Sunday, February 18, 2018

Psalms: A Guide To Prayer And Praise Session 5 - Psalm 22 Where Are You God?




The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group studying the book Psalms: A Guide to Prayer and Praise by Ron Klug. The Psalms are some of the most widely read and best-loved portions of the Bible. For thousands of years these songs of faith have spoken to the hearts and minds of people around the world. The Psalms are songs–music our spirits sing to the Creator. They are poems–full of vibrant imagery and strong rhythms. And they are prayers–our deepest emotions expressed to the Lord who feels with us. Most importantly, the Psalms are God’s Word to us, revealing the truth about him and our relationship with him. Study along with us by getting a copy of the book by clicking this LINK or the image of the book at the end of the study notes. You can also hear the audio of each session of the study by clicking on the YouTube Thumbnail


Last week we looked at Psalms 42 and 43 they were a personal cry to God from someone who was despondent and depressed because he was not able to get to the Temple and to God’s presence.

He’s hounded by enemies who are keeping him from making the trip. 

Even when we pray we wonder if God has forgotten us, does He hear us, does He care?  All the time our enemies are taunting us.  Pointing and saying if God loves so much why are you sick, broke, alone, sad, and discouraged? Even in the face of those taunts we can say that our hope and trust is in God. 

Our longing for God’s presence is overwhelming until we remember who God is. And He loves us.  We remember that He said that He would never leave us.

Psalm 42 and 43 both end in hope and.


Psalm 42:11 (NLT)  Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!

Psalm 43:5 (NLT) Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!

This Psalm 22 isn’t much different in that it is written by someone who’s desperate.  Psalms 42 and 43 were written by sons of Korah who served as temple musicians. Psalm 22 was written by David.  All three are examples of lament, a personal cry to God in time of trouble.

This psalm can be seen as a personal lament and as a messianic psalm (one that finds its ultimate fulfillment in Christ and his reign). The psalmist is speaking of his own condition—himself. But at another level, the psalm expresses Israel’s deep longing for a Messiah or Savior. It also paints a prophetic and vivid picture of Christ crucified.

The popular axiom called Murphy’s Law fits the psalmist’s situation here well: If anything can go wrong, it will. He is surrounded by some rather vicious enemies, and it just seems to be getting worse. He musters up the wherewithal to offer a desperate prayer and soon finds a way not out of the situation, but through it, to God.
     
1. How would you counsel someone who felt abandoned by God?

There were some suggestions in Psalms 42 and 43.  The were the answer to question #12 in last week's study:

     Desperately seek to get into God’s presence.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Psalm 42:1-2 NIV

     Remember

Psalm 42:4 NIV These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

Psalm 42:6-8 NIV My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.  Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

     Place your hope

Psalm 42:5 NIV  Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:11 NIV Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 43:5 NIV Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

     Praise

Psalm 42:5 NIV Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 43:4 NIV Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

READ PSALM 22:1–8


Psalm 22:1-8 NIV My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?  My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.  Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.  In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.  To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.  But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.  All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.  “He trusts in the Lord ,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

2. What was the writer’s emotional state at the beginning of this psalm? What was his attitude toward God?

He’s depressed, thinking that he is all alone.  He can't sleep.

He knows that God is God and that He is his nation's God and that He had delivered them time and time again. He does trust God.

3. When have you felt like this? What caused those feelings?

When I have been unemployed and in financial trouble are the times I’ve felt like David. 
        
4. How did the psalmist attempt to handle this feeling of being forsaken by God?

He remembered who God is.

Psalm 22:3-5 NIV Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.  In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.  To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

What is the significance of the word yet in verse 3?

Even though David was feeling that he was all alone He still knew that God was still in control because He was God.  He remembered God and His greatness, even when immersed in suffering. He did not curse or blaspheme God, and he knew that his present agony did not change God's holiness
        
 5. How does the record of God’s help toward others make the psalmist feel?

Psalm 22:4-5 NIV In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.  To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

Made him feel unworthy

Why?

He said as much in the next verses

Psalm 22:6-8 NIV But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.  All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.  “He trusts in the Lord ,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”


READ PSALM 22:9–18.


