Sermon: Love Songs
Series: Psalms and Songs
Text: Psalm 33
Love is arguably the most common theme in music. With an incredible capacity to love and to receive love it should be no surprise we find love so interesting and inspiring. At the same time we have a heart that is vulnerable and explosive. When it comes to love we often experience as much exhilaration as we do confusion.
In today’s music there are basically four types of love songs. 1) Pure romance. This is the song that makes the ladies melt. It is romeo with a beat. Much like John Legend’s “All of me” it is all about the words. 2) I’m not like the other guys. These songs pick up the important theme of rebuilding trust in someone after a broken heart. Justin Timberlake’s “Not a Bad Thing” is a prime example. “I know people make promises, all the time, then turn right around and break them. When someone cuts your heart, open with a knife and you’re bleeding, but I could be that guy, to heal it over time, and I won’t stop until you believe it.” 3) Lust at first sight. It’s not really about love as much as it is about immediate attraction and a wild night. Ed Sheeran’s “Sing” exemplifies this genre. 4) Finally, we have the break up song. No one is better at break ups than Taylor Swift. She doesn’t have anything currently topping the charts, but someone is going to break her heart soon and she will get over it by slicing him open on 12 tracks and sell 10 million copies.
If you listen to today’s music it is not hard to hear the volatility of our experience in love. Yet, God puts on display for His people a perfect picture of redeeming love. In Psalm 33 David writes a song for stringed instruments and he says in verse 21, “For our heart is glad in Him because we trust His holy name.” In the song David celebrates 4 things about God as a true lover.
A true lover:
- Speaks a trustworthy word (Psalm 33:4a, 6-9). Everything God says comes true. He does not simply make empty romantic promises, but His Word comes to pass. The right response is to stand in awe of Him in worship (v. 8). For those who are married, never underestimate the power of your words. Especially for the men, we need to be mindful of our words toward our wives. For those who are single and searching, find someone that can be trusted. Someone who is always backtracking, covering for themselves, and having to constantly explain why what they said doesn’t match what they did, is not a fit lover – move on.
- Does a faithful work (Psalm 33:4b, 10-12). We will constantly deal with difficulty when it comes to life and love. Yet even though the nations rage against the Lord, His plans do not fail. What He has determined to do, He will do. He is faithful because He is able. As Timberlake’s song insinuates, it is difficult to trust people. Yet he croons in a vulgar way that if his lover will go out, do whatever she wants to do with whoever she wants to do it with, that she will find in the end, he is the one. is that really the way we want to arrive at the truth? You will never find someone higher by looking lower. If you want to find truly love, you have to know where to truly look. In the Lord we find a lover who has not only envisioned a plan for us, but is faithful to perform on His Word. For the married couples, are you simply coexisting, or is there a dream and a plan for your marriage? What are your goals. We need in our marriage to be constantly working and fostering faithfulness for one another. For the searching singles, find someone like our God in the most basic ways – working! Find someone with ambition, a plan, goals and who is working toward those ends.
- Goes a righteous way (Psalm 33:5a, 13-17). David finds in the Lord someone who does right. Sheeran’s song is the age old story of the one night stand. Yet we need to realize that our life is not a music video, our life has real consequences. David writes two Psalms about the misery of the consequences of a night driven by lust (Psalm 32 and 51). The conviction of the Lord was greatly on him and the guilt of his sin made his body ache in the heaviness of shame. You can’t get to the right place going the wrong way. You can’t find the right thing looking in the wrong place. David says that the Lord looks down from heaven on us and he fashions our hearts and deeds in His hands. This means He is mindful of all we do, nothing escapes His righteous gaze. Whether a searching single or married, we need to have a vision for righteous, redeeming love. We need a love that God honors, that has purity at its heart and Christ and the church as its vision. God does not trash us in lust, but He redeems us in love.
- Extends a lasting love (Psalm 33:5b, 18-22). There is no breakup song for God. No lover has been more attested as being faithful and loyal as He. In the Lord David found for his heart gladness and hope. He knew the Lord would not fail. When we realize how we have been loved by God and we celebrate His love it informs us and prepares us to give and receive love to others. God’s lasting love shows us the boundaries of love. His love for us shows us where love works and where love is not love at all but unrighteous lust. God’s love informs us in that it raises our expectations and standards. Even when we are disappointed in love, we are not looking lower but higher because of the lasting love God extends to us. God’s lasting love also gives us a place of grace. The lasting love of God requires grace. Ultimately we are an unfaithful, unrighteous people, yet God gives steadfast love to His people. God’s love gives us grace and stability we can extend to others, which will go a long way in repairing relationships.
As much as we hear on the radio about love, we need to see what redeemed love looks like. God has given us an incredible capacity for love and passion, yet in a sinful world much of what we hear is merely a perversion of truth. The love God has for His people is a perfect love. When we seek Him first, it helps us to be more discerning with the messages we hear, but it also helps us to be more loving toward those around us. Paul said in Phil. 1:9 that our love needs to abound, grow more and more with knowledge and all discernment.
If you are heart broken and looking for true love. Repent of sin and receive the love of God He has given to us in His son Jesus Christ. Receive Him as Lord and Savior and follow Him as a disciple. Only by experiencing redeeming love can we sort though the chaos of love in this life and know what true love is (Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10, 13).