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Chip's Blog

“The Psalmist Is Not What I Expected”

By July 17, 2018 No Comments

Someone leaving the theater after last Saturday’s performance of The Psalmist said that to me. He wasn’t the only one who has. He then went on to say some wonderful things about how profound the message was, and that it was one of the best plays he had seen at Ragtown. He also had some great compliments for the cast, as well as the set.

The Psalmist is not what I expected either. When the seed of this play first began to take root, I thought it would be about this man, David, who was the ultimate example of purity, courage, and godliness among the Israelites. About how he had come from humble beginnings, as a shepherd in the village of Bethlehem, watching over lambs that were to be sacrificed.  How he rose to be hailed as a hero when he faced and killed the formidable Philistine warrior, the giant Goliath, and went on to be crowned king of Israel. About how he basked in the joy of moments when the Holy Spirit of God came upon him and delighted in him. On those occasions David played his harp and composed songs that endure to this day. The 23rd Psalm is among the most hauntingly beautiful passages in the Bible, or of all literature.

I thought The Psalmist would be sweet portrait of this man after God’s own heart. But when it came time to write, it became clear that the defining event of David’s life, and the story the play must tell,  was not about those times when he was joyfully exalted, but when he was brought low. When his actions placed a wall of sin between himself and God.

Our omniscient God is never taken by surprise by anything, but it seems arguable that David’s failing may have been a final proof that man, even a most splendid man like David, apart from an indwelling Holy Spirit, could not prevail against the power of Satan’s schemes. Jesus would indeed have to be born as a man, suffer and die, having never fallen to sin, and then defeat death and the grave.

The Holy Spirit is grieved by David’s defeat, but the encouragement this story offers is in the joyful recognition that Jesus profoundly changed the equation between God and those of us who are in Christ. There is no wall of sin that separates us…even in the midst of our sin. It isn’t possible, because Jesus took away the sins of the world. The Holy Spirit remains right there with us to guide us to a way of escape from any sin that entangles us. We are so blessed to be living on this side of the cross! David would have given everything he possessed for what we have every minute of every day in Christ.

I wish we could film the comments we hear at the end of each show, and could afford to put them all over television. The Psalmist is a great production that no Christian within a hundred miles should miss. Goodness, just hearing Chris Smith sing Psalm 23 is worth the trip. If you’ve seen it already, do us a favor would you? Go to our Facebook page and share our posts and pictures with your friends. Post your own comments too. Facebook’s new algorithm seems to have suppressed our contact with people who follow us, and it’s made it difficult to get the word out. We would sure appreciate your help.

What A Day Of Rejoicing That Will Be!

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