Psalm 22:9-18 NIV Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.  From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.  Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.  Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.  Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me.  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.  My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.  Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.  All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.  They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.

6. Despite his own feelings and the mockery of others, what did the psalmist realize is verses 9 and 10?

Psalm 22:9-10 NIV Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.  From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.


Even though others were saying this God he trusts doesn't seem to be doing anything for him.  Let's see it.

What was his prayer?

His prayer was for protection and deliverance.

Psalm 22:11 NIV Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

7. Many graphic metaphors are used to describe the psalmist’s enemies. In one word or phrase, summarize the psalmist’s situation.

Grave danger

Jesus quoted from this psalm in

      verse 1 -  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? - And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ).Mark 15:34 NIV

These verses also describe Jesus’s crucifixion. 

   Verse 14 -   I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. - Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. John 19:34 NIV

     Verse 15 - My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. -  Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” John 19:28 NIV

      Verse 17 -  All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. -  Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.  Matthew 27:39-44 NIV

     Verse 16 - Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. -Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. Mark 15:29-32 NIV

     Verse 17 - All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. -  Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”  and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”John 19:31-37 NIV

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified
Jesus, took His garments and made four parts,
 to each soldier a part, and also the tunic.
     Verse 18 - They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.  -  When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.  “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” So this is what the soldiers did. John 19:23-24 NIV


READ PSALM 22:19–31


Psalm 22:19-31 NIV But you, Lord , do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.  Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.  Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.  I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you.  You who fear the Lord , praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!  For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.  From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.  The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him— may your hearts live forever!  All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord , and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,  for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.  All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive.  Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.  They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!

8. In anticipation of God’s help, the writer resolved to praise God among his fellow believers in the congregation. How did he fulfill this promise?

He encouraged the people to praise God by speaking directly to them.  Because God had not forsaken him.

Psalm 22:23-24 NIV You who fear the Lord , praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!  For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

9. What reasons did the psalmist have for praising God?

He had not left him. He had not turned on him because he was suffering.  Infact he had heard and helped him.

Psalm 22:24 NIV For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

How would you summarize his personal testimony? 

God had always come to his rescue.

10. What is the psalmist’s vision of the future in verses 27–31?

Psalm 22:27-31 NIV All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord , and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,  for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.  All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive.  Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.  They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!

That everything and everyone will eventually praise God.
        
How does this vision of the future compare with your own?

That is my view.

Romans 14:11 NIV It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ ”

Philippians 2:9-11 NIV Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 8:28-30 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

11. Psalm 22 begins in a mood of despair and ends on a note of triumph. What do you think enabled the psalmist to move into positive affirmation?

His praise focused his attention on God and who he was and what he had done.

Psalm 22:3-5 NIV Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.  In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.  To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.


Psalm 22:22-23, 25-31 NIV I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you.  You who fear the Lord , praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!  From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.  The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him— may your hearts live forever!  All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord , and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,  for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.  All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive.  Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.  They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!


12. What clues does this psalm give as to what we can do when we are feeling forsaken by God?

Focus on God and remember what he's done for you and for others.  Remember that He has always been and will always be with you.  Praise Him and encourage others to praise Him. 


Bible Study Audio








Sunday, February 11, 2018

Psalms: A Guide To Prayer And Praise - Session 4 - Psalms 42 And 43 - A Personal Cry



The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group studying the book Psalms: A Guide to Prayer and Praise by Ron Klug. The Psalms are some of the most widely read and best-loved portions of the Bible. For thousands of years these songs of faith have spoken to the hearts and minds of people around the world. The Psalms are songs–music our spirits sing to the Creator. They are poems–full of vibrant imagery and strong rhythms. And they are prayers–our deepest emotions expressed to the Lord who feels with us. Most importantly, the Psalms are God’s Word to us, revealing the truth about him and our relationship with him. Study along with us by getting a copy of the book by clicking this LINK or the image of the book at the end of the study notes. You can also hear the audio of each session of the study by clicking on the YouTube Thumbnail

When the going gets tough, the tough get going, we’re told. But often tough times stop us in our tracks, raising doubts and questions. How good it is to know that we can bring our questions to God and trust in his unfailing love.

