Psalm – Week 40 Sermon Notes

By October 30, 2016Sermon Notes

Psa. 4:2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?

Psa. 25:2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.

Psa. 97:7 All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols — worship him, all you gods!

Heb. 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1Pet. 2:6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

  1. Intro

*In the 6th grade I was walking to the front of the room and a classmate named Brett(who later became a friend) tripped me on purpose.

*I sprawled on the floor, embarrassed…ashamed.

*I spent the rest of the day, this was in the morning…meditating on revenge.

*As soon as Brett left the school grounds…I attacked him…he would pay for causing my shame.

*Last spring I was out of town, interacting with people I mostly didn’t know at a dinner party.

*In one conversation I stumbled over some words…the interaction was already awkward…my face felt flush…a few beads of sweat formed on my forehead……the old feelings were still there…not feelings of revenge I didn’t attack him in the parking lot after dinner…but some of those same feelings are still in me.

*It was instructive…it told me things about me that are still true.

*Embarrassment is the word we use to describe a mild form of shame.

*I remember as a kid riding my bike into a parked car because I wasn’t looking.

-It really hurt but as I drove away on my now crooked bike I was wondering who saw me?

-How could the pain of shame capture my attention more than the pain of my bleeding leg?

*We don’t grow out of it…Most adults…can become embarrassed by something quite small…a trip, a spill, a misspoken word.

*Or even by something someone else does…their child, their spouse makes a bad choice and they shame.

*Normal responses…of course…but why?

*Our weakness, our foolishness, our insecurity is exposed in those moments.

*Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior…dictionary definition.

*Shame is the feeling we have when we have been exposed.

*My failure, my weakness, my inadequacy…is out in the open.

*Shame can provoke anger…but in the end it most often leads to some kind of avoidance strategy…”I’m going to do whatever I can to not be in that kind of situation again.”

*We can begin to navigate through life looking to not feel shame.

*I know a number of people who had a shame producing experience as a child…failure at sports, or math, or a relationship…all kinds of things…and that single experience led to a lifelong avoidance strategy.

*Important distinction: We are talking about feelings this month…what they can tell us about our lives.

*When we talk about shame we are not talking about “shameful actions”…things that can produce or should produce shame.

*We are talking about the “painful feeling” of shame and what it can tell us.

*What is the root cause of much of our feelings of shame?

*This month in the Psalms we have looked at emotions and how they can take us away from God or open us up to him…they can be like check engine lights…they are not the problem, they can reveal a deeper problem.

*We have looked at how they can instruct us but must not direct our lives.

*We have looked at Anger, Fear, Envy, Despair…today Shame.

*Next month we will spend the month in gratitude, looking at Psalms of Thanksgiving…so hang in one more week.

*Shame

*Shame is the feeling of traumatic exposure of our nakedness…we are weak, incompetent, ugly, foolish, stupid, we do not have it all together.

*Our culture generally views shame as the byproduct of poor self-esteem.

*The focus is external…bullies (cyber and in person), red marks on exams, skinny models on TV, not enough praise and encouragement…these are the causes of my shame.

*Our shame is the failure of others to give us what we need.

*So we are the products mostly, or entirely of how others treat us.

*Christianity doesn’t help…with all of its talk of “sin nature” and God’s “wrath.”

*Then throw in all of its rules that suppress and oppress me as a person…tell me I shouldn’t do or think or be this or that…no wonder I feel shame.

*The “cure” for shame is therefore:

  1. I need more encouragement (even if it is unwarranted, or not based on reality)

-Even if it is looking to others to do what they cannot do for me…take my feelings of shame…fix my core problems.

  1. Less discouraging messages (even if these discouraging messages point to a reality, a real problem)

-Don’t tell me I need to change, it makes me feel bad

*But do we feel shame mostly because of external factors?

*Cause is very important: Our understanding of cause will lead us in certain directions.

*Last Spring I injured my right shoulder…it felt very similar to what I had done in the past to my left shoulder so I applied the same solution.

*The problem was after 6 months it was getting worse…the harder I worked, worse it became.

*This is called “false cause”

*To solve a problem you first determine the cause then the solution follows…when the cause is wrong, the solution is likely going to be as well.

*I went to a friend, Gabe, who is a really good PT.

