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Search The Scriptures —Study 72 — Psalm 91

Study 72 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 91

The theme of this psalm is the security and blessedness of a life lived under God’s protection. The change of pronouns has been variously explained. In verses 2 and 9a (see mg). a solo voice declares its trust (in the first person singular), after which the choir respond with renewed assurance. Finally, in verses 14-16, God Himself speaks in words of gracious promise.

  1. Life and health were insecure in ancient times. The world was haunted by unseen, malevolent powers. How does the psalmist’s faith in God transform the situation? What comfort does the psalm bring to (a) the sufferer, and (b) one who anticipates suffering? Cf. the fuller statement in Rom. 8:16-18, 28, 31, 35-37.
  2. Verses 14-16. Note here seven gracious promises of God. Can you bear witness to heir truth from your own experience and from the experience of other believers? Cf. 2 Peter. 1:2-4.

Notes

  1. The evils mentioned in verses 3, 5, 10, 13 refer to all kinds of adversity. Insidious and hidden, or open and visible, explicable or inexplicable. Verse 13 refers not to Tarzan-like exploits, but to deliverance from dangers, natural and supernatural, not by magic (as in Egypt), but by faith.
  2. Verse 14. I will protect’: ‘literally. I will set him inaccessibly high’.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 71 — Psalm 90

Study 71 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 90

  1. In verses 2-11 what is said about (a) man and (b) God? In view of these facts, what should be man’s attitude (verses 11, 12)? What is meant by a heart of wisdom? Cf. Pr. 9: 10; Je. 9:23, 24; Jas. 4:12-16.
  2. Set down in your own words the petitions of verses 13-17. What convictions do they reveal concerning God’s character and actions? Can the petitions be transposed into a Christian key?

Note. Verse 11. It is only those who truly reverence the Lord who consider the reality of God’s wrath against sin in all its intensity.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 14 — Nehemiah 13

Study 14 From the Book of Nehemiah is: Nehemiah 13

With this study we end the book of Nehemiah. Tomorrow we will stop once again in the book of Psalms.

Nehemiah at some point in his governorship returned to King Artaxerxes, and later came again to Jerusalem (see verses 6 and 7), only to find that during his absence various abuses and backslidings had taken place.

  1. Note in this chapter (a) five references to definite actions taken to deal with unsatisfactory features in the conduct and condition of the people; (b) the way in which Sanballat and Tobiah succeeded at last in gaining a footing in Jerusalem. What may we learn from these?
  2. Have you the main sequence of events after the exile sorted out in your mind? In the light of 1 Cor. 10:11, what seem to you the main lessons to be learnt from this period in the history of God’s chosen people?

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Search The Scriptures —Study 13 — Nehemiah 12

Study 13   From the Book of Nehemiah is: Nehemiah 12

  1. How did the people celebrate the completion of the wall? See the further reminder in Lk.17:15-18. As you read this passage, following in imagination the two companies as they marched in procession, remember Nehemiah’s solitary journey as described in 2:12-15. Consider also how much you owe to God. Cf. 1 Cor. 15:10; Rom. 12:1.
  2. ‘Nehemiah the governor’ and ‘Ezra the priest the scribe’ (verse 26). Consider and contrast the office and character of these two great men, and how both alike were needed in this critical period of Jewish history. Have you discovered your gift and call of God or your variety of service for the common good? Cf. Rom. 11:29; 1 Cor.12:4-7.

Note. Verse 30. ‘Purified’: by sprinkling the blood of sacrifices. Cf. Ezk. 43:19,20.             

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Search The Scriptures —Study 12 — Nehemiah 11

Study 12  From the Book of Nehemiah is: Nehemiah 11

  1. Though the Temple had been rebuilt and the city walls, repaired, Jerusalem remained unattractive to dwell in (cf. 2:3, 17), and the bulk of the people preferred to live in the country. By what two methods (verses 1, 2) were more inhabitants for the city secured? Are you willing to volunteers to serve in the place of greatness need? Cf. Is. 6:8
  2. In verses 3-24 is given a list of those who dwelt in Jerusalem, in the following categories: (a) heads of families of the tribe of Judah (4-6); (b) of the tribe of Benjamin (7-9); (c) officials of the Temple-priests (10-14), Levites (15-19), other attendants, including singers (20-24). Try to picture the life of the city. Observe the prominence given to the house of God and its worship. Others helped in other ways, and some of them are described as ‘valiant’ or ‘mighty men of part in the community to which you belong, helping it to become strong? Cf. Ec. 9:10a; 1 Cor. 15:58.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 11 — Nehemiah 9: 38 – 10: 39

Study 11  From the Book of Nehemiah is: Nehemiah 9: 38 – 10: 39

  1. Make a list of the seven specific ordinances included in the general covenant to walk in God’s law(10:28) and not neglect the house of God (10:39).
  2. What did the people agree (a) to give up, and (b) to give, that they might ‘observe and do all the commandments of the Lord’? What does this teach us about the meaning of whole-hearted consecration? Cf. 2 Cor. 6:14-7; Pr. 3: 9, 10; Mal. 3:10; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2.

Notes

  1. 10:29. ‘Enter into a curse and an oath’: ie., pledged themselves by an oath, invoking divine vengeance upon themselves, if they failed to observe it.
  2. Verse 31b. Cf. Ex. 23:10, 11; Dt. 15:1-3.
  3. Verses 35-39 give a general summary of such laws as Ex. 23:19 and Nu. 18:8-32.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 10 — Nehemiah 9:22-37

Study 10  From the Book of Nehemiah is: Nehemiah 9:22-37

  1. Analyze this summary (verses 6:37) of the history of God’s people. What may we learn here about the heart of God, and the heart of man?
  2. The Jews had learnt by bitter experience that disobedience brings penalty. Yet had God acted only in punishment? Cf. Ps. 130:3, 4. What may we learn from this chapter about the principles of God’s action towards His people when they sin? Cf. also Phil. 1:6; 2 Jn. 8.

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