These psalms were written by the sons of Korah who served as temple musicians. Most scholars think that Psalms 42 and 43 were originally one psalm, as they contain several repeated choruses and thoughts. This is an example of a lament, a personal cry to God in time of trouble.
     
 1. When you are depressed or lonely, do you turn to God or away from him? Why?

Now I turn to God.  I used to turn away but getting mad at God and trying things my way didn't work.  They may have seemed to work temporarily but not completely or permanently.  I learned through reading and experience that only God has the complete and permanent solution.  It may not be or have been what I thought was best but the greatest thing that I got or get when I turn to God is peace. 

In my blog I have a section that I call FTE Psalm of the Week, where I highlight a different Psalm each week Psalm 42 was my Psalm of the Week last August 7th.  (Psalm 43 FTE Psalm Of The Week - Longing For God)

Here’s what I wrote

In this psalm the psalmist is despondent because he can’t go to the Temple as he has been able to in the past.  He’s hounded by enemies who are keeping him from making the trip. 

Even when we pray we wonder if God has forgotten us, does He hear us, does He care?  All the time our enemies are taunting us.  Pointing and saying if God loves so much why are you sick, broke, alone, sad, and discouraged? Even in the face of those taunts we can say that our hope and trust is in God. 

Our longing for God’s presence is overwhelming until we remember who God is. And He loves us.  We remember that He said that He would never leave us.

1 John 4:9-10 (NLT)9  God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.10  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)6  So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

While we search for God’s presence we remember the times when when we felt His presence in our lives without the trials and tribulations of this word.  We then remember Jesus’ promise

 John 16:33 (NLT)33  I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Like the psalmist we conclude that even in times of trouble we are not alone and we can say with him; “I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!”

Psalm 42


Psalm 42:1-11 NIV As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?  My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”  These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.  Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.  Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.  I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”  My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”  Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.


2. What vivid picture did the psalmist use to express his longing for God?

Our longing for God’s presence just like a deer racing to water to quench its thirst.  Like a child longing for their mother.  Like a man or woman longing for their spouse.

Have you ever experienced this thirst for God?  Explain.

3. Why was the psalmist downcast?

The psalmist is despondent because he can’t go to the Temple as he has been able to in the past.  He’s hounded by enemies who are keeping him from making the trip.

4. Faced with depression and the mocking of his enemies, what did the psalmist do?

He praised God and put His trust in Him.  He encouraged himself in the Lord.

1 Samuel 30:1-6 NIV David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.  When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

What encouraging memories of worship or other religious experience can you recall?

When I was between jobs and I didn't panic where at previous times I did because I looked at the situation and didn't delight myself in the Lord.

5. When the writer felt depressed and overwhelmed by life, what did he remember (verses 6–8)? How constant was God’s care?

Psalm 42:6-8 NIV My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.  Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

 First, will I remember the land Jordan; that is, I will remember the great goodness of God in drying up the river Jordan, that so the tribes of Israel might pass over to the promised land:

  Joshua 3:14-17 NIV So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

Then, I will remember the land of the Hermonites; in that land were Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan,

 Joshua 12:1-5 NIV These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon, including all the eastern side of the Arabah:  Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon. He ruled from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge—from the middle of the gorge—to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites. This included half of Gilead. He also ruled over the eastern Arabah from the Sea of Galilee to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea), to Beth Jeshimoth, and then southward below the slopes of Pisgah.  And the territory of Og king of Bashan, one of the last of the Rephaites, who reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei.  He ruled over Mount Hermon, Salekah, all of Bashan to the border of the people of Geshur and Maakah, and half of Gilead to the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.

Deep calleth unto deep. What's that?  The psalmist is falling to deeper and deeper into despair.  Even so he knows that God will catch because He loves him.  That love is never ending hence the references of both day and night 

Affliction may put out our candle, but if it cannot silence our song we will soon light the candle again. And my prayer unto the God of my life. Prayer is yoked with praise. He who is the living God, is the God of our life, from him we derive it, with him in prayer and praise we spend it, to him we devote it, in him we shall prefect it.
  
