Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in Psalms 101-118|
Passage: Psalm 107:1-9
A. Find Out:
1. Who does the psalmist encourage to do what? v.1,2
2. Where have they come from? v.3
3. Who were the first group mentioned? v.4,5
4. What did they do with what result? v.6,7
5. What should they do and why? v.8,9
1. What is the purpose of this psalm according to v.1-3?
2. What was the plight of the first group of people?
3. What did the Lord do for them?
The psalm is a psalm of praise (v.2) to be sung by those whom God has redeemed (v.2) out of the world (v.3). Historically this would suggest they are people returning from the Exile, but it may have a more general meaning, and there may be clear spiritual applications as well.
The first group of the redeemed are those who wandered in desert places (v.4a) who had no home to settle in (v.4b) and who were hungry and thirsty (v.5), who came to a point of desperation where they cried out to the Lord who delivered them (v.6).
The means of their deliverance is quite specific: the Lord took them by a straight path, the most direct and shortest, to a city where they could settle (v.7) and where, obviously, their hunger and thirst could be satisfied. The natural response should be thanks (v.8) for He is a God who satisfies those who are hungry and thirsty (v.9).
That God did this with wandering Jews at various times is no doubt true, but the bigger sense is of spiritual truths encompassed by this psalm. The world without God, life without knowledge of Him, is pictured as a barren desert that is devoid of all spiritual life. People strive for meaning in all sorts of ways, but nothing satisfies the longing they have for spiritual life; they hunger and thirst for it. They cry to God and He saves them. He brings them speedily into a place of security, the city of God , a place of fellowship and wonderful provision.
1. We lived in a wilderness and God delivered us.
2. We were hungry and thirsty and He satisfied us.
Passage: Psalm 107:10-22
A. Find Out:
1. Where were the next group of people? v.10
2. Why were they there? v.11,12
3. What did they then do and what did the Lord do? v.13,14
4. What did others do? v.17,18
5. What did they then do and what did God do? v.19,20
6. What were they both exhorted to do? v.15,21,22
1. Why were the two groups here in affliction?
2. What was the key to change?
This, remember, is a psalm exhorting the redeemed people of God to remember where they have come from and to give thanks to the Lord for His deliverance. Here are two further groups of people.
The first group are prisoners (v.10) who appear to be in cells and in chains. This surely is the strongest picture possible of people who are utterly helpless. The reason for their predicament is clearly stated: they rebelled against what God said (v.11), and so He allowed them to be subjected to ‘hard labour' (v.12).
The second group are now people for whom food has become an object of loathing (?anorexia) and who are on the edge of death (v.18) and again the cause of this is because they have rebelled against God (v.17).
In both cases when the people come to their senses they cry to the Lord and He did what was humanly impossible – He set them free (v.13,19). The first group He simply set free and brought them out of darkness (v.14), - seen as breaking down gates of bronze and cutting through bars of iron (both signifying the immense strength that held them – v.16), and the second group He healed (v.20). Both groups are exhorted to thank God for their miraculous deliverance (v.15,21,22)
The order is quite clear: sin, bondage, repentance and then deliverance.
Passage: Psalm 107:23-38
A. Find Out:
1. Who next are mentioned? v.23
2. What happened to them? v.24-29
3. So what are they exhorted to do? v.30-32
4. What had the Lord done, and why? v.33,34
5. What did He then do? v.35
6. So what could happen? v.36-38
1. What is the point of verses 23 to 32?
2. What is the point of verses 33 to 38?
3. How do these verses differ from what has gone before?
The next group that the Lord deals with are simply merchants (v.23) who travel the globe. They tend to be prosperous men, men of self confidence, but the sea is not a place to feel self-confident, for there the Lord showed them His power (v.24). There the Lord stirred up a massive storm (v.25,26) and brought them to the place of despairing of their lives (v.27). In their distress they cried out to the Lord (v.28) and He stilled the storm (v.29). Suddenly they had a new awareness of the Lord's goodness, a reason to thank and praise Him (v.30-32)
Then the psalmist moves from the Lord dealing with specific groups to His general activity upon the earth. Where there are the wicked prevailing (v.34b), the Lord removes His blessing from the land and the land deteriorates (v.33,34a), but He doesn't stop there. It is not the Lord's intention to utterly destroy but simply to turn people to Himself. That must be inferred here even if it is not said, because next He changes that deteriorating land into a blessed land (v.35) so that He can bring people to live here and form communities (v.36). There He blesses them and their harvests are plentiful (v.38) and they multiply in numbers (v.39). Whether the psalmist had an historical period in Israel 's life in mind is not clear but it seems He is just reminding us of God who disciplines but God who's overall intention is to bless.
