BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 5: Psalms 2 and 110

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Summary of Psalm 2:

David wonders why man even bothers to come against God and Jesus (the Anointed One). God laughs at them, saying Jesus is King, ruler of the Earth. David warns earthly kings to serve the Lord with fear for Jesus can destroy them in a moment. Blessed are those who take refuge in Jesus.

Summary of Psalm 110:

David speaks of Jesus again who is sitting at God’s right hand, awaiting his time to come and rule the earth (the Second Coming). The troops will be ready on that day, arrayed in holy majesty. Jesus is a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. He will crush king and judge nations.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 5: Psalms 2 and 110:

12) The complaint is God is in charge, instead of themselves. Same complaint. We want to be in charge of our lives when our lives belong to Him, and He is our Lord and master.

13) God laughs at pitiful mankind. He has installed His own King, Jesus, to rule over all. David warns the kings to be wise and serve God with fear, so Jesus does not destroy them in anger. Jesus spares those who call out his name and take refuge in his name. Isaiah tells us Jesus was pierced for our transgressions, taking our sins upon himself, and his wounds heal us. Jesus took the punishment meant for us upon himself. Thus, he is our refuge from God’s wrath.

14) Jesus is in the order of Melchizedek, which from Genesis means he is above the priests in the order of Levi. Jesus rules over all, will conquer all, and will judge all. The writer of Hebrews interprets this passage as Jesus guaranteeing a better covenant since he has a permanent priesthood and is able to save completely as our interceder.

15) Personal Question. My answer: No matter what is happening here on Earth, God is in charge, and He will conquer evil when the time comes. God will prevail, and we don’t have to worry about anything.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 5: Psalms 2 and 110:

It seems we should have read Hebrews as well with all the references here to it! I love how God laughs at us and our pitiful attempts to overcome Him. It’s like a giant to an ant. I love Jesus above all else and the picture of crushing because that is how we should think of God — we’re mere specks to Him and His greatness, and He can crush us with a mere touch.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 5: Psalms 2 and 110:

Psalm 2 Commentary:

Like many Psalms, the theme of Psalm 2 is emphasized in the final verse. We can defy God and perish, or surrender to Him and be blessed. The Psalm itself does not identify its author, but Acts 4:25-26 clearly attributes it to David.

The Psalmist seems genuinely mystified. The nations have no reason to rage against God, and they have no benefit in raging against Him. All is in vain.

Since the time of Babel, men continue to band themselves together against God. Men feel two or more of them united against God have a better chance than one man against God.

People oppose both the Lord and His Anointed. Anointed speaks of the Christ, the Anointed One. Since Jesus is the perfect representation of the Father (John 10:3014:9), if you oppose God the Father, you oppose Jesus. If you oppose Jesus, you oppose God the Father.

Those who oppose the Lord and His Anointed think of God as a bondage-bringer. God is a bondage-breaker, not a bondage-bringer.

Why does God laugh at mankind?

  • God is in heaven; men are dust on earth.
  • God is all powerful; men are weak.
  • God is love and mercy; men are evil and unforgiving.

The writer of Hebrews quotes this passage in Hebrews 1:5 as evidence of the deity of Jesus and superiority to all angels. He mentions the more excellent name Jesus received, greater than all the angels. This is the “name” Son. While angels are sometimes called the sons of God in a generic sense (Job 1:6), the Father never said “My Son” to any angel in a specific sense. That is reserved for God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity.

Note the idea of begotten in contrast to created. Jesus was not created; rather He created everything that was created (Colossians 1:16-17). Begotten describes a relationship between two beings of the same essential nature and being, but we create things of a different essential being and nature than ourselves.

The Lord’s Anointed — Jesus Christ

The Lord‘s Anointed holds the nations as His inheritance. He will rule over all nations and all judgment is His (John 5:22).

Revelation 11:15 describes an exciting consummation of this inheritance: Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

The Lord‘s Anointed has such power over the nations that they are like clay pots that he can shatter with a blow from a rod of iron. This shows us just how foolish the nations are to defy the Lord and His Anointed. There is no reason and no benefit to their defiant opposition.

Why kiss?

This is the kiss of submission where a dignitary receives the humble kiss of an inferior. It also shows the affection God wants in relationship to Him. God wants us to recognize our proper place before Him, but to also rejoice in Him and be affectionate in our relationship.

“Kissing was the token of subjugation and friendship.” (Clarke)

Take-away from Psalm 2:

  • Will you be broken or blessed? The choice is yours.

