Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in Psalms 56-76|
Passage: Psalm 70
A. Find Out:
1. What was David's basic plea? v.1,5
2. Who were against him? v.2
3. What did he want to happen to them? v.2,3
4. Who does he then consider by contrast? v.4
5. What does he tell them to do? v.4
1. What emotion do you think would describe what David feels?
2. Why is he feeling that?
3. How is his relationship with the Lord revealed here?
Much sin in the world is expressed through breakdowns in relationships, and that includes at national level between countries, between groups within countries and between individuals. We aren't told at what level it was but David was obviously receiving opposition from others. It is a repeat of his words in Psa 40:13-17 but we're still left to speculate who it was against him. They are those (v.2) “who seek my life” and “desire my ruin”. Now he doesn't ask for their destruction, merely that they will be put to shame and confusion and turned back in disgrace (v.2). In one sense this is a real prayer of grace. He simply wants relief from their opposition.
By implication they are not the faithful people of God because he seems to contrast them in v.4 with a ‘But'. There are those who seek the Lord, who love His salvation and he says ‘may' they be ‘glad in you'(v.4). It suggests that the faithful people of God are also under pressure and David wants deliverance not only for himself but for them also. He tells them to exalt the Lord for that is the truth – the Lord IS high and lifted up and all-powerful. The fact that they are not seeing Him like that at the moment, in the face of their enemies is neither here nor there! The Lord is almighty and David declares that He is his help and deliverer (v.5). He makes these statements of faith before he sees the outworking of them. Faith speaks what is yet to be!
1. Can you say, the Lord is my help and my deliverer?
2. Can you say that in the middle of opposition and difficulties?
Passage: Psalm 71:1-12
A. Find Out:
1. What does the psalmist ask the Lord to do? v.1,2
2. What further does he ask? v.3,4
3. What testimony is he able to give? v.5,6
4. What does he feel he has become, but what does he do? v.7,8
5. What further does he ask of the Lord? v.9,12
6. Why? v.10,11
1. What does the psalmist declare the Lord to be?
2. Yet what does he still ask?
3. What is in the gap between the two causing him to ask?
This psalm is a mix between testimony declaration and prayer petition. First his TESTIMONY. This has two aspects: a) How he knows the Lord and b) what he has done. Let's look at how he knows the Lord. He declares that the Lord IS his rock and fortress (v.3), his strong refuge (v.7b), and his hope and confidence (v.5). These are things that the Lord HAS become to him. Next, what he has done, his response to what he has found the Lord to be: he has taken refuge in the Lord (v.1), he has relied upon Him from birth (v.6) and he will praise the Lord (v.8)
Second, his PETITIONS. First he is concerned for his reputation and wants the Lord to protect that (v.1b). Therefore he wants the Lord to listen to his plea (v.2b) and to deliver and save him (v.2). He asks the Lord to be His refuge (v.3a) and to command protection for him (v.3b). Specifically he wants the Lord to save him from the evil men (v.4) who speak against him (v.10a) and want to kill him (v.10b), saying the Lord has deserted him (v.11), and so he needs Him to come close and save him from them (v.12). Note there is the testimony and the plea. He knows the Lord is his refuge but that doesn't stop him asking the Lord to be that. Why do we do that? Because of the pressure of the enemy who seeks to drive a wedge of doubt into our testimony, and so prayer counters that and helps him remain firm.
1. Can I declare, the Lord IS my refuge?
Passage: Psalm 71:13-24
A. Find Out:
1. What does he want to happen to those against him? v.13
2. Yet what will he do? v.14-16
3. How has he been blessed in the past? v.17
4. What does he ask so he may do what? v.18
5. What does he declare about the Lord? v.19-21
6. Yet what will he do? v.22-24
1. How does the psalmist's testimony of the past help the present?
2. What does it enable him to say about his circumstances?
3. What does it enable him to declare about the Lord?
Half of these twelve verses are about praise, which is quite remarkable because as we saw in the first half of the psalm, the psalmist was very aware of his difficult circumstances with people against him. There he was aware of his need of the Lord to be his rock and refuge.
These verses are a declaration of praise and testimony in the face of those difficulties. Yes, he wants his enemies dealt with (v.13), but in the meantime he will praise the Lord more and more (v.14) for the great things God HAS done (v.16).
