Sunday, March 4, 2018

Psalms: A Guide To Prayer And Praise - Session 7 - Psalm 103 - Great Is His Love




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. 

Last week our Psalm was Psalm 51 which David wrote after Nathan confronted him about his affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband.  After David realized that he was the man Nathan was talking about he was crushed because he understood that although what he did was with and to other people that his sin was really against God.  When he realized that he was completely broken which is the beginning of our asking forgiveness  of God.   Psalm 51 is a penitential Psalm meaning it is a cry of remorse, seeking forgiveness. 

I read something by Billy Graham this week titled Broken Pieces and the scripture he uses was Psalm 51:17. 

Psalm 51:17 NIV My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.


Broken Pieces


I have preached the Gospel for more than seventy years and have always spoken clearly that salvation comes through Christ alone. I cannot save anyone, but I’ve tried to tell everyone who would listen that Jesus died once for the sins of mankind and that salvation is a one-time transaction between an individual and the Lord Jesus Christ. . . .

Many say if they would be given a miraculous sign from God, they would believe. But the most miraculous of God’s work is transforming the sinner’s heart into a blood-bought soul that will love Him wholly. God knows the heart of every person and longs to apply His redeeming blood to that person’s soul, washing away the darkness of sin and the fear of eternal judgment. But he or she must come to Jesus Christ in brokenness, exchanging sin for salvation.

We talk about the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, but we seldom talk about the sacrifice He expects from us. While salvation is purely the work of Jesus on the cross, our acceptance of it is dependent upon our sincerity. The Bible says,


The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

A broken and a contrite heart—

These, O God, You will not despise.

(Psalm 51:17)

I have extended Christ’s invitation to people around the world saying, “Come just as you are.” But when you come, you must leave your defiance and rebellion behind and come in submission, for in that moment of repentance the Savior of your soul will become the Master of your life.

Psalm 103 Great is His Love

Count your many blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” These lines from the gospel hymn may be timeworn, but the truth they convey is timeless. No matter what our situation is, we can always find something to be thankful for.

One of Pastor’s favorite statements, and I think it’s becoming one of Mikey’s too is the scripture in

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

They say that no matter what’s happening you can thank God that things aren’t worse because the could be.  I’m paraphrasing but you get the picture.

This is a Psalm of David in which he gives God thanks and praise for all His benefits. 
     
1. At this point in your life, what spiritual benefits or blessings are you most grateful for?

Salvation, peace, joy, Christian friends and family.

READ PSALM 103


Psalm 103:1-22 (NLT)1 Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.2  Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.3  He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.4  He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.5  He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!6  The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.7  He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.8  The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.9  He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.10  He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.11  For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.12  He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.13  The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.14  For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.15  Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.16  The wind blows, and we are gone— as though we had never been here.17  But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children18  of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!19  The LORD has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything.20  Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands.21  Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will!22  Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the LORD.

2. What two things did the writer urge himself to do at the beginning?

Praise God

Why?

So that he would never forget God’s benefits


3. Note the five verbs the psalmist used to enumerate the benefits God had given him.

  1. Forgiveness
  2. Healing
  3. Redemption
  4. Crowned him with lovingkindness
  5. Satisfaction

 What were the results of these blessings?

Renewal because he is talking about being treated unfairly.

4. The psalm writer (David) seemed to be speaking in these opening verses from personal experience. From your knowledge of David’s life, what personal reasons did he have for thanking God?

     Lion and bear 1 Samuel 17:37 (NKJV)37  Moreover David said, "The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you!"
     Goliath
     Saul (Starts in 1 Samuel Chapter 18 and continues until Saul commits suicide in Chapter 31)
     Absalom 2 Samuel 15
     Adultery ( We talked about that last week when we studied Psalm 51)
     Census (2 Samuel 24)
     In Ziklag (1 Samuel 30)

5.  After thanking God for personal blessings, what did the psalmist remember (verses 6–7)?

Psalm 103:6-7 (NLT)6  The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.7  He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.

He remembered that God cared for the Jews in the wilderness after He orchestrated their release from slavery in Egypt.

How does the history of Israel show that God works righteousness and justice for the oppressed?

He freed and cared for them miraculously in the wilderness.

He does the same today for the oppressed through the church.

 6. What do you learn about the nature of God from verses 8–14?

Psalm 103:8-14 (NLT)8  The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.9  He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.10  He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.11  For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.12  He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.13  The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.14  For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.

He is love evidenced by:

     Mercy (8  The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love)
     Compassion (10  He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve)
     Forgiveness (12  He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.)
     Like a father for his children (13  The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate)

7. Which of the three comparisons used to demonstrate God’s love and mercy is the most meaningful to you right now (verses 11–14)? Explain.


Psalm 103:11-14 (NLT)11  For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.12  He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.13  The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.14  For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.

  1. Great as the height of heaven above the earth
  2. Removal of sin is as far as east from the west
  3. Father for children

Most meaningful is his love is like that of a parent for their child which is unconditional.  It doesn’t matter what the child does they still love him/her.

8. How did the writer contrast God and man (verses 15–18)?

Psalm 103:15-18 (NLT)15  Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.16  The wind blows, and we are gone— as though we had never been here.17  But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children 18  of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!

     Man is mortal, God is immortal
     Man’s love is often conditional, God’s love is unconditional

9. According to this psalm, who experiences the love of God?

Those who fear Him and obey His commandments and their children.
        
 How can you keep God’s covenant in your life?

By being obedient

10. After recalling his personal blessings and the wider blessings to Israel, how did the psalmist further enlarge on his theme (verses 19–22)?  Whom did the psalmist invite to share in his thanksgiving and praise?

Psalm 103:19-22 (NLT)19  The LORD has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything.20  Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands.21  Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will!22  Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the LORD.

His theme in the Psalm is the greatness of God’s love.  He called on all of creation to praise God including the angels. 

11. Do you really believe that God “rules over all”?

 If so, how will that show in your life?

By not getting overly excited when things are not going the way that I would like them to go.  By continuing to wait on God even when it is very difficult and sometimes frightening.  By making myself pray and praise.  They are both acts of the will so there are times that I have to force myself to do it and the result is peace. 
        
 12. What additional spiritual blessings, beyond those of the psalmist, do we have as believers living after Christ’s redemptive work on the cross?

The Holy Spirit, gifts of the Spirit,

Bible Study Audio