today and punishes all evil… Yet pray at the same time that God would show the same mercy to others as He showed you. That He would tarry long enough for the sake of the elect, but that He would come quickly to judge the living and the dead.
3. Pray for their Destruction. Pray for their sin to be punished. Pray even for their death. That is, we pray that ISIS terrorist leaders would die to their old selves and be born again and made new. Like Saul the Jewish persecutor and murderer of Christians, transformed by Jesus into Paul the evangelist and church planter.
4. Yes we actually pray for their spiritual death. So that they could declare with us and the Apostle Paul, that they have been “Crucified with Christ, and it is not longer I who live but Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I Live by faith in the One who loved me and died for me”… His enemy.
Let us pray.
Psalm 136:1 ESV
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
3. Praise – , “Bless the LORD, O my soul”
OOOOkay... (sip of coffee) it is…
4. Lament- , “My God my God why have you forsaken me”
5. Trust - , “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
6. Deliverance
7. Royal/Messianic
8. Imprecatory
Why is it called an “Imprecatory” Psalm?
These “imprecatory psalms” are prayer songs so designated because of their particularly vigorous attitude toward the enemy. The verb “imprecate” means “to pray evil against” or “to invoke curse upon” another, hence the name for these prayers. – Asbury Commentary
Imprecatory Psalms do not pray for deliverence from their enemies, they pray for the destruction of their enemy.
Transition: Could you sing this song? Should God’s people pray for the destruction of another human being made in the image of God? What are we as Christians to do with this? says that all scripture is God breathed, so we must believe that there is something profitable and necessary for us to understand about Imprecatory Psalms. For it is only by His word that we can better understand who God is and by his word he is able to correct our thinking on how to view evil in the World the way He sees it.
III. Sermon:
First, teaches us that…

I. God will punish all evil

a. Historical Context: Exposition of 137:1-9
i. Babylonians
Spurgeon Quote: “Let those find fault with it () who have never seen their temple burned, their city ruined, their wives ravished, and their children slain; they might not, perhaps, be quite so velvet-mouthed if they had suffered after this fashion. It is one thing to talk of the bitter feeling which moved captive Israelites in Babylon, and quite another thing to be captives ourselves under a savage and remorseless power, which knew not how to show mercy, but delighted in barbarities to the defenseless. The song is such as might fitly be sung in the Jews’ wailing-place. It is a fruit of the Captivity in Babylon.”
“Let those find fault with it () who have never seen their temple burned, their city ruined, their wives ravished, and their children slain; they might not, perhaps, be quite so velvet-mouthed if they had suffered after this fashion. It is one thing to talk of the bitter feeling which moved captive Israelites in Babylon, and quite another thing to be captives ourselves under a savage and remorseless power, which knew not how to show mercy, but delighted in barbarities to the defenseless. The song is such as might fitly be sung in the Jews’ wailing-place. It is a fruit of the Captivity in Babylon.”
1. Modern day Babylonians
a. Wicked Slave Owner
b. Adolf Hitler
c. Rwandan Genocide: Hutu/Tutsi
d. Sex Slave- Sex Trafficking Industry
e. Abortionists - Murdering Babies
f. ISIS - Killing Christians
g. LGBTQ++, Trying to destroy Human identity, Gender roles, and marriage. With a Rainbow as their symbol.
Transition: God must punish all evil… God will punish all evil…

II. We are evil… and so was Israel!

a. Historical Context: Israel Deserved their captivity…
i. Idol Worship. Prophets warned them.
ii. Jeremiah
b. Israel deserved the wrath of God pour out upon them. As would Babylon, and as do we! :
Romans 5:6–10 ESV
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
i. Ungodly
ii. Sinners
iii. Enemies of God
iv. SPURGEON: “Venomous Snake”
Boys II Men, “They deserve it...”
How would you turn out if grew up in a single family home, mom’s a drug addict passed out on the couch, dad’s in jail, never talked to him a day in your life, everyone tells you you look just like him, which makes you think you’ll turn out just like him too.
Older brother makes fun of you if you do well in school. Because he dropped out to take care of mom.
TV stays on all day, being raised by daytime talk shows and the top ten songs on the billboard this week…
Imagine dropping your children off at a house like that and coming back in 18 years. How would they turn out?
Law is a blessing… Education is a blessing. The rules and laws in your house growing up were a blessing. The work ethic you learned and saw modeled was a blessing. Being taught right and wrong is a blessing. There is such thing as right and wrong. And within us all we have the ability to do great good and great harm. How evil we would be if laws were more lenient, if we grew up in a different house, grew up in a different country… if all your thoughts this past week were made into an audio version how shocked would we all be?
Well we shouldn’t be shocked.
v. Just because a “Rattlesnake” never bites anyone, doesn’t make it a caterpillar.
vi. we were ungodly, sinners, enemies, evil people… but

III. Christ died for evil people

Piper Quote:
There are a group of psalms that are called imprecatory psalms because they include imprecations, that is curses, judgments against God’s enemies. These psalms are usually considered problems for Christians because Jesus taught us, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (). And Jesus prayed for his enemies on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (). So it sounds like these psalms are doing the opposite of what Jesus said and did.
That is not just a New Testament Problem: Jeremiah told Israel to do the same…
Jeremiah 29:7 ESV
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Jeremiah 29:7 ESV
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

How shall we sing?