*He said “Terry, it makes sense why you tried what you did, the problems feel very similar, however the causes are very different, your solution was making it worse.”

*So is our shame largely because of the failure of others to give us what we need…or because we have hearts that are drawn to idols?

“Shame is rooted in our inherent preference to trust false gods rather than depend on God for each and every moment of our existence.” Allendar

*A correct evaluation of cause is critical to moving towards real solutions.

*I’ve outgrown the response that caused me to chase down a classmate and assault him…but when my wife (innocently) asks me questions that “poke” my pride or make me feel vulnerable I can respond with defensiveness…

*I know its touching a deeper issue…because my emotional response is disproportionate to the innocent question.

*My propensity for shame based action (living), violent as a 5th grader is still there at 58…a little more sophisticated, but still instructive.

*What does it tell me about me? Where is my hope, my trust, my confidence?

Psa. 4:2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?

Psa. 97:7 All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols — worship him, all you gods!

*Why do the false gods lead to shame and confidence in the true God protect from shame?

*Because false gods fail…when we place our confidence there…we fail, we experience shame.

Is 42:17 But those who trust in idols, who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’ will be turned back in utter shame.

*Then describes the person who trusts in idols…how absurd it is.

Is 44:16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.” 17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Save me; you are my god.”

*The whole scenario is quite ridiculous.

*”Of course its stupid to worship a piece of wood…everyone knows that.”

*They were not worshipping the piece of wood but rather the god that was embodied by the piece of wood.

*These gods were able to be controlled and manipulated and compelled by the actions of people.

*The god is an invention of their minds even as the wooden idols were inventions of their hands.

*An idol is anything that takes the place of God as priority in our hearts and lives.

*Idols are gods that we hope to control in order to determine outcomes in our lives..but then they come to control us…mock us.

*Whatever maneuvers to take priority in my life… Image, control, things, pleasures, reputation…these are idols.

*Most Americans would believe Isaiah’s description is absurd…worshipping idols they made out of wood.

*Even as they worship idols of self-image, of things, the perceptions of others in cyber space…we are just as silly at they were.

*I can have idols in my life…my shame illuminates them…reveals them.

*These idols are what I believe I need…but I don’t…and shame can show me that…because it reveals the failure of idols.

*Feelings of shame reveal what we are really trusting for life.

*When I worship the god of looking together or smart or strong…I have put my hope in a god that has no power to rescue and redeem.

*Shame exposes what we worship.

*I may feel regret for a failure and its impact…but I feel shame when I have been exposed by my failure.

*We will either cry out to God and move towards him as a strategy to deal with our exposure.

*Or we will strategize ways to deal with shame in ways that make us hard, or fearful, foolish.

*Shame, can shut us down or open us up to the heart of God.

*False cause is wrong ideas about the reason we feel shame.

*Treating symptoms…is attempting to get rid of feelings of shame rather than addressing the real issue.

*What is the real issue?

*Our hearts are continually drawn away from God to substitutions…this is the common human condition.

Let’s me tell you a story:

*Jeff Skilling…know that name?

*He’s been in prison for 10 years, four to go.

*He was CEO of Enron, Harvard grad part of a group of men who were called “The Smartest Guys in the Room.”

*Enron was the largest bankruptcy in history at the time…Skilling and the other smart guys used deceptive practices to hid their failure…in the end it cost many their life savings.

*Skilling’s favorite book was “The Selfish Gene” written by atheistic Richard Dawkins.

*Skilling believed that “money and fear” were the only things that motivated people…we are designed by evolution for selfish behavior…driven by greed and fear.

*He tried to apply that to his work and life…it didn’t work either place.

*Clearly he was driven by money and fear…clearly it drove him in a wrong direction.

*But what was he afraid of?

*Shame…exposure.

*He was a man driven to look a certain way…his gods failed him and led him to shame.

*There is an important reality about idols here: They call us to trust them because they will give us what we need…then when they fail us…they mock us.

*How much energy do you spend avoiding shame?

*What if the idol you have cherished and believe you need in order to have life is stealing life from you?

*The idol of image..I must not look dumb, uncool…I must have this image or my life will be over.

*Its keeping you from trying new things, enjoying people, and family, and your life…from impact from joy.

*Idols make false promises…then they mock you.

* While Christ is calling you to himself to give you life.