He is able to look back and know of God's goodness since his childhood (v.17) and so he wants to be able to continue testifying to that to the next generation well on into old age (v.18). He knows the goodness of the Lord (v.19) and so he is assured that the Lord will come and deliver him out of the present troubles (v.20,21).
Even as he says this it releases a fresh wave of praise (v.22) and joy (v.23) in the knowledge of the Lord's faithfulness (v.22) and ongoing righteous acts (v.24), and so even though it hasn't happened in reality, he knows that his enemies have been dealt with (v.24) and are no longer a problem to him.
Passage: Psalm 72:1-11
A. Find Out:
1. What does the psalmist first ask? v.1,2 (for ‘Who?')
2. What will be two primary characteristics of his reign? v.3
3. How will he care for his people? v.4
4. What will be characteristics of his reign? v.5-7
5. How extensive will be his reign? v.8-11
1. What is said about the extent of this reign?
2. What is said about the nature of it?
There are some unclear things about this Psalm. It appears to be the request of God by a king for his son who will follow on. Verse 2 can be read, “May he judge your people”. At the end of it comes the editorial note about the end of David's prayers, so it may be we should see this not a psalm ‘ Of Solomon' but ‘ for Solomon', In that sense it becomes very prophetic because all that is here, happened – but it didn't for Solomon's son who reigned.
Noting the characteristics that David (let's assume it was him) asked for, it starts with justice and righteousness (v.1,2), two characteristics close to God's heart. If the nation is founded on these it will be in good standing with God. When that happens, a number of things will follow.
Mountains and hills normally water the land (the rain runs off them to water the land below) but these mountains will know prosperity and righteousness flowing down over the land (v.3). This will be a good land to be in because there is plenty of provision (prosperity) and goodness before God (righteousness).
There will also be security for all (v.4) as he cares for the weak and needy and deals with oppressors. His reign will go on and on (v.5) bringing ongoing blessing (v.6,7) and his reign will spread and be mighty (v.8-11). The unlimited extent of v.5 & 11 have led some to suggest that this king is in fact the coming Messiah.
1. Jesus comes to bring law and order and blessing. Worship him.
2. Jesus comes to provide all we ever need. Hallelujah!
Passage: Psalm 72:12-20
A. Find Out:
1. Who will this king be there for? v.12,13
2. How will he do it? v.14
3. What two sorts of blessing are anticipated? v.15
4. How is the first also seen? v.16
5. How will the second be seen? v.17
6. What does this all evoke in the psalmist? v.18,19
The second half of this psalm reflects the first half that we have already considered. This king has a heart for the weak – the afflicted (v.2,4,12), and the needy (v.4,12,13), and he will deal with all who oppress them (v.4c,14). These are the expressions of the man after God's own heart. He wants them for his son.
There is a call for this king's reign to endure and go on and on (v.5,15a,17a) but there is now an added recognition that it will be as his people pray for him (v.15b). In that verse, there is a desire for material blessings (gold) and spiritual blessings (from prayer). The material blessings are shown as the fruit of his reign (v.6) and implied in v.15b,16) and such will it be that it will overflow from the land of Israel to distant lands (v.8-11, 17b). David brought stability and security to the land and Solomon, with God's gift of wisdom capitalised on that and made the land incredibly prosperous so that affected all these other nations. When Israel was truly led by the Lord then great blessing flowed. The terrible lesson is that so often they weren't submissive to the Lord and forfeited the blessing. How foolish is Sin in the human race!
As the psalmist anticipates all this blessing from God, his heart is lifted in praise to the Lord (v.18,19), for he recognises that the blessing is solely from the hand of the Lord. It is to Him alone that glory is given for it is by His hand alone that this blessing comes.
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, S = Solomon
Each of these three psalms appears to have a different writer. David's psalm 70 is a short call for help against his enemies. Psalm 71 has no author given and may therefore possibly be a continuation of psalm 70, as there are again mention of enemies. Psalm 72 is ascribed to Solomon but the last verse speaks of prayers of David and so perhaps it should be ‘To Solomon' rather than ‘Of Solomon' which makes it very prophetic about Solomon's reign. Thus we have two psalms that speak of adversity and one that speaks of the blessings that come after adversity has been passed through (if we consider the historical order).
Lord, thank you that you are there in both times of adversity and times of great blessing. Thank you that you've said you'll never leave us or forsake us.