Login / Signup

Free Access

Psalm 20

Preaching
A Journey Through the Psalms: Reflections for Worried Hearts and Troubled Times
Preaching the Psalms Cycles A, B, C
Everyone wants a protector. It is, as young people are fond of saying, a "no brainer." Life is no bowl of cherries and despite our New Testament Jesus and his calls to love and forgiveness, we are not fooled. We know that enemies abound. We all know that everyone could use a protector. Whether it's women who suffer and die from the scourge of domestic violence or homeless people set upon by amoral attackers, a protector is needed. Whether it is workers stripped of their pensions by corporations recording record profits or students no longer able to pay for their education, a protector is needed. Whether it is a youngster in the grip of sexual abuse or the angry, unjust accusations of coworkers or community members, a protector is needed.

Around this troubled globe there are countless scenarios where we can say that a protector is needed. Indeed, the list is so long that the heart grows numb in the reading. Yet, the truth is clear. A protector is needed.

The psalm describes this protector with words that warm our spirits. So powerful is this protector that even the utterance of God's name is protection (v. 1). This protector will fulfill our desires and see our plans come to fruition. This protector will provide us with the victory. This protector is the real deal. Incredibly, this protector is so powerful that we are to abandon our weapons and defenses and place our total trust in him (v. 7). What's that? Come again?

Ah. There's the rub. We want the protection. Who doesn't? But letting go of our own weapons? Abandoning our own right to protect ourselves? That's a bit of a different story. Only a fool surrenders his or her weapons and defenses. For too many of us, the MGM voice of Moses echoes in our souls. They will have to pry our weapons from our "cold, dead hands."

It seems that we would have it both ways. We want the protection, but find it hard to trust the protector. We want the benefits of the relationship, but none of the costs.

This psalm finds us in an all too familiar place. Trusting, really trusting in God just isn't our strong suit, is it? How does that old World War I song go? "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition"? That really isn't what God has in mind for us, is it?

So let us live into the questions. How can we take that giant step of faith? How can we cease to depend upon our puny defenses and trust wholly in God? What will it take for us to release all the baggage we carry and to throw our hearts and souls upon the mercy and wonder of God?

Tough questions. Tougher answers. But in community, in commitment, in forging ahead in faith, they just might be found.
UPCOMING WEEKS
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)
Proper 6 | OT 11 | Pentecost 3
25 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
22 – Children's Sermons / Resources
18 – Worship Resources
23 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 7 | OT 12 | Pentecost 4
30 – Sermons
160+ – Illustrations / Stories
27 – Children's Sermons / Resources
25 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Proper 8 | OT 13 | Pentecost 5
30 – Sermons
150+ – Illustrations / Stories
26 – Children's Sermons / Resources
28 – Worship Resources
24 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Thomas Willadsen
Dean Feldmeyer
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
Katy Stenta
George Reed
Quantisha Mason-Doll
For June 20, 2021:
  • Underdog? by Tom Willadsen — It’s a more satisfying story if we don’t consider what David brought to the fight, but the outcome was never really in doubt.
  • A Non-Anxious Presence by Dean Feldmeyer — An anxious world longs for non-anxious leaders to help us discover the solutions to our problems.

CSSPlus

John Jamison
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Frank Ramirez
Appearances are deceiving. Goliath looks unconquerable, and the young shepherd boy who says thanks but no thanks to the king’s armor, is pretty confident that five smooth stones will be enough to change the world.

So it is that the Apostle Paul reminds us we don’t see anyone from a human view anymore. We see them through God’s eyes.
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Bill Thomas
Bonnie Bates
1 Samuel 17: (1a, 4, 11, 19-23) 32-49
We like underdogs, which is why we like the story of David and Goliath. About David’s improbable victory John Wesley wrote:

Thus does God often do great things for His people by the weak things of the world. (Commentary On the Bible, p.189)   

The world needs Davids — people who take on the powerful and the social consensus even if it does not seem that they have a chance. The playwright George Bernard Shaw explained why the world needs such people like David:

StoryShare

Peter Andrew Smith
David O. Bales
Contents
“A David and Goliath Story” by Peter Andrew Smith
“Re-crossing Galilee Lake” by David O. Bales
“Seminar: Working Together In Him” by David O. Bales

A David and Goliath Story
by Peter Andrew Smith
1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49

Laura took some vegetables out of the bag to chop. “So, I hear you are in a bit of trouble at school.”

“Who told you that, Auntie?” Joan asked.

“Your mother. She wanted me to see if there is anything I could do.”

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
The first thing Jack saw when he walked into church on the Sunday morning was a bright red octopus. It seemed an odd animal to be in church, but Jack's heart lifted in anticipation, for with an octopus in the offing and a bright red one at that, surely the preacher would have an exciting talk this morning.

Of course it was only a paper octopus, but nonetheless it filled Jack's mind with thoughts of the sea and strange sea creatures and coral reefs and snorkelling and all those things you never usually thought about in church.

SermonStudio

Kristin Borsgard Wee
Just a short time ago, a young homemaker and mother sat in my office telling me how she was feeling about her life. She said she felt she was adrift in a tiny boat in the middle of a great and surging ocean. How she had gotten into that boat and where she was going was a mystery to her. All she could see were the huge waves towering over her frail, little boat, threatening at any moment to swamp it and sink it, to swallow her up forever.

Stan Purdum
The United Methodists came out with their most recent hymnbook in 1989. Three years before that, while the hymnal committee was deciding which hymns from the previous book would be included in the new one and which would be deleted, they concluded that "Onward Christian Soldiers" should be omitted. The committee voted to delete it, feeling that the hymn was overly militaristic and thus was inconsistent with the church's goal of eradicating war and establishing world peace. The announcement of this decision, however, made in mid-May 1986, launched a great brouhaha in the church.

Glenn W. Mcdonald
In the year 2000 Forbes Magazine featured a special edition on a single topic that it called "the biggest issue of our age -- time." The editors wrote, "We've beaten, or at least stymied, most of humanity's monsters: disease, climate, geography, and memory. But time still defeats us. Lately its victories seem more complete than ever. Those timesaving inventions of the last half-century have somehow turned on us. We now hold cell phone meetings in traffic jams, and 24-7 has become the most terrifying phrase in modern life."

Special Occasion