*Married couples: how much of the problems between you and your spouse…is really the problem within you? (I’m not saying all of it)

-What idol is stealing life from your marriage?

-How is it causing you to, even in what is supposed to be closest of all relationships, live to avoid shame…looking bad, weak, ugly, vulnerable, needy?

*We can and make and serve idols…often unwittingly.

*We don’t see them as such…but they have priority in our hearts and they drive many of our actions…so they are idols.

*Fear of not having enough at retirement.

*Rather than being driven by a desire to be faithful…we are driven by the fear of shame.

*We will not end up a failure, or look like a loser.

*We are not going to be done with feeling shame this side of heaven.

*But we do not have to let it determine our actions.

*I may still break into a sweat if I feel foolish (wish I didnt)…and I feel foolish because I do not want look incompetent in front of others.

*My feeling of shame tells me there is an idol trying to gain priority in my heart…but since I do not have to obey idols…I can feel shame…and I can do my best to love this person in front of me…all at the same time.

*We do not have to live our lives to impress (this is the game the world is playing) 

*No one really cares about the fact you are playing the game…people trying to impress are not going to be impressed…just jealous, or more desperate to look impressive themselves.

*When everyone believes they are on stage, who is actually in the audience watching?…who is left to impress when all are trying to impress.

*Facebook is often a billion mouths and no ears…everyone talking, no one listening…there is a value to it…this not true for everyone of course.

*But many show their idols of preference there…and other places in cyber space.

*We can live our lives to bless (this is the life of the gospel).

I can feel what I feel…but I can choose to move towards you in love.

*Christ is calling us to abandon the games the world plays and live the life he has for us.

Heb. 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

*The Cross is likely the most cruel form of execution ever practiced.

*It delayed death until the maximum torture had been inflicted.

*Roman citizens were exempt except in extreme cases of treason.

*The Romans regarded crucifixion with shame and horror, so did the Jews but for a different reason.

*They made no distinction between a cross and tree and Deut. 21:23 says that “anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse.”

*They could not bring themselves to believe that God’s Messiah would die under this curse.

*The cross, a public, naked, painful, humiliating death is what Jesus “scorned the shame of.”

*Normally if you scorn something you have nothing to do with it…you avoid it.

*Here it means that Jesus thought so little of the shame that he did not bother to avoid it…because he was fixed on the will of his Father.

*You and I will struggle with feelings of shame at some level throughout our lives…but because Jesus scorned the shame of the cross…he has purchased our freedom.

*We don’t have to answer to shame, it does not have to master us…the final outcomes of our lives, as believers will not be shame.

1Pet. 2:6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

*Again, as we have discussed each week this month…feel what you feel, let those feelings instruct you…but do not let them direct you.

*If you feel shame, if you feel like you must make choices to avoid situations that might expose you…let that shame reveal the idols so that you can repent of them.

*Feeling shame is a bitter bondage but it can be used by God to bring freedom from the idols that take life from us.

*Gen. 2:25   The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

*They were exposed…physically, mentally, spiritually to God and to one another…without shame.

*Then Adam and Eve sought to experience life on their own terms…shame entered their lives…they first covered themselves to protect themselves from exposure to one another.

*Then they attempted to hid from God among the trees to protect themselves from exposure to God.

*God called out to Adam…”where are you?” He knew where they were physically…it was a question of self-examination.

*Gen. 3:10   He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

*First, God announced judgment.

*Then, God announced the gospel.

*Their offspring, singular “He” will crush the serpents head…this was Jesus.

*God made an animal sacrifice to cover their shame…this foreshadowed the sacrifice of Jesus.

*Shame is going to threaten us throughout our lives…but God can use those feelings to pry our hearts free of idols and take our hearts back again and again to the gospel.

*When you feel compelled to run or hide from shame.

*When you are tempted to navigate life using shame avoidance as your guide.

*When you feel your palms grow sweaty, if you feel stupid, or defensive, or vulnerable…these are triggers to turn your heart back to Christ.

*When Jesus scorned the shame…it doesn’t mean he did not feel the shame of the cross…it means shame did not keep him from the cross…from faithfulness.

*We are going to celebrate communion this morning.

*Communion is remembering the gospel, proclaiming it in actions and it is together in community, as God’s people coming again to Christ for his grace….Explain

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