Imprecation and Supplication in Psalm 83

John Piper

I have tried to deal faithfully with curses in the Psalms, for example, in a sermon on Psalm 69.

Psalm 83, however, presents a different challenge. At the end there is a strange mixture of supplication and imprecation:

Fill their faces with shame,
that they may seek your name, O Lord.
Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
let them perish in disgrace,
that they may know that you alone,
whose name is the Lord,
are the Most High over all the earth.
... Continue Reading

It's My Pleasure

Noel Piper

When I came home from running errands yesterday, I found a florist’s delivery on my back porch—rich, red long-stemmed roses. The gift card had no words, only numbers: 6-6-66.

Yesterday, 6-6-09, was the 43rd anniversary of the day I met Johnny Piper in the lounge of Fischer Hall at Wheaton College. God has brought us a long way since then.

When I got the flowers, Johnny was in Raleigh. Remembering the many times he’s told a favorite what-if story, I texted him: “Oh Johnny, they’re beautiful!... Continue Reading

Why and How I Am Tweeting

John Piper

I see two kinds of response to social Internet media like blogging, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and others.

One says: These media tend to shorten attention spans, weakendiscursive reasoning, lure people away from Scripture and prayer,disembody relationships, feed the fires of narcissism, cater to thecraving for attention, fill the world with drivel, shrink the soul’scapacity for greatness, and make us second-handers who comment on lifewhen we ought to be living it. So boycott them... Continue Reading

Exposing the Idol of Self-Glory

Jon Bloom

The love of our own glory is the greatest competitor with God in our hearts. And sometimes we can cloak this idol in a pious disguise. In Matthew 21, Jesus unmasked such an idol with a single question.

It was the final week before Jesus’ day of judgment—the day he would stand before his Father’s bar of justice bearing the sins of all who ever had or would believe in him and in their place be crushed by the Father’s wrath.

He no longer avoided the treacherous Jewish political... Continue Reading

Sitting Where Angels Stand

David Mathis

What’s more impressive than standing in God’s presence? Sitting—and doing so at the right hand.

An angel said to John the Baptist’s father: “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19). That’s noteworthy.

But more so is what Hebrews says about Jesus:

After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (Hebrews 1:3-4)

That’s... Continue Reading

A Prideful Arrogant Little Prayer

John Piper

Andrew Klavan, 54, is a writer of thrillers. His latest novel, and his first aimed at "young adults" (grades 8-11) is The Last Thing I Remember.

He recently described his move from Judaism to Atheism to Christ. His interview with Marvin Olasky moved me, especially the mercy of God in his conversion. He recounts a “prideful arrogant little prayer.”

In keeping with the way my life has worked, I was reading a novel by the guy I think is probably the best English novelist in... Continue Reading

More on Not Using Twitter During Worship Services

John Piper

Josh Harris has done us a good service. He explains why many of us think it’s a bad idea to “tweet” while participating in corporate worship. That is, we think you should use Twitter before and after corporate worship to say what you take in and take out. But when you are in corporate worship, Worship! There is a difference between communion with God and commenting on communion with God.

Don’t tweet while having sex. Don’t tweet while praying with the dying.... Continue Reading

One Reason God Created Singing and Poetry

John Piper

In the Religious Affections Jonathan Edwards ventures this explanation of why there is song and poetry.

And the duty of singing praises to God, seems to be appointed wholly to excite and express religious affections. No other reason can be assigned, why we should express ourselves to God in verse, rather than in prose, and do it with music, but only, that such is our nature and frame, that these things have a tendency to move our affections.

For this to have the... Continue Reading

John’s Crazy Joy: More on Bridegrooms and Purification

John Piper

This is mainly for husbands. I’ve seen a few more things since last Sunday’s message on John the Baptist and his crazy happiness. For example, I read this:

It is possible (but not right) for baptized believers to act in their lives as though the gospel were not true. How many conservative husbands are outraged if some liberal preacher says that Jesus did not rise from the dead, when their daily treatment of their wives makes the same statement? At least... Continue Reading