Showing posts with label Psalms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Psalms. Show all posts

27 January 2021

A Few Thoughts about Psalm 119_153-154

Look on my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. Psalms 119:153-154 NIV​​​​​​​

Two things to learn

B1 God’s blessings

C1 Come from obeying God’s law. Deuteronomy 28:2 NIV All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.

D1 The Psalmist, as any good Jew, would know of God’s promises that are found in God’s laws. Blessings come from obedience and curses come from disobedience. So, in his plea to God, the Psalmist mentions his obedience and understands that God will help him.

D2 We learn from the Lord Jesus that obedience to His worldview, lifestyle, and rules is because we love him. John 14:23 NLT Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.

D3 We can’t expect God’s blessings unless we do what Jesus commanded by His teaching on life, rules, worldview, etc. These must be in thoughts, words, desires, and deeds in public and private. No one is sinless, but we can be blameless with God’s help.

C2 May be delayed, for example in the coming of Messiah, the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt, and the raising of Lazarus from death.

C3 God doesn’t guarantee our prayers will be answered according to our wishes. All His decisions are from wisdom, love, and holiness. He may decide to wait, or do differently.

B2 The Psalmist recognizes that true blessing comes from a standard. How can we know what is good and wonderful without an objective standard to judge it? Many have wonderful plans and visions for society, but how do we know if it is the best? Science can be manipulated, selfishness can corrupt (big business, etc.), and evil desires can override altruism.

Two things to remember

B1 God judges us by His standards. He is King of all kings and judge of all judges. Jeremiah 11:20 NIV But you, LORD Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.

C1 The heart is the motives of what we do. We can do what is right but for wrong reasons such as deception, manipulation, etc.

D1 Matthew 23:23 NIV Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

D2 Matthew 7:21 NIV Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

C2 The mind is the attitudes. We can do what is right but with a bad attitude.

D1 Luke 11:39 GW The Lord said to him, "You Pharisees clean the outside of cups and dishes. But inside you are full of greed and evil.

D2 Proverbs 20:6 AFV Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but a faithful man who can find?

B2 God is the only defender of our lives.

C1 Life is more than breathing. It is the essence of every human. It is our humanness.

C2 We can rest contentedly.

D1 Matthew 10:28 NIV Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

D2 Hebrews 13:5 NRSV Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you.

1 John 2:1 NRSV My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

John 14:16-17 GNB I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you.

06 March 2020

A Few Thoughts About Psalm 100

Psalms 100:1-5 BSB A Psalm of thanksgiving. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; come into His presence with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good, and His loving devotion endures forever; His faithfulness continues to all generations.
This is a Psalm of praise and thanksgiving.

There are 2 sets of commands and their rationale.

First set
B1 Commands
C1 Shout
C2 Serve
C3 Come
C4 Acknowledge
B2 Rationale
C1 God created us
C2 God owns us
C3 God shepherds us
Second set
B1 Commands
C1 Enter
C2 Give thanks
C3 Praise
B2 Rationale
C1 God is good
C2 God is merciful
C3 God is faithful

