Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in Psalms 77-100|
Passage: Psalm 92
A. Find Out:
1. It is good to do what, and how? v.1-3
2. What causes the psalmist joy? v.4,5
3. Who don't know or understand? v.6
4. What will happen to evil-doers? v.7,9
5. How does he see the Lord and what has the Lord done? v.8,10
6. What will happen to the righteous? v.12,13
7. For how long will they do what? v.14,15
1. What is the psalmist's main cause for his joy?
2. What sense of goodness is conveyed for the believer?
This is primarily a psalm of joy because the lord has dealt with the psalmist's enemies. He expresses that joy through music (v.1-3) and it is joy because of what the Lord has done (v.4,5). He has an awareness of the Lord and His acts that others don't have (v.6), that evil-doers are destined to eternal destruction (v.7). They will be pulled down (by implication) but the Lord will be exalted (v.8).
The enemies of God cannot prevail and will be dealt with by the Lord (v.9) and he himself has seen the Lord exalt him (v.10) and pull down his enemies (v.11).
This leads him to make a faith statement about the righteous, those who have a relationship with the Lord. Because they are part of God's household, it is like they are palm trees or tall cedars (v.12) growing in the courts of the Lord (v.13). But it's more than just growing – twice he says they ‘flourish' – they grow abundantly bearing lots of fruit (implied by what follows).
Then comes a lovely reassurance - they will continue to bear fruit in old age; they will stay fresh and supple (v.14) and they will be able to testify right to then end that the lord is the cause of their security (Rock) and they have learned that there is no cause for complaint or criticism because He is upright and good (v.15).
1. Let the Lord be your source of strength into old age.
2. Look to bear fruit right through to the end!
Passage: Psalm 93
A. Find Out:
1. What does the Lord do and how is he robed? v.1a
2. What does he say about the world? v.1b
3. When was God's throne established? v.2
4. What have the seas done? v.3
5. Yet who is mightier than the seas? v.4
6. What stands firm and what adorns what for how long? v.5
1. What is the point of the reference to the seas?
2. How is the Lord portrayed?
3. How is a sense of stability conveyed?
The middle verse of these five verses conveys the strength and power of the seas of the earth. Was the psalmist on a seashore watching the waves crashing in? Perhaps the seas, more than any other part of nature, convey strength and power beyond the control of man. The seas can thus portray the circumstances of life perhaps, that one minute are calm and the next seem out of control and utterly threatening.
The psalmist doesn't speak about his circumstances at all, but you have a sense that something in the back of his mind draws him to write the way he does about the Lord. He pictures the Lord as a ruler, robed in majesty (v.1a), clearly indicating His splendour that separates Him off from any other being. He is armed with strength (v1a) indicating He is very strong and powerful, and thus the world, which is under His rule, will not be moved (v.1b). This isn't something that has just come about, God hasn't just developed, just gained strength; His throne, His rule has always been (from all eternity v.2). The Lord is mightier than all the strength of the seas (v.4) and so we can be assured that nothing will move Him or His will for us. His statutes, His decrees of how the world will work, are firm and steady 9v.5) and will not, therefore, be moved. Holiness – purity and perfection and completeness – are the characteristics of His dwelling (v.5) and always have been.
1. Nothing changes God.
2. In Him is complete stability and security.
Passage: Psalm 94
A. Find Out:
1. What does God do, so what does the psalmist ask? v.1,2
2. What do evil-doers do? v.4-7
3. What does the psalmist warn them about the Lord? v.8-11
4. Who is blessed and what does the Lord do for him? v.12-15
5. What had the Lord done for him? v.16-19
6. What does he see about the corrupt/ v.20-23
1. What expressions of wrong doing are recorded here?
2. What does the psalmist know the Lord does?
3. What is his own testimony?
This psalm is like waves on the beach. Themes are repeated, like they come crashing in on the beach. There is first of all the wicked. They are proud and arrogant (v.2-4), they come against God's people (v.5), they oppress the weak (v.6) and they think that they get away with it (v.7). Their thoughts are futile (v.11), they are corrupt and bring misery (v.20) and they oppose goodness (v.21). The ‘waves' ‘roll in' throughout this psalm.
