Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM
Third & Adams Street, PO Box 9774, Moscow, Idaho USA | (208) 882-3715

Beautifully and wonderfully Made - January 28, 2018

Psalm 139

One of the gifts of scripture is its richness. It's not just a story, but it's stories within the stories. It's poetry, it's prose. It's fables (yes, with talking animals), it's rules for living, it's narrative, it's letters and so much more. And one of the responsibilities we have in reading the Bible is knowing which kind of story we're reading, more specifically, what kind of literature is it, and how it can help us understand and relate better with

God and with each other.

Think about it this way, you know of different authors....right? Shakespeare, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Sarah McLean, Edgar Allen Poe, CS Lewis, Max Lucado....the list goes on and on. And how we read those books is different...we read fiction differently than nonfiction, sci-fi different from romance novels and poetry different than prose. They're different and they serve different purposes.

Well, biblical literature is similar. We read Genesis differently than Leviticus, differently than Esther, differently than Isaiah, differently than the psalms, differently than the Gospels, and differently than Revelation. They each tell a different story in a different way, for a different purpose. They all give life to the God story within the whole of Scripture, but they hold different weight and push on different parts of our lives.

So, today, when we go into the psalms, we have to realize it's poetry. It's descriptive, not prescriptive. It's not telling us how things should be but is really more a depiction of how things are. The psalmist is describing his understanding of his relationship with God, and that's juxtaposed with his relationship with others.
One of the parts we didn't read this morning is toward the end and says:

If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

It's descriptive, not prescriptive. This isn't someone being lifted up as the most righteous of men...he's not someone we should seek to emulate....talking about slaying and hating....he's just someone, like us, probably caught up in turmoil of some sort and the people hate him, and they're saying awful things and alienating him, pushing him out...and he's full of resentment and hatred. I'd venture to say lots of us have been there in some form or another...arguing with those around us, having them say terrible things about us, misinterpreting our words or actions, and we begin to feel resentful. We're misunderstood. We're hurt. We're angry. And we really wish God would take care of them and their terrible, awful, meanness.... We're human. We want to be cared for, loved, and understood and in the face of people who don't get it and don't get us, our heartaches and we need someone who sees beyond the gossip and the lies. We need someone who sees us for who we are....and the psalmist knows that's God. God sees him and knows the truth. And he has claimed that truth for himself. "I am beautifully and wonderfully made."
Despite the voices around him. Despite the critics and the haters, he can claim his identity....knit together in his mother's womb....searched and known....beautifully and wonderfully made.
For some of us, the thought of God knowing us....searching us...knowing our inmost thoughts scares the heck out of us! We'd rather stay hidden, thank you very much. But this scripture isn't meant to be a threat, it's meant to be a comfort. When the world is against you. When people don't understand you. When you're known only for what people see and not what anyone actually knows about you. When you're only a title, or a failure...there is someone who sees much more deeply....who knows and understands....and gets you, really gets you....and loves you deeply, despite of, or maybe because of, all that knowledge. And that someone is God.

Current Church News

  • Worship Time Change - starts - August 18th

    Starting August 18th, 2019 Sunday Worship go back to our regular worship time at 10:30 am Sunday mornings.

Get Directions

Sunday morning parking at the church is available in the high school parking lot on Third Street across from the church and in the city lots west of the church. These lots are available only on Sunday mornings. A small lot for handicapped parking is available just off of Adams Street on the north side of the church, with an accessible entrance directly into the sanctuary. A lift operates between the Fellowship Hall (3rd Street level) and the Sanctuary. William Sound System Receivers and Headsets are available to assist with hearing problems.

322 East Third Street
Moscow, ID 83843


Church Mission

The First United Methodist Church of Moscow, Idaho takes as our mission to be the body of Jesus Christ, ministering to a community which draws strength from its diversity. Our mission centers on the worship of God, expressed through varied forms of prayer, preaching, music, and ritual.  See more...