(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Before we look at our next study, I want to remind you of what we’re doing with these summaries of books of the Bible. We’re not doing a historical summary; we’re not even doing a content outline. Our goal is to find the gospel thread that goes through every book of the Bible. Now here's what's important to remember. The Bible is not a collection of stories or a theological outline or just a bunch of wisdom statements for everyday life.
The Bible is one story; maybe the best way to say it is it’s a theologically annotated story. It’s a story with God's application and doctrinal notes, and the one story is how God moves to rescue foolish and rebellious people with the gift of a Redeemer. That is the thread that unites every book of the Bible. The Bible, with all of its various authors and all of its various periods of time, tells us one story, and what we’re trying to do is find that story in every passage of the Word of God. Well, that brings us to the Psalms.
As you’ve probably noticed I like to give these books of the Bible a subtitle and I would title the Psalms, “Honest Grace.” There are probably few portions of Scripture that are better known than the Psalms because the Psalms portray for us a picture of a world that we’re all familiar with. It's a world where dark things happen; it's a world where God confuses us; it's a world where it looks like the bad guys are winning; it's a world where unthinkable things happen. Yet it’s a world inhabited by God, a world marked by His presence and His promises.
And so you have, in the Psalms, depicted something that all of us experience--it's the messiness of faith in this fallen world. God surprises you and does things that you didn't expect, and you're never sure what's around the corner; and yet you hold on to His presence, and you hold onto His promises. That's the world of the Psalms.
The cries for help in the Psalms are the cries of everyone. Maybe the two biggest cries in the Psalms get to the heart of every human being, here it is. Will somebody love me in this broken world where all this stuff happens? Is there somebody that loves me faithfully, continually, with restoring and rescuing power? And that's accompanied with a second even deeper question that creates fear and anxiety unless you know the answer. If they know me, will they still love me?
And that's the Psalms; and those cries, that are the cries of every politician and every educator and every rock musician and every person who ever lived, are not answered by theology in the Psalms. It's answered by the hope of a Redeemer. There is no system that can meet the depth of human need that's depicted in the Psalms. There is no system that can heal the world of the Psalms. There's no system that can bring peace where there seems to be no peace and hope where there seems to be no hope. The Psalms cries for a Redeemer, and so the grace of the Psalms is honest grace; it's grace that is honest about what we face every day and gives us the only honest answer ever.
Nothing will solve the problem of the Psalms but the coming of a Redeemer, and so the Psalms are about Jesus. You don't have a few Messianic Psalms; every Psalm is Messianic because every Psalm cries for Jesus or every Psalm carries with it the promise of Jesus. You should live in the Psalms because there you find yourself and there you find Jesus.