The second theme is the Lord. He avenges (v.1), He judges the proud (v.2), He hears and sees all that goes on (v.9), He punishes and disciplines (v.10) and He teaches.
The third theme that keeps coming through is the testimony of the psalmist, what he knows, has experienced and expects of the Lord. Yes, he struggles with the wicked but he also knows what the Lord does. He knows it is good when God disciplines you (v.12) because that discipline brings us out of our stupidity (v.13a) and brings us to a place where righteousness and uprightness will be the foundation stones of our lives (v.15). he had felt overcome by evil-doers (v.16) but God had stepped in (v.17) and made him steady (v.18) and brought joy instead (v.19). The Lord had become a place of protection and security (v.22) and as a result he knew the lord would deal with the wicked (v.23).
1. Does our experience of the Lord bring us confidence?
2. Know Him and be at peace.
Passage: Psalm 95
A. Find Out:
1. What does the psalmist exhort us to do? v.1,2
2. Why? v.3
3. How is that explained? v.4,5
4. So what are we called to do and why? v.6,7
5. What are we warned against? v.7a,8,9
6. What had happened to that people? v.10,11
1. What is the psalmist motivating us to do?
2. How does he sue the Lord to do that?
3. How does he encourage us otherwise?
This is a psalm of motivation – positive and negative. It is primarily a call to worship. Different expressions of that are singing (v.1a), shouting (v,.1b), bringing thanks (v.2a), and lifting God's name with music and song (v.2b)
But then he adds content to our worship. It's not just to be mindless emotion. We are to worship God because He is great (v.3), our Creator (v.4,5). With this in mind he encourages us to kneel before God (v.6) to bow down, for that is at the heart of worship – a lesser being acknowledging the greater being. But there is more to worship; it is acknowledging that He is our God and we are His people (v.7) and we bow before our king.
But then comes a serious warning to heed God, to listen to Him (v.7c). The warning refers back to the time when Israel were in the desert after the Exodus and before they entered the Promised Land. There they heard God's word but disputed it. They had seen what God could do, but their faith failed and as a result they stayed in the desert for forty years until that whole generation died off. It is a most sombre warning to heed the Lord, for if we don't we will miss His purposes for us and just spend our lives waiting for the time to pass.
1. Worship on its own is insufficient; it must be accompanied by obedience.
2. Obedience without worship is cold orthodoxy.
Passage: Psalm 96
A. Find Out:
1. What is the opening exhortation? v.1,2a
2. What content is there to be to that? v.2b,3
3. How does the Lord differ from gods and idols? v.4-6
4. So what are we to do? v.7-9
5. What are we to declare to the nations? v.10
6. Who will rejoice and why? v.11-13
1. What is the progression observed? v.1,3,7,9,10
2. What reason for worship is given in v.1-9?
3. What reason for worship is given in v.10-13?
There is a steady progression through this psalm. First of all, sing (v.1). Singing is an emotional act. Second there is declaring (v.3). Declaring is an intellectual act, speaking out knowledge. Third there is ascribing (v.7). Ascribing is a logical conclusion following observation. Fourth there is worship (v.9). Worship is an act of will, an act of submission to the observed greatness of God. Fifth there is testimony (v.10), declaration to others, conveying what you know to others.
Having just said there is an order, it isn't, perhaps, so neat as that. The singing a new song (v.1) only comes after the recognition of the truths about God, who He is (v.2) and what He has done (v.3). It only comes after recognising that he is quite unlike gods and idols (v.4,5), He is the Creator of the world (v.5) and is majestic, glorious and incredibly powerful (v.6-8). This should evoke the singing (v.1m2) and worship (v.9). The testimony we spoke of (v.10) is also evident through the singing (v.3). Israel and the Church are called to be lights to the nations. As we worship so we testify to the world that God lives.
But there is yet more about the Lord. He's the Ruler over all things (v.10a) and therefore His will prevails and He holds the earth in place (v.10b) and He is the one who assesses the people of the earth (v.10a) and will yet come to judge the earth (v.13)
1. Worship the Lord from all you know of Him.
2. Worship is the response of knowledge and experience.
Passage: Psalm 97
A. Find Out:
1. Because of what truth, what happens? v.1
2. What accompanies the Lord? v.2-6
3. Who are put to shame? v.7
4. Who rejoice and why? v.8,9
5. What are we to do & what does the Lord do? v.10
6. What is shed on us, so what should we do? v.11,12
1. What characteristics of the Lord are revealed?
2. How are the Lord's people blessed?
3. What emotional expression predominates here?
This is a psalm all about rejoicing (v.1,8,12). Associated with rejoicing is gladness (v.1,8) and joy (v.11) and praise (v.12). As we have noted with previous psalms, such expressions have a cause and the cause is the Lord.