6. What range of feelings do you sense in the psalmist’s intense questions in verses 9–11?

 Psalm 42:9-11 NIV  I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”  My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”  Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

He feels that God may have forgotten him   He's depressed, he wants to know why this is happening.  Yet there is hope.

7. What was the basis of his hope?

Go back to our answers to question 5 he remembered and then praised God.

Psalm 43


Psalm 43:1-5 NIV Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked.  You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?  Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.  Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.  Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.


8. List the three things the psalmist asked God to do for him in verse. What is the meaning of the word vindicate?

Vindicate means to clear of accusation or blame; to justify and support.

He is still depressed in this Psalm too.  He’s being hounded by enemies like in Psalm 42.

     Vindicate him -We who are saved have been justified, or vindicated by or through faith   Romans 5:1-2 NIV. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

     Plead his cause -  Jesus is our advocate 1 John 2:1-2 NIV My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

     Rescue him - Jesus redeems or rescues us from the curse of sin.   Romans 6:23 NIV For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.!

9. The psalmist repeated some questions in verse 2. How do you think God feels about our asking questions like these?

Psalm 43:2 NIV You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?

God wants us to be real with Him.  Remember our stuy Prayer Begins With Relationship?  We had a Session Stop Faking It.

No more faking feeling fine.   When we become convinced that God is really our friend, which is what we talked about last week we really know how He feels about us and the we can talk to Him about anything.   Well we can look to Jesus as our example of being open with our friends.  He permitted Himself to express a full range of emotions, positive ones like joy, love, and compassion and some we would consider negative like, anger, indignation, and impatience.

This is the prayer of a man who is not afraid to let his friend know what he is feeling. 

Psalm 5:1-12 NIV Listen to my words, Lord , consider my lament.  Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.  In the morning, Lord , you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.  For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome.  The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong;  you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord , detest.  But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.  Lead me, Lord , in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me.  Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies.  Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.  But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  Surely, Lord , you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

10. The writer expressed two needs in verse 3. Why were these important to him?

Psalm 43:3 NIV Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.

The needs are for God to care for him and to lead him to God’s presence.  He was depressed as in Psalm 42 so He needed God’s presence.

11. What evidence do you see that the writer’s attitude changed during the psalm?

When he got to the temple, into God’s presence he started to praise Him.

Psalm 43:4 NIV  Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

12. What practical suggestions for handling feelings of depression are offered in these psalms?

     Desperately seek to get into God’s presence.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Psalm 42:1-2 NIV

     Remember

Psalm 42:4 NIV These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

Psalm 42:6-8 NIV My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.  Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.


     Place your hope

Psalm 42:5 NIV  Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:11 NIV Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 43:5 NIV Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

     Praise

Psalm 42:5 NIV Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.


Psalm 43:4 NIV Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

13. Why does God sometimes seem to be far from us?
        
 How can we experience more fully the presence of God?



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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Psalms: A Guide To Prayer And Praise - Session 3 - Psalm 33, The Lord Is Maker And Ruler





The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group studying the book Psalms: A Guide to Prayer and Praise by Ron Klug. The Psalms are some of the most widely read and best-loved portions of the Bible. For thousands of years these songs of faith have spoken to the hearts and minds of people around the world. The Psalms are songs–music our spirits sing to the Creator. They are poems–full of vibrant imagery and strong rhythms. And they are prayers–our deepest emotions expressed to the Lord who feels with us. Most importantly, the Psalms are God’s Word to us, revealing the truth about him and our relationship with him. Study along with us by getting a copy of the book by clicking this LINK or the image of the book at the end of the study notes. You can also hear the audio of each session of the study by clicking on the YouTube Thumbnail


Psalm 33, the Psalm we're going to look at today much like Psalm 19 of last week, talks about the significance of God’s word. Psalm 19 said that God's word is:

  • Perfect
  • Sure
  • Right
  • Pure
  • True
  • Righteous
  • Testimony
  • Statues
  • Commandment
Psalm 19: 7-9 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

It gives direction, sustains faith, judges actions, is invaluable, indescribable, and there is great reward in meditating, knowing, and obeying it.