Commentary Psalm 110:

This Psalm carries the title, A Psalm of David. Strangely, some scholars and commentators deny David’s authorship. Yet as Derek Kinder noted: “Our Lord gave full weight to David’s authorship and David’s words, stressing the former twice by the expression ‘David himself’, and the latter by the comment that he was speaking ‘in the Holy Spirit’ (Mark 12:36f.).”

Fun Fact: This remarkable Psalm is one of the most quoted in the New Testament. There are 27 direct quotations or indirect allusions to Psalm 110 in the New Testament.

David prophetically revealed the words of Yahweh (the LORD) to the Messiah, David’s Lord. This is clear not only from the context, but especially in how this verse is quoted in Matthew 22:43-45 and Hebrews 1:13.

Psalm 110 in the New Testament

Psalm 110:1 is one of the Old Testament verses most quoted in the New Testament:

Image result for psalm 110The fact that Yahweh—the LORD, the covenant God of Israel—spoke to one that David himself called Lord (Adonai) demonstrates that both Yahweh and Adonai mentioned in this verse are God.

We would say that Yahweh is the Triune God with references to the persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each being Yahweh. Normally, when Yahweh is mentioned without specific connection to the person of the Son or the Holy Spirit, we assume it refers to God the Father. Therefore, here is God the Father speaking to the Messiah, God the Son.

His enthroned place (Ephesians 1:20Hebrews 8:1).

Footstool here refers kings who used to tread upon the necks of their conquered enemies (1 Kings 5:3Psalms 18:3991:13); Joshua 10:24; Jude 1:7.

Jesus rules over all

Jesus will have rule over all his enemies.  Adam Clarke is among those who think the rod of Your strength represents the Gospel: “The Gospel-the doctrine of Christ crucified; which is the powerful sceptre of the Lord that bought us; is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword; and is the power of God to salvation to all them that believe.”

When the people of God see and experience the victory of their Messiah, they gladly give themselves to His work. They are willing in the day of His power. Since the Hebrew word translated power is the word for a host or army, the sense is that the Messiah’s people are gathered together as a willing army.

In the Hebrew, volunteers is “willingnesses”, i.e. most willing, as such plural words are frequently used.

The people of God praise the victorious Messiah, and are noted for their beautiful holiness, their radiant being (the womb of the morning), and their ageless strength (dew of Your youth).

Youth’ here is a collective noun, equivalent to ‘young men.’ The host of his soldier-subjects is described as a band of young warriors, whom he leads, in their fresh strength and countless numbers and gleaming beauty like the dew of the morning. (Maclaren, cited in Spurgeon)

Who is Melchizedek?

This is the oath of Yahweh (specifically, God the Father) regarding the Messiah, God the Son. He vowed that the Messiah had an eternal priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, who is mentioned in a single account (Genesis 14:17-24).

The Genesis 14:1-24 account is brief, but densely packed with information about Melchizedek.

  • After Abraham defeated the confederation of kings who took his nephew Lot captive, he met with a mysterious priest named Melchizedek, whose name means king of righteousness and who was also king over the city of Salem (an ancient name for the city of Jerusalem), making him the king of peace.
  • Melchizedek was not merely a worshipper of the true God. He had the honored title priest of the Most High God. The greatness of God magnified the greatness of Melchizedek’s priesthood.
  • Melchizedek blessed Abraham, demonstrating his greatness over the patriarch.
  • Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe, which is a tenth part of all (all the spoils of battle, as mentioned in Genesis 14:20).
  • There is no mention of any father or mother of Melchizedek, and he appears without any genealogy.

With this oath, God revealed that there is another order of priesthood, apart from the priestly order of Aaron. The priests were all descended from Aaron and served in the tabernacle and temple, offering sacrifices and conducting ceremonies according to God’s law. Yet God established another priestly order, after the pattern of Melchizedek.

The Significance of the Priesthood of Melchizedek

  • This oath (You are a priest forever) was so important that the author of Hebrews refers to it five times (Hebrews 5:65:106:207:17, and 7:21).
  • Hebrews 5:6 and 5:10 emphasize that this was Yahweh’s declaration, not something that the Messiah claimed for Himself.
  • Hebrews 6:20, the emphasis is on the idea that Jesus Messiah serves as a living, active High Priest for His people.
  • Hebrews 7:17 emphasizes that the priesthood of Jesus Messiah according to the order of Melchizedek is better than the priestly order of Aaron because it is eternal and will never end and was founded on a direct oath of Yahweh, unlike the priestly order of Aaron.

