Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in Psalms 56-76|
Passage: Psalm 67
A. Find Out:
1. What does the Psalmist want the Lord to do? v.1
2. What will happen when the Lord does that? v.2
3. What is the desire of the psalmist? v.3,5
4. What will cause them to do that? v.4
5. What will be an outworking of this? v.6,7a
6. And what will be the ultimate end product? v.7b
1. What, do you think, is the Psalmists ultimate, main desire?
2. How is that expressed?
3. How does he see that being fuelled?
This is a psalm all about relationship with God. The first two verses provide a summary of all else that follows: he wants God to bless them so that it will be seen around the world and as a result the Lord will be known and glorified. There is an echo of the priestly blessing from Num 6:24-26 in the first verse. This is God's desire and so we should not be afraid to pray it. There is a circular series of actions here: the Lord blesses, so that people hear and come to know Him, so that He can bless more people. God's desire is that the world comes to know Him and receive goodness from Him.
The Psalmist declares his desire for all peoples to praise God (v.3-5) and they will do this when they are relationship with Him and come into His kingdom (His rule) where there is love, joy, peace etc. (that His Spirit brings – Gal 5:22,23). When the people come into right relationship with the Lord, then His presence will bring blessing to their lives and fruitfulness and good harvest will result. The Bible repeats this again and again – that when we are in relationship with the Lord and His presence is with us, then His presence brings blessing to all around us, every aspect of our lives. The final result? That all the world will know, will understand and come into that right relationship with the Lord that is founded on the awesome respect for Him.
1. Knowing the Lord involves receiving His guidance and direction.
Passage: Psalm 68:1-10
A. Find Out:
1. What does David want & what 2 illustrations does he give? v.1,2
2. But what does he want for the righteous? v.3,4
3. How does he describe the Lord and what He does? v.5,6
4. Where had the Lord gone? v.7
5. What had happened? v.8,9
6. What further has occurred? v.10
1. How is the Lord portrayed in verses 1 – 4?
2. How is He portrayed in verses 5 & 6
3. How is He portrayed in verses 7 – 10?
As we have noted in the questions above, David picks up three aspects of the Lord in these first ten verses of this psalm. First he speaks of the Lord in terms of a mighty, all-powerful warrior who will deal with His enemies (v.1). He sees the Lord wafting His enemies away as easily as smoke is wafted away. He sees them melting away as easily as a candle melts away before the heat of a fire (v.2). This is a God who deals powerfully with His enemies (who are evil – implied), but blesses the righteous (v.3). But then, almost to set right any wrong thinking that might come into our minds when thinking of God being all powerful, he reminds himself that the Lord looks after and cares for the poor – orphans and widows, those who have been left alone, perhaps made prisoners by the enemy (v.5,6). God is their God! This is a God of care and compassion who tenderly protects and provides for the weak.
Then, as so often in the Old Testament, there come oblique references to the Exodus and the entry to the Promised Land (v.7,9). The Lord led His people, led them from Sinai, led this family of Israel , and led them into a spiritually barren land and poured out His blessing on them in it and transformed it. This is the God of transformation who took a slave people put them into a foreign land and transformed them and it under His hand of blessing.
1. Do we know the Lord as the powerful but compassionate One?
2. Do we know the Lord as the One who brings transformation?
Passage: Psalm 68:11-23
A. Find Out:
1. What had the Lord declared to whom? v.11
2. What phase of the Exodus is shown in v.12-14?
3. What gazes in envy at what? v.15,16
4. How did the psalmist see God arriving there? v.17,18
5. What does he next celebrate? v.19,20
6. What assurance does God bring? v.21-23
1. What historical activity does verses 11-14 focus upon?
2. What does verses 15-18 focus upon?
3. What do verses 19-23 celebrate?
Verses 4 to 6 celebrated God who led His people out of Egypt , and verses 7 to 10 Him leading His people into Canaan . Verses 11 to 14 now celebrate His taking of the land from His enemies there. He announced it before it happened to the company of Israel (v.11) and as they entered the area of Canaan kings and armies fled before Him (v.12). The dove that is Israel (see Psa 74:19 and Hos 7:11 ) rests between battles enriched with the gold and silver taken from her enemies (v.13) and the kings in the land were scattered by God (v.14).