Notes for first set
B1 Shout
C1 The Hebrew word is רוּעַ rûwaʻ. It means a loud noise.
C2 Here a joyful noise because of the context.
C3 Happiness is only from events, happenings, experiences. Joy is a deep peace, content, safety, satisfaction. In our passage, this joy is from fellowship with out creator, the Creator.
C4 A joyful noise is the expression of this contentment and peace.
C5 Use
D1 Both happiness and joy: Esther 8:16 NIV For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.
D2 Zechariah 9:9 NIV Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
C6 Do we have joy? Why?
C7 Why is real joy only related to God and His ways?
B2 Personally, I believe Scripture teaches that we were created for fellowship with God and to serve Him forever. He does not need fellowship or servants. The basic meaning serve is the Hebrew word which means to work. We work for God. He does not need our work, but if there is work in His kingdom, we know that He is a delegator, not a micromanager.
B3 Come is an invitation. It has the idea of entering. A special blessing is for believers: Ephesians 3:12 NLT Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence.
B4 Acknowledge is to recognize, give credit to, believe, We are to acknowledge
C1 He is God
C2 All the character traits/attributes of God
C3 Isaiah 45:5-6 NLT I am the LORD; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don't even know me, 6 so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the LORD, and there is no other.
B5 Rationale
C1 God created us
C2 God owns us, or rather, “His we are,” that is, “we are His.”
C3 God shepherds us which reflects His style of leadership.
Notes for second set
B1 Commands
C1 Enter. This is the same word as come in verse 2.
C2 Give thanks: Colossians 3:17 BSB And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
C3 Praise. What do we praise God for? Basically, it is everything that God is. It is His ways, thoughts, desires, and deeds. It is seen in the 10 Commandments and His decisions. It is seen in His character traits, His worldview, and lifestyle. His way is perfect. Since it is perfect, it is best for us, too.
B2 Rationale
C1 God is good. Good is an adjective and can be applied in many different ways. Here it refers to His character and actions. All God’s decisions are done in wisdom, love, and holiness.
D1 The standard of good is God Himself. Mark 10:18 BSB “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus replied, “No one is good except God alone.
D2 Psalm 86:5 NIV You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
C2 God is merciful
D1 God wants to show mercy. He does not want to punish, but we must meet His conditions like Abraham did. Genesis 15:6 NIV Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
D2 Consider these 2 passages:
E1 God punishes those who rebel and continue in rebellion even after being warned many times. Psalm 59:5 NIV You, LORD God Almighty, you who are the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors.
E2 God pardons and forgives those who humble themselves and believe: Micah 7:18 NIV Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
C3 God is faithful
D1 Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
D2 Psalm 31:5 NIV Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.
D3 He is faithful. Are we?
D4 Hebrews 10:23 ISV Let us continue to hold firmly to the hope that we confess without wavering, for the one who made the promise is faithful.

Colossians 4:2 GNT Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God.

30 December 2019

A Few Thoughts on Psalm 115

Any person’s character triats are patterned after the god that person worships.

This Psalm 115 is basically divided into 2 parts.
B1 Psalm 115:1-8 which covers the topic of the unbeliever
B2 Psalm 115:9-18 which covers the topic of the believer

The unbeliever (Psalm 115:1-8)
B1 Asks a question, “Where is your god?”
C1 Some person worships an idol, which is a statue or an object. It can be pointed out, seen, felt, etc. It is material, supposedly representing a god.
C2 This unbeliever seeing no statue or object in Israel asks, “Where is your god?”
C3 The believer answers
D1 Our God (Yahweh)
E1 He is in the heavens (atmosphere, universe, and beyond)
E2 He does whatever He pleases.
D2 Your god
E1 Is made of silver and gold
E2 Produced by an artisan.
E3 There traits
F1 They cannot talk even though they have mouths.
F2 They cannot see even though they have eyes.
F3 They cannot hear even though they have ears.
F4 They cannot smell even though they have noses.
F5 They cannot feel even though they have hands.
F6 They cannot move even though they have feet.
C4 Some thoughts
D1 The Psalmist glorifies God (Yahweh) in Psalm 115:1.
D2 In Psalm 115:8 two observations are given
E1 The Psalmist notes that people adapt their worldview and lifestyle to be like their god.
E2 All people are like this.
D3 We need to know the character traits of our God (Yahweh). Here is a good reference to start: Resources on Attributes of God
E1 Humans do not and cannot have the noncommunicable traits of God as omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnisapience, etc.
E2 Humans were created in the image of God to have communicable traits. Sin has corrupted our human nation, nevertheless, we do understand and hopefully have the communicable traits of God as love, mercy, faithfulness, anger, kindness, compassion, ability to reason, etc.