The conquest of the Messiah

“The second part of the psalm carries the King into the battlefield. He comes forth from the throne, where He sat at Jehovah’s right hand, and now Jehovah stands at His right hand.” (Maclaren)

“Now the Lord (i.e. Yahweh) and his King act as one, and the army of volunteers which was seen in verse 3 is no longer in the picture. The battle is the Lord’s, yet he and his King are so united.” (Kidner)

With the authority mentioned in Psalm 110:2, the strength of the Messiah extends out of Zion, and brings the righteous judgment of God against even the greatest kings.

The Messiah judges all nations

The Second Coming is referenced here with the slaughter at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-18).

Messiah Himself is refreshed (drink of the brook) and exalted (lift up the head).

  1. Refreshed: Curiously, many commentators take this as a reference to the Messiah’s humiliation. It is better to see it as His refreshment on the day of battle. “Psalms 110:7 is usually taken as depicting the King as pausing in His victorious pursuit of the flying foe to drink, like Gideon’s men, from the brook, and then with renewed vigour pressing on.” (Maclaren)
  2. Exalted: The lifting of the head in the Bible means delivered from all sorrows and sufferings, and exalted to great glory, and joy, and felicity, as this phrase usually signifies (Psalms 3:3 27:6 Jeremiah 52:31) Hanging down the head in the Bible is great grief and shame (Lamentations 2:10).

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 4: Psalm 19

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Summary Psalm 19:

The heavens and skies proclaim God’s existence and His glory. God’s laws are perfect, his commands radiant, his statutes trustworthy. Keeping God’s laws is rewarding. May I follow God’s laws. May my words and heart be pleasing to you, God.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 4: Psalm 19:

9) All attributes of God are revealed through Creation: his goodness, his perfectness, his omniscience, his omnipotence, his holiness, his justness, his everything.

10) Part personal Question. My answer: Perfect, radiant, right, giving joy to the heart, reviving the soul, trustworthy, making wise simple, giving light to the eyes, sure, altogether righteous, more precious than gold, sweeter than honey, great reward when kept. David said this much more eloquently than I ever could, but I love God’s rules. It gives life structure, meaning, and boundaries. God’s laws are good as He is good.

11) Part personal Question. My answer: Studying God’s Word according to David revives the soul, makes wise the simple, gives joy to the heart, gives light to the eyes, sweeter than honey, warns the servant (us), and rewards us. Studying God’s Word has kept me from totally being full of sin. My knowledge has deepened, my relationship with God is closer, and I grow more and more like Jesus with each passing day. I have hope I can someday be a good person.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 4: Psalm 19:

Beautiful in its simplicity, God’s law gives us a reason to live and God’s Creation affirms his glory and power.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 4: Psalm 19:

The title tells us both the author and the audience of the Psalm: To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Some believe that the Chief Musician is the Lord God Himself, and others suppose him to be a leader of choirs or musicians in David’s time, such as Heman the Singer or Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:3316:17, and 25:6).

C.S. Lewis said of Psalm 19: “I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.”

Aristotle said, “Should a man live underground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the works of such a Being as we define God to be.”

Astronomer and physicist Robert Jastrow, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

Paul later clarifies David’s sentiments in Psalm 19 in Romans 1. Paul explaines God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20). Because this testimony had gone out through all creation, all men are without excuse for rejecting the God who gave us such clear (and beautiful) evidence of His power and wisdom.

God’s Glory announced in Creation

  • Size
  • Engineering
  • Artistry
  • Goodness and kindness

“Pour forth speech” is stronger in the Hebrew text than it appears to be in English, for the image is literally of a gushing spring that copiously pours forth sweet, refreshing waters of revelation.

The heavens never cease declaring and proclaiming God’s majesty and glory.

Verse 7 has David shifting from praising the God who reveals Himself in creation to praising the same God for revealing Himself in His word.

Philosopher Kant’s famous quote: Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe… the starry heavens above and the moral law within.”

God’s word tells us much more tells us about God than Creation. It reveals Him as the covenant God of love, as reflected in the structure of this psalm. In Psalm 19:1-6, God is referred to as El – the most generic word for God in the Hebrew language (even more generic than the commonly used Elohim). Yet here at Psalm 119:7-9, God is referred to as Yahweh (the LORD), the God of covenant love and faithfulness to His people. This is the personal name God revealed to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:15).

In Psalm 119, David used a variety of expressions to refer to the word of God (law, testimony, statutes, commandment, fear, judgements.)

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How is God’s Word perfect?

  • The word gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). While it does not give us all knowledge, all the knowledge it gives is true and perfect. Understood in its literary context, God’s word is never wrong in science or history or the understanding of either divine or human nature.
  • Part of the perfection of God’s word is that it is effective; it does the work of converting the soul. There is power in the reading, hearing, and studying the word of God that goes beyond intellectual benefit.