The first cause of rejoicing that is given, is that the Lord reigns (v.1). He rules over all things. Now a description is given that creates a sense of mystery – clouds and thick darkness surrounding Him (v.20. He is, in other words, inaccessible and unapproachable.
His rule founded on righteousness and justice (v.2) and on these grounds He is unapproachable by us who are naturally sinners. Indeed it gets worse for He destroys His enemies (v.3), His power is displayed (v.4,5) and His glory seen (v.6).
Yet despite this, foolish people still worship idols (v.7), yet the people of God rejoice because of what God says and does (v.8) for they see He is high above all others (v.9).
Finally there is an exhortation to hate evil (v.10a), for the Lord keeps those who remain faithful (v.10b). His light and this joy is to be their experience (v.11), so we too may rejoice and praise Him (v.12)
A. Find Out:
1. Sing what, and why? v.1
2. The Lord has done what, for whom and with what effect? v.3
3. How does the psalmist encourage this to be done? v.4-6
4. To whom does he next appeal? v.7,8
5. What does he want them to do and why? v.9
1. What has the Lord done?
2. How extensively has this been seen?
3. So what response is the psalmist looking for?
The first three verses indicate what the Lord has done, and the latter six verses are the psalmist's call for response.
First, the Lord's activity. He has brought salvation (v.1-3). Presumably this is in respect of Israel (v.3) and the sense would be of a time of great deliverance, e.g. the return from the Exile. Through this salvation the Lord has shown that He is righteous (v.2), and it has been the expression of His love and faithfulness (v.3). He has remained true to His covenant with Israel and has acted on their behalf. Such ahs been the magnitude of this work of salvation that the whole world has seen it (v.2,3). Now as sure as we are that this applies to Israel (v.3), it could also prophetically be a call from heaven about the salvation that comes to the whole world through the Messiah.
The first natural effect of this salvation coming is joy (v.4,6,8) and that expressed through great songs (v.4)using all the available instruments (v.5,60. To try to catch the enormity of the joy he is feeling over the salvation that has come, the psalmist calls upon all creation to join in and praise the Lord (v.7,8).
Again, as in previous psalms, the psalm concludes with a look into the future – the Lord is coming (future) to judge the earth and His judgement will be utterly righteous, i.e. whatever He says and does in respect of the world will be utterly faultless. Joy! Hallelujah!
1. The Lord has brought His blessing to the inhabitants of the earth.
2. Whoever receives it knows great joy.
A. Find Out:
1. What does the Lord do, and what response should that evoke? v.1
2. Where is the Lord seen and what should be the response? v.2,3
3. What does the Lord love and what has He done? v.4
4. Who called on the Lord and what did He do? v.6,7
5. How was the Lord seen, and what did He do? v.8
6. What is a proper response to all this? v.5,9
1. How is the Lord's POSITION a cause for worship?
2. How is the Lord's ACTIVITY a cause for worship?
3. How is His activity shown to be personal?
Twice in this psalm we are exhorted to exalt or lift up the Lord (v.5,9). Twice we are called to worship – at His footstool (v.5) and at the mountain of the Lord (v.9), to meet with the Lord who displays His glory between the cherubim (v.1) in the tabernacle or the Temple . Three times we are reminded that He is holy (v.3,5,9), utterly different, perfect.
This holiness seems revealed in three ways. First as He manifests Himself in the Temple or Tabernacle in the midst of Israel . He is the God who unites Himself with one particular nation, to be revealed through them to the world. He is the God who reveals His glory in the meeting place with His people.
Second, He is seen as holy in the way He deals with the nation Israel . He establishes justice and equity in this people (v.4). Justice comes with the Law, equity with mercy or grace. In all He does, He deals with His people justly and rightly. he can never be criticised.