The believer ( Psalm 115:9-18)
B1 The Psalmist encourages (exhorts) all people to trust in God (Yahweh)
C1 Groups
D1 Israelites (Jews)
D2 Priests
D3 Everyone else (those who fear God)
C2 Definition
D1 Trust
E1 The Hebrew word for trust is בָּטַח bâṭach. It means to confide in, set hope on, and have confidence in someone. Also, it means to have no fear.
F1 2 Kings 18:5 NASB He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him.
F2 1 Chronicles 5:20 NASB They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him.
F3 1 John 4:18-19 GNB There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment. 19 We love because God first loved us. (note here is to strike terror in someone. The fear of God is respect and knowing we will face Him someday. Our respect for Him will drive us to our knees).
D2 Help and shield
E1 The Hebrews words help (עֵזֶר ʻêzer) and shield (מָגֵן mâgên).
E2 Help means help and aid. Exodus 18:4 NIV and the other was named Eliezer, for he said, "My father's God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh."
E3 Shield means shield (a tool or a person who acts as a shield).
F1 Genesis 15:1 CSB After these events, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield; your reward will be very great.
F2 1 Kings 10:17 NASB He made 300 shields of beaten gold, using three minas of gold on each shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
C2 Character traits of God (Yahweh) listed here
D1 Help and shield (giving us aid to help in our weaknesses and protector, especially of our souls).
D2 Concern (mindful) for us
E1 The word mindful is the Hebrew word זָכַר zâkar. It means to keep in memory and used in many different ways.
E2 Psalm 103:13-14 NASB Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
D3 Blesses us.
E1 Note that God blesses Israel, the house of Aaron, and those who fear God (Gentiles).
E2 Small and great together refers to socioeconomic status, so rich or poor, having great authority or little authority, etc. He is just.
E3 When God increases blessings, He is showing favor.
F1 Let us be warned: Jeremiah 17:10-11 NRSV I the LORD test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings. 11 Like the partridge hatching what it did not lay, so are all who amass wealth unjustly; in mid-life it will leave them, and at their end they will prove to be fools.
F2 Ephesians 6:8 GW You know that your heavenly master will reward all of us for whatever good we do, whether we're slaves or free people.
D4 Just and without prejudice (as mentioned above)
D5 Good as in bountiful providence. I’ll mention just 2 examples:
E1 1 Corinthians 10:13 HCSB No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.
E2 Romans 1:16 PickNT I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God for the salvation of each one who believes (for the Jew first, then the Greek)
D6 Creator and designer: Proverbs 3:19-20 GNB The LORD created the earth by his wisdom; by his knowledge he set the sky in place. 20 His wisdom caused the rivers to flow and the clouds to give rain to the earth.
D7 Giver (of gifts) here the earth. Just one of many, many gifts: Romans 5:5 LEB and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
C3 Two observations
D1 Nonbelievers do not praise God now or after they die.
D2 Believers do praise God now and after they die.

26 April 2018

When Under Attack

Theme: A song for justice

Scripture: Psalm 109

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: We will experience opposition and injustice in a sinful and fallen world.
Think: Consider God my help and shield against those who oppose or attack me.
Do: Ask God to deliver me from my enemies, leaving the vengeance to Him.