The Hebrew word translated here as converting is perhaps better understood as reviving; that is, bringing new life to the soul.

How is God’s Word simple?

  • The word of God is sure, being reliable and certain. As the Psalmist would write at Psalm 119:89Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.
  • Because God’s Word is so sure and certain, it does the work of making wise the simple. Many people of simple education or upbringing have tremendous wisdom unto life and godliness because they study and trust the sure word of the LORD.

How is God’s Word right?

  • God’s word and the commands are right. They are morally right, practically right, and universally right. They are right because it is the revelation of a God who is holy, true, and always right.
  • Right means to make straight, smooth, right, upright.

How is God’s Word pure?

  • God’s word comes from a God who is Himself pure and holy. A pure God can communicate no other way. We never have to worry about the word of God leading people into sin or impurity; if it seems to have happened, it is evidence that the scriptures have been twisted (2 Peter 3:16).

How is God’s Word clean?

  • The word of God is clean, and therefore is enduring forever. It will never fade or corrode, diminishing because of impurity. It is clean and it makes us clean.

Here David called the word of God the “fear of the Lord.” One who reads, hears, and studies the word of God  will have an appropriate appreciation of God’s awe and majesty.

IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER ABOUT KING DAVID:

  1. Remember King David wrote this with only a fraction of what we have today as the word of God; and by most accounts his portion was not as glorious as the complete revelation of God. David would have had the first five books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy); Joshua, Judges, a few Psalms, and perhaps Job and Ruth. We can only imagine what King David would have written about Isaiah or Hosea or the entire Psalter; much less any of the books of the New Testament. We can say with confidence that God’s word is far more glorious than King David knew!
  2. King David was a massively wealthy man, yet he is rarely known for his riches. He is much more known for his great heart towards God. His son Solomon was even more wealthy than David, and was known for his riches – yet not nearly as much for his heart towards God and his love of God’s word.

Why is the Word of God greater than material wealth?

  • God’s Word gives instruction (warning) to use for sins and dangers we cannot see, but God does.
  • God’s word gives benefit (reward).

Obeying God’s Word brings peace of mind and an unburdened conscious.

We all make errors before God; a lot of which we cannot see ourselves.

What are willful sins?

  • Sins we commit when we know better.
  • Sins we commit when friends have warned us.
  • Sins we commit when God Himself has warned us.
  • Sins we commit when we have warned others against the same sins.
  • Sins we commit when we plan and relish our sin.

The Progression of Willful Sin:

  1. Temptation
  2. Chosen thought
  3. Object of meditation
  4. Wished-for fulfillment
  5. Planned action
  6. Opportunity to perform action
  7. Committing of the sin
  8. Repeated action of sin
  9. Delight in sin
  10. Becomes a habit
  11. Becomes an idol
  12. Demands sacrifices
  13. We become a slave to that sin.

During this whole time, the Holy Spirit – and hopefully our conscience – warns us to stop. We are given the way of escape by God (1 Corinthians 10:13), if we will only take it. Yet if we do not, and end up in slavery to sin, it legitimately questions the state of our soul (1 John 3:6-9).

Note the man after God’s own heart prayed this. Think of how much then we need to pray this. If we do, as Paul wrote, For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).

Image result for psalm 19David closed this glorious Psalm with a humble surrender of his mouth and heart to God. He knew that real godliness was not only a matter of what a man did, but also of what he said and thought in his heart.

Redeemer is that great Hebrew word goel, the kinsman-redeemer. It was the goel who bought his relative out of slavery; who rescued him in bankruptcy and total loss. It was Boaz in the book of Ruth. King David looked to God Himself as his kinsman-redeemer.

Take away from Psalm 19:

Recognizing the glory of God in creation and the glory of His written revelation, David knew himself to be small and sinful. Yet this great God was also the glorious God of personal relationship and redemption for His people. King David knew this; so should we.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 3: Psalms 7 and 10

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Summary of Psalm 7:

A psalm of David’s concerning Cush, a Benjamite, David entreats God to save him and be his refuge. If he has done wrong, let his enemies overtake him. David pleads for justice to be done and violence to end. God is David’s shield and is a righteous judge. The trouble and violence one causes will be upon one’s own head. David gives thanks to the Lord and praise to Him.

Summary of Psalm 10:

Here in this Psalm, David feels God is far away. He describes the ways of the wicked who revile the Lord, are always prosperous, happy, and free from trouble, who are full of lies and murder, and take advantage of victims. David calls God to not forget the helpless and to call the wicked to account for their deeds. God is king over all and He defends the fatherless and the oppressed, so they may fear no more.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 3: Psalms 7 & 10:

6) God is just. God is holy. God is faithful. God is pure. God is a refuge. God deals with evil and violence justly and righteously. God defends the helpless. Even in the bad times, God is there.