Our study today starts with this statement:

“For warranty or repairs, send to manufacturer,” product labels tell us. Sometimes we learn the hard way that the company that manufactured an item is the best one to fix it when the item breaks. This is true of creation as well. The psalmist reminds us that not only is God our Creator, but he is also in control of history. When our lives “break down,” we can trust the one who made us to overrule in our circumstances and to be a help and shield.

1. Do you believe that God controls the events of our world? Why or why not?
Yes!

Examples from scripture:

Isaiah 41:10 NIV So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 46:1‭-‬3 NIV God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6‭-‬7 NIV

Luke 12:22‭-‬26 NIV Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life ? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8 NIV

Psalm 33:1‭-‬9 NIV Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars ; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord ; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

2. What commands or invitations are given in verses 1–3? To whom are they given?

These commands or invitations are given to the righteous.

  • Sing joyfully
  • Praise the Lord
  • Shout for joy

In David's day the righteous would have been defined as people having ethical conduct.

Psalm 1:1‭-‬6 NIV Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord , and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Today who are the righteous?

Romans 3:21‭-‬24 NIV But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:20‭-‬21 NIV
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

3. According to these verses (Psalm 33:1-9), what reasons do we have for praising God?

  • His word is right and true
  • He’s faithful in all He does
  • He loves righteousness and justice
  • He has unfailing love for us
  • He is the Creator
4. How did God create the universe?

He spoke (His word)

Genesis 1:3‭, ‬6‭, ‬9‭, ‬‬11‭, ‬14‭, ‬‬20‭, ‬24‭, ‬26 NIV And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

What is your reaction to the creative power of God?

Awe!

God’s “word and his work are inseparable, for his words are never empty.… To know that nothing came into existence but by God’s command is … liberating and humbling.

Psalm 33:10‭-‬22 NIV
The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord , the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord ; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord , even as we put our hope in you.

5. Compare the outcome of the nation's’ plans and purposes with God’s. Why is this so?


The plans and purposes of nations change or fail. We have example after example in scripture of this especially in the Old Testament.

Let's look at an example:

2 Kings 6:8‭-‬12 NIV Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.” The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places. This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?” “None of us, my Lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

These are the plans and purposes of men who are mortal and sinful and God is immortal, knows the end from the beginning and who is good, faithful, and holy.

Psalm 94:11 NIV The Lord knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile.

Proverbs 19:21 NIV Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord ’s purpose that prevails.

6. What is the positive side of humanity’s relationship to God (verse 12)?

If we are His chosen people then there is joy in the nation.

Psalm 127:1‭-‬2 NIV Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Is our country a “nation whose God is the Lord”?



I think that it still is but moving away from God because we have eliminated Him in some public aspects but the church itself has compromised itself for selfish reasons.

Kind of like what Jesus said was happening to the churches in the letters he today John to write to them:


Ephesus

Revelation 2:2‭-‬5 NIV I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Pergamum
Revelation 2:13‭-‬16 NIV I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Thyatira
Revelation 2:19‭-‬21 NIV I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.

Sarsis

Revelation 3:1‭-‬3 NIV “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Laodicea

Revelation 3:14‭-‬16 NIV “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

But like all of those churches Jesus said there were some there who He approved of the church contains a remnant so the nation has a remnant that has not compromised. Just as there were still prophets in Isreal who had not bowed to Baal.

1 Kings 19:18 NIV Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

If not, how could it become that?

We need revival. The Hebrew word for “revive” is “chayah” and means “to be quickened, to be made alive,” and “to be restored”

Psalm 85:6 NIV Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?

7. According to verses 11 and 13–15, how is the Lord able to control history? (Note the repeated emphasis on the word all.)
  • All generations
  • All the sons of men
  • All the inhabitants of the earth
  • All their works
His plans and intentions never change - verse 11

Malachi 3:6 NIV “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

He created man, and knows the end from the beginning. - verses 13-15

Isaiah 46:10 NIV I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’

Numbers 23:19 NIV God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

8. If we do believe that God is in charge, what effect should this have on our reactions to circumstances?

We should try to see things from God's perspective.

Rather than looking at things from our perspective we should pray that God gives us His perspective into the things we are praying about. We must realize how small we are and how big God is, and how short our time of existence is compared to eternity.