A1 Outline
B1 What the evil person did (Psalm 109:1-5)
B2 What the evil person deserves (Psalm 109:6-15)
B3 What the evil person did (Psalm 109:16-20)
B4 What the righteous person asks for (Psalm 109:21-31) (We can’t have perfect parallelism, because we do not deserve, we request mercy).
A2 About the Psalm
B1 This is one of the imprecatory Psalms.
B2 While there are various opinions regarding these (see here), they are inspired by God.
B3 In my opinion, they are the feelings of the Psalmist. The person/s spoken about have crossed God’s do-not-cross line, choices have consequences, and sin must be punished.
B4 Also, some are Messianic either directly or have Messianic overtones.
B5 Discuss possible reasons for these Psalms, why they are in the Scriptures, and how could a omnibenevolent God allow such things to happen.
B6 We suffer like our Master. Consider this from the Letter to Diognetus : They [Christians] love all men, and by all men are persecuted.  12They are unknown, and still they are condemned; they are put to death, and yet they are brought to life.  13They are poor, and yet they make many rich; they are completely destitute, and yet they enjoy complete abundance.  14They are dishonored, and in their very dishonor are glorified; they are defamed, and are vindicated.  15They are reviled, and yet they bless; when they are affronted, they still pay due respect.  16When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; undergoing punishment, they rejoice because they are brought to life.  17They are treated by the Jews as foreigners and enemies, and are hunted down by the Greeks; and all the time those who hate them find it impossible to justify their enmity.
A3 What the evil person did (Psalm 109:1-5),
B1 What is described as the Psalmist’s main complaint? What was this evil man doing?
B2 What are we to do when people lie about us?
B3 What do we do, if we show kindness and love, yet are lied about and verbally abused before others?
B4 Tips
C1 Pray: “I am in prayer.
C2 Entrust: 1 Peter 4:19 CSB - So then, let those who suffer according to God's will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good. The Greek word for entrust means commit, to deliver, to give custody of. How do we entrust ourselves to God?
C3 God knows the truth:
D1 Psalm 31:5 NKJV - Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
D2 John 2:23-25 (Pickering) Now while He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed into His name, observing the signs that He was doing. But as for Jesus Himself, He did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all men and that He had no need that anyone should testify about man, because He Himself knew what was in man.
C4 God is judge: Acts 10:42 NKJV - And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead.
C5 You are in good company:
D1 Luke 23:46 NKJV - And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' " Having said this, He breathed His last.
Acts 7:59 NKJV - And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
A4 What the evil person deserves (Psalm 109:6-15),
B1 Why does David ask so many punishments against these liars?
B2 Is God under any obligation to do these things?
B3 Does God want repentance from these people or punishment?
B4 Does God rejoice in the death of the wicked?
C1 Ezekiel 33:11 NKJV - "Say to them: 'As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?'
C2 Ezekiel 18:23, 32 NKJV - "Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live? ... "For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"
B5 Is this Psalm a prophecy of Judas? Consider:
C1 Acts 1:15-20 NKJV - And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, "Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; "for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry." (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) "For it is written in the Book of Psalms: 'Let his dwelling place be desolate, And let no one live in it'; and, 'Let another take his office.'
C2 John 6:66-71 NKJV - From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. "Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.
B5 Was Judas like a lot of phony religious leaders? Matthew 10:2-8 NKJV - Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
B6 How do leaders like this get into positions of authority and power?
A5 What the evil person did (Psalm 109:16-20),
B1 In this passage, this evil person/s show a life opposite of what a believer should be. Does this give a believer today guidance of how we should live?
B2 In Psalm 109:16, give some examples of those who might be broken in heart?
C1 Abused women, men, and children. Often the elders, pastors, etc. persecute the abused and protect the abuser.
C2 Those who have had a loved one killed.
C3 Who else?
B3 Instead of grieving for the sins of society, they cover it up. We should grieve: Ezekiel 9:3-6 NLT - Then the glory of the God of Israel rose up from between the cherubim, where it had rested, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. And the LORD called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer's case. He said to him, "Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city." Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all--old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders.
B4 What is the meaning of the phrase: He wore cursing as his garment? Note that this cursing could be in thoughts, words, desires, and/or deeds.
B5 Does God sometimes punish the evil person with the very same things that the evil person did?
A6 What the righteous person asks for (Psalm 109:21-31),
B1 How would these verses be applied to our Lord Jesus?
B2 In the early morning hours I go for my run. At the end of the driveway is a yard light. When I look down I see my shadow. If the night is clear with no moon, I can see my shadow with difficulty up to ¼ of a mile (~400 meters). This is the meaning of the phrase: Psalm 109:23 CSB - I fade away like a lengthening shadow...
B3 Why do these people have such arrogance to wish all kinds of evil against someone?
B4 In Psalm 109:30, how does the one who is delivered by Almighty God respond?
B5 Why kind of deliverance is spoken of in Psalm 109:31? Is this spiritual deliverance, physical deliverance, both, neither, other?
B6 Why does God deliver people?
B7 How did the Father deliver His son, the Lord Jesus?
A7 Other questions:
B1 Why do the Psalms bring comfort? There are Psalms for praise, for asking for help, for grieving, for feelings of revenge, etc.
B2 Why does God deliver anyone?
B3 Who are the people the hurt us the most? Is it strangers, friends, family, spouse, pastor, government, or boss?
B4 What is the difference between justice and revenge?
A8 Next week:
B1 The greatest love
B2 Theme: God is love
B3 Scriptures:
  • 1 John 4:7-19
  • Psalm 40
  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Romans 5:6-11
  • John 3:16-17