Having cleared the land it was time for God to take His place in the midst of His people in the Temple in Jerusalem on Mount Zion . The mountains of Bashan (v.15) might have been bigger, but God chose to reign from Mount Zion (v.16). He came with His angelic hosts (v.17) having cleared the land and taken captives (v.18).
The result of all this is praise to God who saves and carries their burdens (v.19), who delivers them from death (v.20). They rest confident in that God who has delivered them in the past will deliver them in the future from their enemies (v.21) who come from afar (v.22) and bring them at the feet of Israel (v.23).
It is a celebration of God's triumph in taking the Land, occupying Jerusalem and bringing security to Israel .
1. God's ongoing purposes cannot be held back.
Passage: Psalm 68:24-35
A. Find Out:
1. Who form part of what? v.24,25,27
2. Why have they come? v.26
3. What does the Psalmist ask God to do? v.28,30
4. With what result? v.29,31
5. What does the Psalmist call the nations to do? v.32
6. Why? v.33-35
1. What is the picture being conveyed in v.24-27?
2. What does the Psalmist want to happen in v.28-31?
3. What does he want to happen in v.32-35?
The psalm has exalted the Lord as a warrior (v.1-3), as a deliverer (v.4-6), as an occupier (v.7-10), as a clearer of the Land (v.11-14) as the occupier of Jerusalem (v.15-18), and as a saviour and triumphant Lord (v.19-23). Now the Psalmist sees the people of God coming to the Temple (v.24) to worship the Lord. There are singers and musicians (v.25) and representatives from all Israel (v.27) come to praise God (v.26). This is the result of all that has gone before – worship flowing out of relationship.
But the Psalmist is mindful of the enemies of the people of God and his desire is for those enemies to be subject to God's power (v.28) so that the might of Egypt will be humbled (v.30,31) and all nations will come to Jerusalem to bring offerings to the Lord (v.29). The Psalmist wants more than Israel to worship God; he wants all the world to.
So, in his concluding verses he calls all people to sing praises to God (v.32) to acknowledge Him for who He is, the One who is high above all else (v.33), the all-powerful One, Lord of Israel (v.34) who resides in their midst (v.35) and blesses His people with power and strength.
Thus the psalm starts and finishes with praise to God who is all powerful, and shows how that power was there for His people.
1. God is The Lord. There is no other like Him. Worship Him.
Passage: Psalm 69:1-12
A. Find Out:
1. What does David feel is happening to him? v.1-2
2. What has he been doing to no avail? v.3
3. With whom is he suffering? v.4
4. What does he acknowledge? v.5
5. What does he not want to happen? v.6
6. What is happening to him? v.7-12
1. What seems to be the original cause of David's anguish?
2. What seems to be happening to him?
3. Yet what is his concern in the midst of it?
The psalm starts with a straight forward plea for God to save David, the writer. He feels he is drowning (v.1,2) and he has called for God's help and it has not come (v.3). He is aware of some (unspecified) sin (v.5) that he believes is the cause of what is happening to him.
But what is happening? There seem to be two aspects to it. First there are his enemies who have risen up and seek to destroy him (v.4). May we suppose that this refers to other nations? Sometimes when God disciplines us, He lifts back His protection so enemies rise against us to drive us more fully into His arms.
Before we come on to the second group who are causing him anguish, we must note his concern – for those who follow the Lord, that they will not be led astray by David's misdemeanours and by what is happening to him (v.6). A good heart reaction of a shepherd!
But then comes the second cause of anguish, the scorn he receives from his own people (v.7,8). As he seeks to work out his relationship with the Lord – going to the temple (v.9), fasting in repentance (v.10,11) – all he finds is that his own people mock him. They do not understand or appreciate what he is going through and seem not to have the same heart he does, so are not concerned for what concerns him. He is mocked by all (v.12). It is not good!
