God's Plan in the Poetical Books

Dr. Steve Viars June 23, 2013

Colossians 1:15-20 - He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Say it in a sentence – God's plan is to help you live in a way that is worshipful, wise, and wonderfully practical, and the poetical books are designed to help you do exactly that.


1. Thinking about the poetical books from a historical perspective.

a. Call of Abraham – 2165 BC

b. Moses and the crossing of the Red Sea – 1440 BC

c. The reign of David – 1000 BC

d. The nation divided – 931 BC

e. The fall of the northern kingdom of Israel to Assyria – 722 BC

f. The fall of the southern kingdom of Judah to Babylon – 586 BC

2. Thinking about the poetical books from a literary perspective.

3. Thinking about the poetical books from a theological perspective.

Four gifts in the Garden (man eventually lost all of these to some degree)

a. Right relationship with God

b. Right relationship with himself

c. Right relationship with others

d. Right relationship with his environment (circumstances)

I. God's Plan is for You to Live in a Way that is Worshipful

A. Structure of the book of Psalms

1. The "five books"

a. Psalm 1-41

b. Psalm 42-72

c. Psalm 73-89

d. Psalm 90-106

e. Psalm 107-150

2. The different types of Psalms

a. Hymns

b. Psalms of lament

c. Thanksgiving Psalms

d. Psalms of confidence

e. Psalms of remembrance

f. Wisdom Psalms

g. Kingship Psalms

B. Meaning of Worship

“Our word ‘worship’ is derived from the old English word ‘worthship,’ and that helps us to understand its basic meaning. Worship is acknowledging the unique worth of an object and showing honor and respect to it. So Biblical words like honor, respect, awe, adoration, reverence, and glorifying are often near synonyms for the term ‘worship,’ communicating a similar idea. Obviously this practice is not one that is limited to public gatherings. In fact, in Scripture those terms are used much more often in regard to our personal relationship with God than to our activities in the presence of other Christians.” (Mack and Swavely – Life in the Father's House)

C. Characteristics of a worshipful life

1. Joyful

Psalm 100:1 - Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.

2. Submissive

Psalm 100:3 - Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

3. Thankful

Psalm 100:4-5 - Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.

D. A Major Focus of our daily living

II. God Wants You to Live in a Way that is Wise

A. Structure of the Book

1. Preamble – 1:1-7

2. Extended discourse on wisdom – 1:8-9:18

3. Solomonic proverbs – 10:1-22, 16, 25:1-29, 27

4. Sayings of the wise – 22:17-24, 34

5. Sayings of Agur – 30

6. Sayings of King Lemuel – 31:1-9

7. Poem to the Virtuous woman – 31:10-31

B. Key verse

Proverbs 1:7 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

C. Great hope

Psalm 19:7 - The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

III. God's Plan for You is to Live in a Way that is Worshipful, Wise, and Wonderfully Practical

A. Even when facing severe hardship

Job 1:20-22 - Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

B. Even when questioning the meaning of life

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 - The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

C. Even when wrestling with human sexuality

Psalm 67:1-7 - God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us. That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

Additional Resources


Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video