Soul Sermons from Psalms (pt. 4)

How a sermon from Psalms can touch the heart like the Psalm itself

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This is part four in a four-part series.
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four

Ways to preach from Psalm 8

As we move to shaping a sermon based on Psalm 8, we are interested especially in how it functions rhetorically. What effect does the psalm produce on the listener, and how does the psalmist achieve that effect? How may we carry over some of this rhetorical impact to a contemporary audience? What moves will we make? What kinds of illustrations would be compatible with the biblical text?

Psalm 8 is one of a small group of psalms devoted to the topic of creation. One striking thing about this psalm is the sharp rhetorical turn the psalmist makes in the middle of the psalm. He begins in verses 1 and 3 by using broad brush strokes to paint a verbal picture of God's creation of the universe. He depicts God's glory by the vastness of the heavens in which he has placed the moon and stars. In verse 4, the psalmist makes a sudden rhetorical turn. Without warning, he shifts to a question, "What is ...

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