7) Those who perpetuate wickedness will be judged by God righteously. They only bring the troubles upon their own heads. Those who are affected will prevail, and God will avenge them. God shields those who are upright in heart. God will call the wicked to account. Those who are afflicted God hears, encourages, and listens to their cries, defending them, so they will terrify no more.

8 ) Part personal Question. My answer. God and justice. God and justice for me.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 3: Psalms 7 and 10:

Psalm 7 emphasizes God as sanctitude and refuge and how God will avenge his believers for the evil they have done. Psalm 10 emphasizes God’s defense of the helpless and holding the wicked to account for their sins.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 3: Psalms 7 and 10:

Psalm 7 Commentary:

The Hebrew title to this Psalm reads: A meditation of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning the words of Cush, a Benjamite. The New King James Version translates the Hebrew word “Shiggaion” as meditation, though the word is difficult to translate and is used elsewhere only in Habakkuk 3:1. The specific occasion is not easily connected with an event recorded in the historical books of the Old Testament; it may be a veiled reference to either Shimei’s accusations against David in 2 Samuel 16:5 or to Saul’s slanders against David. More likely this Cush, a Benjamite, was simply another partisan of Saul against David. This Psalm contains both David’s cry of anguish and confidence in God’s deliverance.

Who was Cush the Benjamite?

  • When David was under attack from Cush the Benjamite, all he could trust was God.
  • “Nothing is known of Cush; but from Abasalom’s rebellion it emerged that Benjamin, Saul’s tribe, held some bitter enemies of David (2 Samuel 16:5ff20:1ff).” (Kidner)
  • Some believe that this Cush was really Saul or Shimei.
  • It appears probable that Cush the Benjamite had accused David to Saul of treasonable conspiracy against his royal authority.

God sometimes allows difficult circumstances, so they will awaken this urgency in us.

David knew what it was like to overcome a lion.

David had been accused of appropriating spoils which rightly belonged to the king, returning evil for good, and taking toll for some generosity.

Image result for psalm 7What do we learn from David’s prayers?

  • It’s a mistake to assume the passions of God are always with us or support our opinion. Many dangerous fanatics have been wrongly inspired by the mistaken assurance that God was for them when He was not.
  • David believed that God was for him and his cause; yet he did not hold this belief passively. He actively prayed for the accomplishing of what he believed God’s will to be.
  • David’s prayer for protection and vindication was not fundamentally selfish. He knew that his fate was vitally connected to the welfare of God’s people. His prayer was in large measure for their sakes, the sake of the congregation.

David wanted justice above all else. (Psalm 7:9)

While all sins are not equally sinful (some sins are worse than others and will receive a greater condemnation, Matthew 23:14); yet there are no small sins against a great God.

Adam Clarke believed a more accurate translation of Psalm 7:11 is, “He is not angry every day.”

Often wicked deeds may have the cover of respectability but are still filled with iniquity (as was the case with the Pharisees of Jesus’ day).

Violent endings of those who commit sin in the Bible include: Haman the enemy of Mordecai and the Jews, and the enemies of Daniel in the lion’s den.

Take aways from Psalm 7:

  1. God does not immediately judge the sinner out of mercy; He allows the sinner time to repent.
  2. God often brings the same calamity on the wicked that they had planned for the righteous.
  3. David could praise because he took his cause to God and in faith left it there.

Psalm 10 Commentary:

Because this Psalm has no title (in the midst of several Psalms that do), and because it shares some similar themes with Psalm 9, some have thought that it was originally the second half of Psalm 9. There are more reasons to doubt this than to believe it; this Psalm rightly stands on its own as a Psalm of lament at the seeming prosperity of the wicked, but ultimate confidence in the judgments of God.

David wrote this Psalm because it is arranged in the midst of several Psalms that are specifically attributed to David (Psalms 3-9; 11-32). Yet we know David to be a man of valiant action and warrior spirit; not the kind to stand passively back while the wicked murdered and terrorized the weak and helpless. The only exception to this would be if the wicked man were in a place of God-appointed authority, such as Saul was in Israel. Perhaps this Psalm was a cry of David for God to stop Saul because David knew that it was not his place to lift his hand against the LORD‘s anointed.Image result for psalm 10

David is expressing here what we all feel at times: concern and sometimes anxiety over the seeming inactivity of God.