1. If we are foolish and wander, God disciplines to bring us back to Him.
2. God's desire is to use the earth to bless His people.
Passage: Psalm 107:39-43
A. Find Out:
1. Then what happened? v.39
2. What was the Lord doing? v.40
3. But what did He do for the needy? v.41
4. How do the different observers react? v.42
5. What concluding advice does he give? v.43
1. How does the Lord deal with the arrogant ‘upper class'?
2. How does He deal with the needy ‘lower class'?
3. What is the warning given?
As the psalmist comes to the end of his reflections on the ways God has dealt with various groups of mankind, he tends to summarise. Being a poet and not an historian he doesn't give details, just broad pictures, so when he speaks of numbers decreasing (v.39a) he doesn't explain that it would have been at times of enemy incursions, but just speaks of it being ‘oppression' (v.39b). He sees it as God's acts against the rich rulers of the land (v.40) who were obviously godless and unrighteous and who tend to be the first taken when an enemy comes.
In doing this the Lord is acting to release the poor and needy from their affliction (v.41a) under repressive rulers who, once they are taken are no longer property grabbers, so that growth and prosperity follow for these people (v.41b). Those who are upright in heart (righteous) see this and will rejoice over the removal of these oppressive rulers (v.42a) while those who are wicked and side with those rulers just grimly keep their mouths shut (v.42b) for they know the truth of what has happened.
Because it does become obvious what has happened, the psalmist makes this general concluding call for wise people to heed these things (v.43) and realise that it is the Lord acting on behalf of the needy that He loves. All that we have been considering is the Lord who acts into the midst of humanity to bring goodness.
1. God will not tolerate ongoing wickedness and arrogance.
2. The Lord acts on behalf of the poor.
Passage: Psalm 108
A. Find Out:
1. What does David say he will do? v.1-3
2. Why? v.4
3. What does he ask of the Lord? v.6
4. What has the Lord declared? v.7-9
5. What does David feel he has to do? v.10
6. What does he feel about God & what does he ask Him to do? v.11-13
1. What is David's intent in v.1-5?
2. Yet what does he ask in v.6,10-13?
3. What encouragement does he take from v.7-9?
In the back of David's mind there is a problem: it seems like the Lord is not with them, is not blessing them and not winning battles for them (v.11). Nevertheless David determines that his heart will be set to praise the Lord (v.1). He will use all the musical instruments (v.2) that his musicians use and he will testify among the nations (v.3) of the Lord's love and faithfulness (v.4). He may not be sure what is going on but he will nevertheless praise the Lord, for He is worthy!
Because the Lord doesn't appear to be turning up for them, he feels vulnerable and cries to the Lord to save them (v.6a) from the surrounding nations (implied by what follows) so that the people that God loves will be delivered from their attacks (v.6b).
David knows that the Lord has spoken about His own people (v.7 & 8) that the land will be saved from invading enemies (implied) and about the surrounding nations (v.9) who oppose them. He is aware that the cities of Edom , in the strongholds of the hills, are a problem (v.10) that needs dealing with, and for that reason he cries out to the Lord for help (v.12), for it seems their strongholds are beyond the work of man to bring down; it needs the Lord to come and do it. He knows that if God will only come to their help then victory against these surrounding enemies will be assured. (v.13)
1. People, problems & difficulties often seem beyond us.
2. They are not beyond the Lord. Ask for His help.
Passage: Psalm 109:1-5
A. Find Out:
1. What does David ask of the Lord? v.1,26
2. What has been the form of attack? v.2-4,28,29
3. But what does David determine to do? v.4b
4. What else does he determine to do? v.30
5. Why? v.31
1. What has been the cause of David writing this psalm?
2. What does he ask the Lord to do?
3. What will he do in the meantime?
David has been under attack – verbal attack! Thus he cries out to the Lord to speak (v.1) and act (v.26).
His opposition comes from those who he describes as wicked and deceitful (v.2). Wicked speaks of their general nature and deceitful speaks of the expression of that nature. He has sought to express friendship to these men (v.4a,5) but they have attacked him (v.3b, 28b) with words (v.2b) that are words barbed with hatred (v.3a) that appear to come without motivation (v.3b). They have spoken against him (v.2c) and they have lied about him (v.2c). They have thus falsely accused him (v.4a,29a) and they have cursed him (v.28). It has clearly been a vicious and wounding attack and much of what follows has been David's cry to the Lord to deal with them.
Thus David asks the Lord to speak (against them – implied) and to come and obviously show His love for David (v.26,27) so that these people will know it is the Lord acting on his behalf. Though David asks the Lord to deal with them (as we will see in Part 2), he seeks to maintain a righteous attitude. They seek to make him out as godless and unrighteous, but he will remain a man of prayer (v.4b) and he will praise the Lord (v.1), and even though they seek to shame him, he will rejoice (v.28c). He determines that despite all this he will extol and praise the Lord publicly (v.30), for He will save him! That's trust and faith!
1. People do speak against us unfairly. It's part of being a Christian.
2. We are to remain godly and righteous despite what happens.
A. Find Out:
1. What does David first ask of his enemy? v.6
2. What does he want to happen? v.7
3. How many “may”s are there following? v.8-15
4. Why? v.16
5. Why these curses? v.17-20
1. What form does David want the judgement to take?
2. What does he want to happen to his enemy?
In the middle part of this psalm we find David asking the Lord to deal with his enemy in the same way that his enemy has been dealing with him – let the punishment fit the crime, if you like. I prefer the alternative rendering of verse 6: appoint the evil one to oppose him, let Satan stand at his right hand. We know the Lord uses Satan as an accuser to expose the sins of mankind. That would be appropriate here. Let my enemy's sins be revealed, is what he is saying (v.7).
