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Search The Scriptures —Study 88 — Psalm 109

Study 88  From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 109

This psalm falls into three parts. Verses 1-5 are a prayer to God for deliverance from persecuting opponents. Retribution is then invoked by the psalmist (verses 6-20) upon the leader of his enemies and all that belongs to him. In the third section (verses 21-31) there is a return to prayer, culmination in thanksgiving and faith.

  • Verses 1-5. How does the writer show that he has a good conscience, and is not being opposed because of his own offensiveness or evil deeds? Compare Jesus’s attitude in parallel circumstance. (Lk. 22:32-43; cf. also 1 Pet. 4:12-19).
  • Verses 21-31. Instead of himself taking revenge, the psalmist takes refuge in prayer. Study the attitude of prayer in these circumstances.

Note. Verses 6-20. The retribution invoked includes the man himself, his person and office, his wife and children his property and also his prosperity. The place and significance of the imprecatory psalm (of which this is one), as part of the fullness of revealed truth, belong to the general subject of the progress of revelation. It is to be remembered that in pre-Christian days New Testament standards were not yet, reveled. Old testament believers lived in a dispensation in which retribution was a fundamental principle.  Their very faith in a God of righteousness, who would reward the righteous and condemn the wicked, encouraged them to pray for His blessing upon themselves and for His vengeance upon their persecutors; and in this they had scriptural support (e.g., Lv. 24:19; Pr. 17:13). Retribution was therefore prayed for as part of the practical vindication of God’s actual and righteous sovereignty. Note here that the psalmist does not take vengeance himself, but leaves it to God. The New Testament teaches us also to love and pray for them that despitefully use us (Mt. 5:43-45; Rom. 12:19-21).

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Search The Scriptures —Study 87 — Psalm 108

Study 87 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalm 108

The first five verses of this psalm are taken from Ps. 57:7-11 and the remainder from Ps. 60:5-12.

  • Verses 1-5. What moves the psalmist to such determined praise? How do these verses show us the way to appreciate and worship God, and to include praise as a vital part of our prayer?
  • Verses 6-13. In the agony of wondering whether God is helping them any longer, how does the psalmist anchor his faith? Cf. Heb. 6:17; 10:23; 13:5, 6.

Note. Verses 7-9. The promise God gave in the Temple enforces His sovereign claim over these territories. The mention of Shechem and Succoth emphasized God’s claim over both sides of Jordan (cf. Gn. 33:17, 18). Ephraim and Judah, paired, bind north and south. (For the sceptre see the promise of Gn. 49:10.)  Moab, Edom and Philistia are traditional enemies and hostile neighbours of Israel. A campaign against Edom seems to be in mind (verse 10).

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Search The Scriptures —Study 86 — Psalms 107:33-43

Study 86  From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 107:33-44

  • What is shown about God Himself and His love by these great acts of deliverance? What was required of men to enter into these experiences?
  • Study the evidences given here of God’s control of human experiences and circumstances. Cf. verse 34 with Joel 1:19, 20; 2:3; Dt. 29:22-26; and verse 35 with Is. 43:19, 20; 44:3.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 85 — Psalm 107:1-32

Study 85 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 107:1-32

This psalm has a general introduction (verses 1-3), then four examples showing God’s steadfast love (verses 4:32), and a conclusion summarizing what is learnt about God from these experiences (verses 33-43).

 1-   What are the situations of difficulty from which God rescued His people? Study (a) the reasons for these difficulties, (b) the feelings of the people in them, and (c) the way in which they obtained relief.

 2-   What reactions are called for from those who have been delivered in these ways?

 3-   How do some of the acts of Jesus show the same pattern as God’s acts here? Cf., e.g., verses 23-32 with Mk. 4:35-41; Mt. 14:22-33. What does this show us about Jesus?

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Search The Scriptures —Study 14 — 1 Chronicles 29

Study 14  From the Book of 1 Chronicles is: 1 Chronicles 29

With this study, we end the book of 1 Chronicles. Tomorrow, we will go back again into the book of Psalms

  • Study verses 1-9 as a lesson in giving to the Lord. What did David ask of the people, and on what grounds? What characteristics of their giving are specially emphasized? Cf. 2 Cor. 8:3-5; 9:7. Is our giving of similar quality?
  • Consider in David’s prayer (verses 10-19) (a) what he says of God, (b) what he says of man and of his own attitude of heart, and (c) what he prayed for. Seek to learn from to enrich and enlarge your own praying.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 13 — 1 Chronicles 28

Study 13 From the Book of 1 Chronicles is: 1 Chronicles 28

When David had done all the could in his private and personal capacity in preparation for the building of the Temple, he summoned an assembly of the leaders in all departments of nation’s life to commend the scheme to them, and, as the next chapter shows, was greatly gratified by their response.

  • ‘I had it in my heart to… But God said to me, “You may not”’ (verses 2 and 3). Have we known some such experience in our service of God? How does David bring out that God’s plan was far better?
  • There are two charges to Solomon in this passage, in verses 9, 10 and 20, 21. Considering them together, (a) what was to be Solomon’s first duty, (b) what the character of the God with whom he had to do, (c) what the two grounds of his confidence, and (d) what consequently the manner and spirit of his service?  What lessons do you find in this for your life?

Note. Verse 19.  Notice the distinct claim here made that the pattern of the Temple and of its service was given to David by revelation.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 12 — 1 Chronicles 25-27

Study 12   From the Book of 1 Chronicles is: 1 Chronicles 25-27

These chapters record the family divisions and the work of (a) the 4,000 choristers mentioned in 23:5 (see chapter 25), (b) the 4, 000 doorkeepers (26:1-19), and (c) the 6,000 officers and judges (26:20-32). All these were Levites. Chapter 27 records the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of the monthly division, and the chief officers of state.

1  1-    Who were the three chief leaders of praise? See 25: 1; also 6:33, 39, 44;15:16, 17. Why is their ministry of praise called ‘prophesying’? Cf. Eph. 5:18, 19.

2  2-    Amidst the many differences of function and service described in these chapters, notice the way in which all contribute to the worship and honour of the Lord. What developments of this lesson do you find in the teaching about Christian service in Eph. 4:1-7, 11, 12; 1 Cor. 12:18-21?

Notes

1-    25:1. ‘The chiefs of the service’: the phrase seems to refer here to those in charge of the Temple staff’, ‘the authorities of the temple’ (Moffat).

2-    25:3. ‘Jeduthum’: elsewhere called ‘Ethan’. See 6:44; 15:17, 19.

3-    26:29. ‘Officers and judges’: the officers collected the tithes and other revenue and the judges gave judgement in matters of law.

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