Times of trouble: According to Maclaren, this was a rare word in the ancient Hebrew vocabulary, used only here and in Psalm 9:9. “It means a cutting off, i.e., of hope of deliverance. The notion of distress intensified to despair is conveyed.”

One who does not seek God and the one who does not think about God is put in the same category as the one who renounces the LORD. All are sins. Man has obligations to God as His creator and sovereign, and it is a sin to neglect these obligations.

Psalm 9:15 has the wicked being condemned; here it is a heartfelt prayer.

David asks God to not allow the wicked to prosper and to bring judgement sooner.

The wicked speech of men – which is often today regarded as no sin at all – is regarded as sin in the Psalms. Cursing, lying, threatening, and troubling and evil speech are all destructive. And these words are spoken because we believe we won’t be held accountable for what comes out of our mouths.

Characteristics of a Wicked Man

  • Secrecy
  • Bully
  • Murderer
  • Oppresses others
  • Blasphemies God
  • Curses, lies, threats
  • Haughty
  • Sneers at enemies (and God)

‘Helpless’ is a word only found in this psalm (vv. 8, 10, 14), which has received various explanations, but is probably derived from a root meaning to be black, and hence comes to mean miserable, hapless, or the like.

David wants God to take action against the wicked. And he knows God will because God has seen and God judges justly.

God had long been declared the king of Israel (Exodus 15:18), even when His people rejected His rule (1 Samuel 8:7-9). If David wrote this Psalm (especially during a time of persecution from Saul), the words “the LORD is King forever and ever” would have recognized the reign of God even over the troubled and dysfunctional reign of Saul.

Spurgeon states: “Sometimes, we have desires that we cannot express; they are too big, too deep; we cannot clothe them in language. At other times, we have desires which we dare not express; we feel too bowed down, we see too much of our own undesert to be able to venture near the throne of God to utter our desires; but the Lord hears the desire when we cannot or dare not turn it into the actual form of a prayer.”

The Psalmist reminds us that the spiritual preparation of the heart is a great gift, an answer to prayer, and a mark of God’s blessing.

Take away from Psalm 10:

  • What began with a sense of despair in times of trouble has ended with calm confidence in God’s justice and victory.

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BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 2: Psalm 139

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Summary of Psalm 139:

David prays/sings to God, saying how God knows everything about him and where he’ll go and what he’ll say. God is everywhere, guiding him. God made David in the womb and knew what he’d do on earth. David prays for God to slay his enemies who speak evil of God’s name. He hates them for it. He prays to be tested for evil and to be lead in everything.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 2: Psalm 139:

3) God is omniscient. He has everything planned ahead of time and everyone’s life planned ahead of time. Darkness is as light to God. He is omnipotent.

4) David hates those who hate God. He cannot stand those who speak evil of God. He calls those who hate God his enemies. He requests for God to be in control of his destiny and all that he does. Most people today do not actively oppose God; they just dislike him. We are to love on those who don’t like God but not tolerate perpetual sin around us. We don’t have to be with unrepentant sinners; we can just pray for them. The balance comes in condoning or not condoning sin.

5) Personal Question. My answer: This Psalm reminds me how God does have my life planned out, and I merely have to be close to Him to follow it. It reminds me He knows everything and cares about knowing everything in my life. If I pray for God to lead me, He will. His will will be done in my life if I allow Him to do it.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 2: Psalm 139:

Reading the Psalms gives us an insight into David’s mind during this trying time in his life. We see his highs, his lows, and all his questions, doubts, and waverings as to what God is doing in his life. This gives us hope when we do the same thing. The power of prayer cannot be stated enough.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 2: Psalm 139:

This magnificent Psalm is titled, For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. It does not surprise us that such a significant Psalm came from David’s pen, who was “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1). The Chief Musician is thought by some to be the LORD God Himself, and others suppose him to be a leader of choirs or musicians in David’s time, such as Heman the Singer or Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:3316:17, and 25:6).

David prayed to Yahweh, understanding that He had personal knowledge of him. Pagans often thought that their gods were hostile or indifferent to men and women; David knew the true God cared to search and know all of us.

What does God know about me?Image result for psalm 139

  • God knows me.
  • He is everywhere with me.
  • He created me.
  • God knows all my thoughts.
  • God knows all my words.
  • God knows me better than I know myself.
  • God is everywhere.
  • God knows me in the womb.
  • God sees me at all times.

As Jesus would later say, God knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30).

In the Hebrew grammar, You know (139:2) and You covered (139:13) the emphasis is on You. God is involved in everything we do.

The normal sense of a hedge in the Bible is of a protective barrier. God hedged David on every side, so that nothing could come to David unless it first passed through God’s permission. What was true for David is true for all who trust in the LORD.

