Nov 21, 2016 – Psalm 9

Read Psalm 9

Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) is being celebrated this week. This Psalm is very appropriate.

Note that in the first verse, the writer says, “I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.” He is remembering the goodness of the Lord, and then lists several of these things.

Consider what you are thankful for. Why are you thankful for these things?

Be very specific with this exercise.

<pause to make a list>

Now, how can these things lead you to praise to the Lord?

Sing praises to the LORD who reigns in Jerusalem.

Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds. -v11

Oct 17, 2016 – Psalm 10

Read Psalm 10

Injustice is everywhere – across the globe, elsewhere in our country, and sometimes right in our home town. It seems like God doesn’t care, or isn’t there.

The writer of this psalm seems to have similar thoughts. This psalm is arranged in two sections – vv 1-11, and vv 12-18. The first portion expresses concern about the Lord letting the wicked oppress the poor, and the second section is the prayer of the observer or victim to God about the situation.

  • What is the attitude of the wicked toward God?
  • How does the writer see success for the wicked?
  • How would you describe the faith shown in the prayer in the last portion of the chapter?
  • What does the observer/victim realize about God?
  • When you seen real injustice or oppression, what is your response?
  • What actions should you take?

The LORD is king forever and ever! The godless nations will vanish from the land. -v16

Oct 10, 2016 – Psalm 3

Read Psalm 3

It’s not often that I feel like every one is against me. But your life may be different. Sometimes it seems like everything you do is met with opposition, or it seems like everyone is beating you down.

David felt that way. This psalm recounts how David felt when his son was planning to seize the throne of Israel.

  • Have you ever felt like you have so many enemies (v1)?
  • Cry out to God. How can He be the one who holds your head high (v3-4)?
  • What does it mean that God will hold my head high (v3)?
  • Why can looking to God provide peace (v5-6)?
  • Force yourself to look to God. Are you confident that victory comes from the Lord (v8)?

You probably don’t have someone trying to kill you. But, even if you do, turn your eyes to our Lord, who is our protector and provides the victory!

I cried out to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy mountain. -v4

Oct 3, 2016 – Psalm 2

Read Psalm 2

Were you a little confuse when you read this psalm? Who is being talked about? It helps to take a look at Acts 4:25, and we see that Peter indicates the author is David.

This psalm describes the celebration when a king is anointed in Israel. Surrounding nations look for opportunities to break away from being subjected to God through Israel. God’s response is that He put His chosen king on the throne. God declares that the king is His son. And the psalmist suggests that the other kings should submit to God’s chosen one on the throne.

Wow! That’s a lot packed into that psalm.

Of course, there are the allusions pointing forward to Jesus Christ sitting on the throne, and all nations of the earth being subject to Him.

Read the psalm again, and think about the relationship of God to the nations. What about God’s relationship to individuals? Sin is resistance to subjection to God.

The primary aspect of our worship of God is willingly putting ourselves under His authority. Will you worship God by doing this?

But what joy for all who take refuge in him! -v12

Sep 26, 2016 – Psalm 8

Read Psalm 8

This Psalm begins and ends with praises to our God. In between, is a section about man. Let’s look a little closer…

Verses 1, 2 and 8 are the bookends of this chapter.

  • What does the author (David) have to say about the Lord?
  • Why is He said to be “majestic”?
  • How does the Lord relate to people who oppose him?

Verses 3 thru 8 raise the question, “What is man?”

  • How does the author position mankind?
  • How does mankind relate to the Lord?
  • What is the role of mankind?

I’ve always loved this Psalm. The God who created the universe also created me. He loves me and He cares for me. Consider how God loves you. Does that change your perspective about things in your life?

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! -v9

Sep 19, 2016 – Psalm 147

Read Psalm 147

We really don’t know who wrote this psalm, but there are some clues as to when it might have been written. Look at verse 2 and consider when there might be talk about rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing exiles back. About when in the timeline of Israel’s history might this be?

Now, the rest of the psalm is broken up into three sections. For each of these sections, there is a call to praise followed by some reasons to praise God.

Here are the sections: vv 1-6, vv 7-11, and vv 12-20.

For each of these sections, what are the reasons for praising the Lord that are given?

Now consider your life. If you were asked to give reasons to praise God, what would you say?

No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love. -v11

Sep 12, 2016 – Psalm 73

Read Psalm 73

Take a quick look at who wrote this psalm. It is Asaph. You can learn more about who Asaph was in 1 Chronicles 6:31-39. That might make a difference as you think about this chapter.

In 28 short verses, we can see a man who is almost overcome by how he viewed the wicked, and then remembers the destiny of the wicked and the righteous. This division is in vv 1-14, followed by vv 15-28.

Look at those sections again. What are the emotions that are expressed? What caused the self-aware realization in his heart? What was Asaph’s mood at the beginning and at the end?

Have you ever been discouraged by what you see other people having? Realize that bitterness is often the cause of this. Remember that you belong to the Lord and that He holds you in His hand.

But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. -v28

Sep 5, 2016 – Psalm 1

Today’s reading is Psalm 1

It is a classic comparison and contrast between those who seek to serve the Lord, and those who don’t.

  • What are some of the activities of those who follow the Lord?
  • What are some of the activities of the wicked?
  • How are the righteous described?
  • How are the wicked described?

Each day we make the choice of righteousness or wickedness. Choose to follow the Lord.

For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, -v6

Aug 29, 2016 – Psalm 34

Read Psalm 34

Fear. Praise. Confidence. These emotions, and others, are contained in Psalm 34.

Notice the text at the very beginning of this Psalm. That helps us understand the context.

Think through what you’ve read in the Psalm. What is the flow of thought?

How does David express himself?

What can you learn about those who do right? about those who do evil?

What can we learn about the Lord?

Righteousness vs evil. Which will you choose to do?

But the Lord will redeem those who serve him. -v22

Aug 15, 2016 – Psalm 77

Read Psalm 77

This is a psalm of Asaph, written for Jeduthun the choir director.

If you have the time, think about these things…

  • What is the flow of emotions in this psalm?
  • There are several divisions separated by “Interlude” or “Selah”. What is the main idea of each of these sections?
  • How does the author talk about God in this psalm?
  • What is the value of remembering the past?
  • Do you ever experience emotions like what are exposed in this psalm?

God wants us to come to him with our struggles, anguish, and problems. He cares. I’m sure you’ve got something on your mind right now. Pray to Him and tell Him your emotions and feelings. Ask Him for strength, and to show you his everlasting love.

But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. -v11