A. How than shall we pray when we encounter evil at it’s worst?
a. While watching the news of rapists, murderers, sex traffickers, child molesters, oppression, corruption, social injustice, terrorist attacks, ISIS ravaging through villages killing and raping women and children… “realize that cries for justice are absolutely right, and remind us how important God’s holiness and justice are. – Tim Keller
b. Judgment Day is coming… Entrust Judgment to the government and to Him who gave the government the power of the sword to reflect the coming eschatological judgment.
c. But it’s been over 2000 years… 2Peter: The Lord is tarring intentionally… Evil continues so that we might be saved. Christ comes back 10 years ago and I would be condemned to Hell apart from Christ for all eternity.
B. How than shall we sing in the face of evildoers?
a. Sing of the Gospel, where Justice and Mercy meet.
1. Instead let us not call down a curse, but declare them accursed all ready. For apart of Christ, no one shall be saved.
2. Pray & Sing Imprecatory Psalms over the injustices and evils of this world, Pray the LORD comes back today and punishes all evil… Yet pray at the same time that God would show the same mercy to others as He showed you. That He would tarry long enough for the sake of the elect, but that He would come quickly to judge the living and the dead.
3. Pray for their Destruction. Pray for their sin to be punished. Pray even for their death. That is, we pray that ISIS terrorist leaders would die to their old selves and be born again and made new. Like Saul the Jewish persecutor and murderer of Christians, transformed by Jesus into Paul the evangelist and church planter.
4. Yes we actually pray for their spiritual death. So that they could declare with us and the Apostle Paul, that they have been “Crucified with Christ, and it is not longer I who live but Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I Live by faith in the One who loved me and died for me”… His enemy.
5. We even sing imprecatory psalms upon our own lives and families! Put to death the deeds of the flesh!
Romans 8:13 ESV
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
So we pray for God to do to our enemies what God did for us. And that actually might be what’s going on here in .
Let us assume that the author of this psalm has fully absorbed the perspective of Jeremiah. He knows that the destruction of Jerusalem was not ultimately caused by the Babylonian army, but by the sins of God’s people. He knows that the “Enemy” who destroyed the city was God, the Jealous Divine Husband. He knows that Jerusalem deserved everything she got. He agrees with Jeremiah’s Lamentations. Further, he knows that God wants him to pray for the peace of Babylon, and that means he is to pray for her conversion. Is it possible that, despite appearance, this is the theme of ? I believe that it is.
First of all, the psalmist recalls how depressed and sad he and the other exiles felt when they arrived in Babylon. They found that they could not sing any longer, and they hung up their harps. Then, however, the Babylonians asked them to sing; yea, the Babylonians demanded that they sing.
What does this mean? It means that instead of forcing the exiles to sing heathen songs, the Babylonians wanted to hear God’s songs. It meant that the exiles were being given a wonderful opportunity to do evangelism.
The key to understanding the prophecy “against” Babylon in is to remember who the Rock is in the psalter. The Rock is God. Dashing the children’s heads against the Rock is an image not of utter destruction but of salvation. (This is a great verse to preach on when doing an infant baptism.) Either a man falls upon the Rock and is saved, or the Rock falls upon him and crushes him (). (In “rock” is singular, not plural, contrary to the old King James and the NIV.)
Luke 20:13–18 ESV
Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “ ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
Luke 20:18 ESV
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
The psalmist prophecies that Babylon is to be destroyed, just as Jerusalem was. This is inevitable. But what kind of destruction will it be? Utter destruction or destruction unto resurrection?
“Happy the one who repays you as you have served us!” Who is the one who will repay Babylon? It is God Himself. The psalmist wishes for Babylon the same thing that happened to Jerusalem. Yes, the city was destroyed, but the people were saved. The people repented. Eye for eye, the destruction of Babylon will have to be one that issues in tears of repentance and salvation.
How Shall We Sing? How Shall We Pray? For our families, for our church, for our city, and for our nation? We pray God brings down to destruction all things which would exalt themselves over the mighty name of Jesus, and we pray he not only save our generation to the generation of children that come after us. May our children cast themselves upon the Rock of salvation, and may an entire generation in this nation be transformed because of it!
Let us pray.
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