1. When we sin, the Lord disciplines us to bring us back.
2. Discipline comes in a variety of ways, all painful!
Passage: Psalm 69:13-28
A. Find Out:
1. To what does the psalmist appeal? v.13,16
2. What does he ask the Lord to do? v.14,15,17,18
3. What has particularly hurt him? v.19-21
4. What does he ask to happen to his enemies? v.22-25
5. Why? v.26
6. So what does he ask happen to them? v.27,28
1. What does David trust in, in making his plea?
2. Again what does he feel is happening to him?
3. What does he want the Lord to do?
In verses 1 & 2 we saw David's sense of drowning in the hatred of his enemies, and he repeats that sense now in v.14 & 15, but now he also appeals to the Lord's love and mercy (v.13,16). If we know nothing else, we know the Lord loves us and our appeal can always be on this basis. There is a sense of critical urgency in his plea for help (v.17,18).
Then he explains why he finds it so difficult: it is the scorn and mockery from his enemies that almost breaks his heart (v.19,20). He who should be their leader, and a light for the people has been shamed and disgraced and in dire need. He needed help from those nearest to him but all he received was scorn and mockery. Indeed it got worse; they contaminated his food and drink
In a cry for justice he asks the Lord to deal with these enemies of his. He asks that the comfort and security that they know (v.22) be turned around and become a means of disciplining them. He wants the ability to see be taken from them (v.23) and for them to be made slaves. He wants them to be taken away (v.25,28) so they are not even listed among the people of God, for they join in the discipline of God without mercy (v.26) and for that they are guilty of sin (v.27) and thus scorn their salvation. These people, he says, have forfeited the right to be called the righteous people of God.
1. God may discipline someone but we are called to be merciful.
A. Find Out:
1. how did David feel and what did he want? v.29
2. But what will he do and why? v.30,31
3. Who will this affect and how? v.32
4. What does the Lord do, and not do? v.33
5. So who does he call to do what? v.34
6. Why? v.35,36
1. How is David clearly still feeling?
2. Yet what does he purpose to do?
3. What does this lead him to go on to do?
Verse 29 sums up very succinctly what David has been saying in this psalm: he is in anguish and he needs the Lord's protection against those who come against him. But then, as so often with David, we see the real strength of heart of the man; he declares he will praise God (v.30), not because he's been delivered but simply because that will please God. His reference to and ox or a bull (v.31) suggests that he will bring praise simply as an offering to the Lord. Offerings were brought as an indication of relationship with the Lord and so he simply wants to praise God, almost as a love offering.
Then he expresses a very pastoral thought: the poor (v.32a) of his people, those who tend most to seek the Lord (v.32b), will be pleased when they see this response in David. He will be an example to them so that they will realise that the Lord hears those who are needy and does not despise them in their captivity to poverty (v.33).
As he does this that allows him to call on all of creation (v.34) to praise the Lord, for he knows in his heart that whatever misfortunes befall Judah at the moment (v.35) the Lord will be there for them and He will restore them and bless their future generations (v.36), all those who are truly His. He may be in distress and not yet delivered but he knows that deliverance and blessing will come.
1. In the midst of trials can we praise the Lord?
2. Praise for God depends on His greatness, not our problems.
RECAP - Psalms 67 - 69
Yet again we continue to simply produce a table as a reminder of what we have recently been reading in the Summary, and then a similar table in the Lessons. Next to the study numbers, the letter indicates the writer. D=David, U = untitled
Two of these three psalms are particularly long. Psa 67 was a short psalm about how God's salvation through Israel glorifies Him in the world. Psa 68 glories in the God who swept away His enemies and established His people in the Land, a powerful triumphant God. Psa 69 is a complete contrast in which we see David obviously going through a time of discipline and being transformed through it.
Lord, you are there in adversity and in discipline. Help me to be faithful through all such times.