Then follow eight verses that pronounce curses on his enemies. He wants this specific enemy to lose his position (v.8) and life, so the result will be penury for his family (v.9-12), for them to be cut off and forgotten (v.13) and their sins remembered (v.14,15) so the justice of his removal be understood (implied).
Why all this? Because his enemy had been merciless (v.16) and he had loved to pronounce curses (decrees of bad) on people and never good (v.17). It was like cursing had entered his very being (v.18) and so David wanted the judgement on him to be the very curses that he had uttered over other people (v.19,20)
This is an amazing psalm of understanding. Curses are decrees or desires for bad for another person. This enemy of David's had spoken against him again and again. He had wanted David's ruin. Very often the Lord brings on us the very things we want for others. Beware.
1. The tongue expresses the heart. Check out what you say.
2. The Lord will hold us accountable.
A. Find Out:
1. What does David ask the Lord to do? v.21a
2. On what basis? v.21b
3. What does he feel about himself emotionally and mentally? v.22
4. What does he feel about himself physically? v.23,24
5. What does he feel about himself socially? v.25
6. So what does he ask and on what basis? v.26
1. On what basis does David ask the Lord to act?
2. How would you summarise his state?
We saw in Part 1 David describing his plight generally, the cause of it, people verbally attacking him, and his cry to the Lord to save him. In the second part, we saw his desire for the Lord to bring back on his enemy what his enemy had been wanting for him. Now we see how he feels about himself in the midst of all this.
He feels ‘poor and needy' (v.22a). His natural resources are spent. He is emotionally wrung out for his ‘heart is wounded' (v.22b). The taunts of his enemies had pulled him down. He feels like he was rapidly going down hill (v.23a). He feels so weak that he feels he could be brushed out of life as easily as you might brush off a locust or grasshopper from your sleeve (v.23b). He has fasted and now feels so weak (v.24a) and his body is now thin (v.24b). Those who have attacked him verbally have even more cause to mock him (v.25); he is a sorry spectacle!
For this reason he cries out to the Lord to help. He first simply asks the Lord to deal well with him (v.21a). He trusts himself to the Lord and trusts that the Lord will know best what to do. He asks Him to help and save him from what is happening (v.26). He acknowledges that the Lord is sovereign (v.21a), his Lord, his God (v.26), and he implores the Lord to act for both His names sake and in His love for him (v.21.26). These are two grounds he knows will appeal to the Lord.
1. In distress? Call on the Lord.
2. Know that the Lord loves you. Ask Him to move in that love.
A. Find Out:
1. God tells David's lord to do what until when? v.1
2. What will he do and why? v.2
3. Who will he lead? v.3
4. What has he been designated? v.4
5. What will he do? v.5,6
6. How will he be refreshed to be able to do what? v.7
1. Who are the TWO people referred to in verse 1?
2. What twofold role does God give the one being spoken about?
This is a clear Messianic psalm. Note the different ways that the word ‘Lord' is printed in verse one. Capital letters in the Bible means the “I AM” (see Ex 3), i.e. God. So God speaks to one who David calls Lord. Jesus used this passage to point out that the Christ was more than just the son of David (Mt 22:43 -45) and Peter made the same point on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:34 -36) and the writer to the Hebrews also picked it up (Heb 1:13 , 5:6-10). There is, therefore, little doubt that this is prophetically speaking of Jesus.
He is portrayed first as a ruling King. He sits at God's right hand (v.1), ruling in the midst of his enemies (v.2) preparing an army (v.3) for a day of battle (see Rev 19:11 -16). He is holy and majestic (v.3b) and his rule will continue until God has granted that all his enemies will be put beneath his feet (v.1), i.e. have been brought to total submission. Paul caught something of this in his writings (e.g. Phil 2:9-11). This is Jesus who is Lord and King.
But he is also portrayed as a Kingly Priest (v.4). The writer to the Hebrews opens this up in Heb 5 & 7). This is the picture of a priest who is also a superior ruler. He will terminate or finalise his rule on the one great day referred to above (v.5) when he will judge the nations (v.6). Even in the day of battle there will be refreshment for him and he will be sustained (v.7). He is secure in his rule and in the end of it.
1. Jesus is our Lord. Bow before him and worship.
2. Jesus is our priest. Let him lead us to the Father.
In this third group of 9 studies we have seen :
Psa 107, a long psalm, shows is the plight of mankind in its various forms and the Lord as our saviour. Then follow psalms of praise for deliverance, a cry for deliverance, and a Messianic declaration of the Messiah's lordship. We struggle, but the Lord saves. We are weak, but He is strong.
Lord, thank you that you are my saviour, my deliverer. You saved me when I didn't know you, and since I have known you, you have delivered me again and again. Hallelujah!