Third He is seen as holy in the way He interacts with the leaders of His people – Moses, Aaron and Samuel for example (v.6). he spoke to them (v.7) and gave them His laws to follow. They cried to Him (v.6) and He answered them (v.7) even though they sometimes got it wrong (v.8). When they asked for forgiveness, He gave it. Sometimes He brought discipline when they disobeyed His social laws. He gave laws of offerings to deal with those failures.
1. God works with His people to make them holy as He is holy.
2. God works in you and me to make us holy.
A. Find Out:
1. Who is called to do what? v.1
2. What are we to do, how, and with what? v.2
3. Why? v.3
4. What are we to bring as we come to Him? v.4
5. Why? v.5
1. How many expressions of activity towards God are there here?
2. What two causes for these are given?
This is a short, compact psalm, packed with calls on how to come to God. the first call is simply to shout for joy to the Lord (v.10). We probably take this for granted as we read it but how few of us do it, yet it is the call to all the earth. so thus we are exhorted to worship (bow down before) the Lord with gladness and joyful songs. If you didn't see it before, surely we must see it now – coming to God should be a joyful thing. How often do we come like this?
Then comes the content, the reason for this call. it is because the Lord – the I AM who has revealed Himself to mankind through Israel – is God. He is a known God. He brought Israel into being; He made them His people (v.3) He cared for them as a shepherd.
So, says the psalmist, when you come to God (v.40 come with thanks and praise. Thanks is for what He has done for us. Praise is giving glory to Him for who he is. We should always hold these two in balance, remembering what He has done AND the nature and character of who He actually is.
It is the nature-character part that the psalmist conclude with, for the former part was covered in v.3. He describes the Lord as good and speaks of His love which goes on for ever. Goodness and love go together in God. That love is continual and unwavering and remains faithful whatever happens.
2. May we worship scripturally!
RECAP - Psalms 92-100
Each of these psalms have an unnamed author.
Here we move into what is mostly praise and adoration of the Lord. If we ever wonder why we should worship, read these psalms. Before we go to church on a Sunday – read these psalms! Observe the content that is here that makes worship far more than just emotion. Here there is content to give you many reasons to worship the Lord.
Lord, I worship you. I bow down before you. You are the Lord and there is no other like you. Hallelujah!
Reminder-Summary of the Theme of the Psalms
A Spectrum of Life
Having scanned over this batch of psalms, one cannot help but wonder again at the spectrum of life that is revealed. At the beginning we suggested that you ought to catch the emotions of the various writers, for these reveal something of the life experience they were coping with. Very often it was a matter of ‘coping', for the psalms reveal that often they were struggling. Perhaps it was struggling to cope with what other people were saying or doing, perhaps it was struggling to cope with uncertainty, perhaps it was uncertainty as to what God was doing.
This is the good thing about the psalms. Sometimes some of us get too spiritual and make the Christian life sound like paradise on earth. It is not. Yes, we have the Lord with us and we have the wonder of all of the aspects of His salvation through Jesus, but still we have to cope with life, still we have to cope with nasty people, still we have to cope with illness, weakness or infirmity, and still we have to cope with sometimes being completely unsure of what God is doing! This side of heaven we will struggle at times, but the Lord is there and has said, never will I leave you or forsake you. That IS good news!
The Wonder of the Lord
There are always two sides to everything. In these psalms we have sometimes seen what a shambles Israel were, but the other side of that truth (and it's true of us too, left to ourselves) is the God is staggeringly wonderful and His grace is absolutely amazing. He is shown again as amazingly powerful. He delivered Israel out of Egypt with great signs and wonders. The might of Pharaoh was nothing before Him. He stuck with Israel despite all their mutterings in the wilderness, and He took them past hostile nations, into the Promised Land, where He overcame hostile inhabitants.
He stuck with them through the period of the judges, despite their comings and goings, and after the people had chosen Saul, who utterly messed up, He gave them David who brought peace, and blessed Solomon with wisdom that brought prosperity. They deserved wiping out but He brought them through to blessing and more blessing.
These reminders of the wonder of His grace and mercy should humble us and bring us to worship. Add to that the fact of Him being Creator, Redeemer and Provider and perhaps we should wonder why we are not worshipping all the time!