Understanding that we are limited by time and space and while God is not changes our perspective on everything

Psalm 90:2 NIV Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalm 39:4 NIV “Show me, Lord , my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.

We are not in control of the world God is. We are not in control of our futures, God is. The only response to our problems or our condition is to be still and turn them over to God.

Psalm 46:10 NIV He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

When we see things from God’s perspective it helps to not become frustrated or angry with God and His timing. When our prayers aren’t answered the way we expect, it helps us to trust without hesitation that God knows what He is doing far better than we know how we think things should be done.

God wants us to always keep eternity in mind, because that is His perspective. When we do, it helps us to understand that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”

Psalm 46:10 NIV He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

9. What sources of false trust are warned against in verses 16 and 17?

We should not trust in man or our own strength or the strength of anything or anyone but God.

10. What promises are made to those who fear the Lord?

That they will be delivered.

Psalm 33:19 is not an “ironclad guarantee that all believers will be delivered from death and starvation.… God can (and often does) deliver his followers from pain and death, though sometimes, for purposes known only to him, he chooses not to”

We have talked about this before. That God often allows us to go through things for our benefit and/or to bless others. I have an entire blog category on not being discouraged when faced with trials (Don't Be Discouraged)

Psalm 34:19‭-‬20 NIV The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.

The righteous are certainly not promised a life free of afflictions, or adversity, but God promises never to leave or forsake us.

Hebrews 13:5 NIV Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Meaning that Christians, the righteous, are to derive their comfort from God's own presence and provision, for he neither leaves them nor fails them.

God does ultimately deliver the righteous from all our adversities. We aren’t promised release but we are promised deliverance. Just maybe not how or when we want it, but it will come..

Revelation 21:1-4 (KJV)1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

If you wish, give an example of how God has “delivered” you in some way.

11. What does it mean to “wait” for the Lord?

What does waiting on God involve?

Resting -  Resting in the Lord requires patience. That doesn’t mean doing nothing because patience is active. Patience requires an act of your will. You determine that you will wait on the Lord.

Listening -  Actively listening for further instructions instead of running headlong toward our idea of a solution. We listen by reading and studying God’s word, talking to other believers, listening to the Holy Spirit during our quiet times with God. When we get further instructions then we follow them even if the instruction is to continue waiting.

Accepting - When we wait we must accept what God is doing in our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) 5Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Surrendering Some of us may have to give up what seems like an immediate need and then resist the temptation to set our own timeline. Surrender the timing to God.

Ecclesiastes 8:6 (NLT) for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble.

Anticipating - Our waiting is purposeful anticipation that God will accomplish His purposes for our lives.

Isaiah 55:11 (NLT) It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

What is God doing while we wait?
  • Reveals His will. 
 It is possible to know God’s will.

Colossians 1:9 (NLT) So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Psalm 16:11 (NLT) You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
  • Guides our choices. 
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!20 You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
  • Shields us.
Psalm 3:3 (NLT) But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.

Psalm 91:4 (NLT) He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
  • Heals, comforts, and empowers us.
Zechariah 4:6 (NLT) Then he said to me, “This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

Isaiah 40:31 (NLT) But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
  • Encourages, answers prayer, and gives us peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

What are the requirements of waiting on God’s timing?

Faith - Trust Him even when the waiting gets hard.

2 Samuel 22:31 (NLT) “God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

Patience - Set aside your own agenda and allow Him to work.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Humility - People often disobey God out of pride. They think their plans are better than His, or they worry too much about what others will think.

Proverbs 29:23 (NLT) Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Proverbs 3:34 (NLT) The LORD mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble.

Courage - In order to resist the temptation to do things your way, disregard negative comments and pressure, and stand firm against the fear of failure you need courage.

Psalm 27:14 (NLT) Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.

12. In what area of your life do you find it hardest to wait for the Lord? Why?

13. List all the reasons we can trust God with our lives, according to this psalm.

  • His word is right and true
  • He’s faithful in all He does
  • He loves righteousness and justice
  • He has unfailing love
  • He is the Creator
  • He is in control
  • He delivers those who fear Him and hope in His mercy


Bible Study Audio