The Psalmist speaks of God as a Person everywhere present in creation, yet distinct from creation. God is everywhere, but he is not everything.

God is present in Hell

David did not describe what we normally think of as hell – Gehenna (Matthew 10:2818:9), the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15). The Hebrew word here is sheol, which has the sense of the grave or by implication the afterlife.

Even in hell, God will be present because there is no place where God cannot be. Yet God’s presence in hell will radiate none of His love and grace; only His righteous judgment.

“Wings of the dawn” may well refer to the spread and speed of light as it fills the morning sky from the east to the west. Light itself can not outrun God’s presence and knowledge.

Death and the grave cannot separate David from God’s love – as Paul would later write in Romans 8:38-39. In fact, God’s right hand – His hand of skill and strength – would hold David no matter what would come.

God’s constant presence with David was like a constant light in the darkness. As the pillar of cloud illuminated Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21), so with God’s presence the night shines as the day.

Image result for psalm 139Skillfully wrought: “Hebrew embroidered; exquisitely composed of bones, and muscles, and sinews, and veins, and arteries, and other parts, all framed with such wonderful skill, that even heathens, upon the contemplation of all the parts of man’s body, and how excellently they were framed, both for beauty and use, have broken forth into pangs of admiration and adoration of the Creator of man, as Galen particularly did.” (Poole)

If God made us, why did He make birth defects?

The  “The root meaning of the word rendered ‘precious’ is weighty. The singer would weigh God’s thoughts towards him, and finds that they weigh down his scales.” (Maclaren)work of God in fashioning the body of the individual has made some wonder about the presence of birth defects, and what that may mean regarding God’s work. We should regard such birth defects as injuries to God’s original design, and even as a person may be injured out of the womb, so they can be injured while still in the womb and in the process of formation. Such injuries are the result of the fall and the corruption it introduced into the world, yet still the eye of faith can see the hand of God at work in what defects or injuries He would allow in His providence.

“The Lord’s writing in the book (cf. Psalm 51:1Psalm 69:28) refers to God’s knowledge and blessing of his child ‘all the days’ of his life (cf. Ephesians 2:10).

“That God should think upon us is the believer’s treasure and pleasure.” (Spurgeon)

Discovering our own sin

  • We do not hate the person; we hate the sin.
  • “It is easier to glow with indignation against evildoers than to keep oneself from doing evil. Many secret sins may hide under a cloak of zeal for the Lord.” (Maclaren)
  • We often don’t know our own evil ways. Praying for God to flush them out is powerful.

David ended this majestic psalm by declaring his destination – the way everlasting. Trusting the God of complete knowledge and constant presence would bring David to everlasting life.

“The final words could be translated ‘the ancient way’ as in Jeremiah 6:16; but the majority of translators would appear to be right in rendering them the way everlasting, in contrast to the way of the wicked, which will perish.” (Kidner)

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 11, Day 5: Romans 6:19-23

Summary of passage:  We now offer our bodies in slavery to righteousness, which leads to holiness and eternal life.  Sin leads to death.

Questions:

11)  In essence, people want to be free to do whatever they wish with no repercussions.  This is just not reality. Under your own strength, you can’t do anything.  True freedom is living under God’s strength to overcome sin.  Following our own path is a slave to Satan.  It’s not how we were designed to live.  It’s a lie Satan tells you to keep on sinning.  When you do your own thing, Satan is in charge.

12)  Slave to sin: death.  Slave to God: holiness and eternal life.

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sin leads you to feeling broken and hopeless, unworthy and guilty, shameful and evil.  God uses these experiences to make you yearn for Him and His ways.  He replaces those feelings with hope and worthiness and holiness.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Gratitude (my stock answer).  A desire to do His will through His strength.  Be more like Jesus every day.

Conclusions:  Question 13 is repetitive and could have done without it.  Question 11 is too broad.  It’s any sin.  Weak lesson.  Paul is basically repeating himself as well to emphasize how we now are free in Jesus.

End Notes:  The “human terms” is Paul apologizing for using slavery as his example from human lives because so many back then were slaves or if not slaves per se in essence slaves because Rome dictated their lives, but it was an accurate description of his point.

Paul speaks of habits when he says “impurity to ever-increasing wickedness”.  The longer you do something, the more ingrained it is and the harder to change.  In times of temptation, we must remember ever-lasting life.

Slavery to God produces holiness, and eventually eternal life.  There is no eternal life without holiness (Hebrews 12:14).

We must fight against every occasional sin because the benefits (life) far outweighs death!  This is Paul’s answer to Romans 6:15.  Remember, it’s a gift, not earned.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 11, Day 4: Romans 6:17-18

Summary of passage:  We are freed from sin thanks to our obedience to God.

Questions:

8 )  Part personal Question.  My answer:  You obey because you love God.  You obey out of reverence.  The Holy Spirit abhors sin and you flee towards God and obedience.  The opposite is you have a hard heart and you hate God.  Hence, you disobey and rebel.  Following the rules is going through the motions and is motivated by a fear of repercussions.  God frees us; there are no repercussions if we confess our sins and give them to Jesus.  We want to obey as opposed to being forced to obey.  My actions:  from the heart.

9) The pattern of teaching is the teaching of the Word that is stamped (allegiance) on our heart.

10)  Personal question that I’m sick of answering:  Freedom to pray.  To believe.  To serve.  To evangelize.  Freedom from fear.  Freedom from hell.  Freedom from worry.

Conclusions:  I don’t think BSF changed Question 9 because my NIV version does not use any of the words in quotes.  See my End Notes discussion on God’s mold for us.  Wish BSF would have asked about that instead of Question 10.

End Notes:  Paul puts it in the past tense because we have been freed from our slavery to sin. He also says that we have been set free by faith, which he describes as “wholeheartedly obeyed”.  The faith is put in God’s Word, which he describes as that form of teaching.  With faith in God and His word, you are set free.  Now live every day consistent with that freedom.

In Romans 6, we can be legally free and still choose to live like a prisoner. Paul has a simple command and encouragement for the Christian: be what you are.

Faith comes from the heart, not only the mind, and obedience is the result

The word “form” describes a mold used to shape molten metal. The idea is that God wants to shape us – first He melts us by the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Then He pours us into His mold of truth – and shapes us into His image.

Adam Clarke on that form of doctrine or teaching: “Here Christianity is represented under the notion of a mould, or die, into which they were cast, and from which they took the impression of its excellence. The figure upon this die is the image of God, righteousness and true holiness, which was stamped on their souls in believing the Gospel and receiving the Holy Ghost. The words . . . refer to the melting of metal, which, when it is liquefied, is cast into the mould, that it may receive the impression that is sunk or cut in the mould; and therefore the words may be literally translated, into which mould of doctrine ye have been cast. They were melted down under the preaching of the word, and then were capable of receiving the stamp of its purity.”

Verse 18 answers the question in verse 15.  Righteousness is now in charge, not sin.  We are born again as slaves (willing servants) to righteousness as Jesus’s death broke the bonds of sin.  We willingly serve Jesus and we never have to sin again although we will as long as we’re in the flesh. It’s resisting one temptation at a time.  We can live free!

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 11, Day 3: Romans 6:15-16

Summary of passage:  Paul concludes again that we don’t sin just because God forgives.  We are like slaves and we are slaves to the one we obey.  It’s up to us if it’s God (who leads to righteousness) or Satan (who leads to death).

Questions:

6)  Paul starts by asking us what do we say and conclude.  In verse 1, Paul is focusing on the argument that one goes on sinning so grace may increase.  In verse 15, Paul focuses on the fact we should sin because we are under grace and forgiven.  Also, note the subtle difference in verb tense (more pronounced in the ancient Greek:  “go on sinning” and “sin”.  Verse 1 is talking about perpetual sinning.  Verse 15 is speaking of an occasional sin here and there.  More explanation in End Notes.

7a)  Under Satan, you will forever sin because of human nature.  Under God who offers us righteousness through grace we are forgiven and our sins are washed away.  We are free from our sins and will thus serve righteousness instead of sin.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Slave to righteousness because I accept Jesus as my Savior who through God’s grace forgives my sins, cleanses me, and thus makes me righteous before God.

Conclusions:  I groaned on 7b and felt like a school kid forced to recite the class rules for the thousandth time.  It’s basically asking you if you’re saved.  A yes or no would have sufficed or better yet a question on the passage.

End Notes:   Wuest explains the verb tense in verse 1 & 15:  “The verb in verse one is in the present subjunctive, speaking of habitual, continuous action. The verb in verse fifteen is in the aorist subjunctive, referring to a single act.”  Again, the answer is no.  Sin and a saved life do not go hand in hand.

Paul is saying in verse 16 that you serve someone so why not Christ instead of the devil (obedience versus sin)?  You can apply this across the spectrum such as slave to food or others’ approval or success or wealth, etc.

It seems the question came from those who were afraid that the doctrine of justification by faith alone will remove all moral restraint.  Paul rejects this idea and shows in the following verses how Christians don’t throw morality to the wind.  Instead, they exchange sin for righteousness as their master.