Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 86

Psalm 86


-Theme: Trusting in the living and only God in times of deep need and trouble. Abiding in the ways of the LORD through difficulties and stress. Prayer for our wellbeing is heard by the Almighty, and He will respond in His lovingkindness and truth for the salvation of our soul.

-Historical Insight: This is a Psalm of David when he was being pursued by arrogant, violent, and godless men who arose against him and were seeking his life (Psalm 86:14).

-*Application* When do we need to know that God is on our side the most? It is, of course, in those times of desperation and calamity that threaten our well-being. Call on Him; He answers (Psalm 86:7). The day of trouble can take many forms, and none of us are exempt from it. Not even King David nor Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, could escape times of testing, trial, and trouble from wicked, vile, and evil people who sought to do harm. It is in those times when we really need to cling to our Foundation, which is the LORD God. He is our merciful, gracious, loving, patient, and truthful Guide. Unite your heart to trust and fear Him alone (Psalm 86:2, 11). He will forgive, deliver, strengthen, help, and comfort you too (Psalm 86:5, 13, 16-17)!


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 86:11

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 85

Psalm 85


-Theme: From reverence to restoration. Forgiveness is the result of repentance, which leads to redemption, lovingkindness, truth, righteousness, peace, and God’s glory.

-Historical Insight: This is another Psalm of the sons of Korah for the choir director in Temple worship. These again were the Temple assistants and servants of the most high LORD.

-*Application* Our spiritual lives need revitalization periodically when we fall out of favor with our God and King. The reverence for Him and desire for closeness has everything to do with His blessings and peace of our lives. He is the only One who can cover and forgive our sins and make us clean again with His holy righteousness. This is where our ultimate joy, hope, and love are found and abound. Once we have His presence living in us and setting us free from sin, it is foolishness and folly to go back to wayward paths, which lead us into danger, terror, and disaster. Don’t drive a wedge in your fellowship with your Creator. We give God His due glory when we abide in His truth, which leads to His salvation and a life well lived. “Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce (Psalm 85:12).” God is the only One who is totally righteous and He is THE way (Psalm 85:13, John 14:6).


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 85:9

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms: Chapter 84

Psalm 84


-Theme: Living in God’s presence continually. The blessed man is the one who dwells in the LORD’s House, finds his strength in God, and trusts in Him. God is the One who gives power, light, protection, grace, and glory (Psalm 84:7, 11).

-Historical Insight: This is a Psalm of the sons of Korah for the choir director on the Gittith. The sons of Korah were the Temple assistants who knew very well the confines of the LORD’s House. The writer longs to get away from the hectic world to meet God inside His dwelling place, a sanctuary and place of meditation with peace. The pilgrimage through the barren valley of Baca (baca- weeping) is probably symbolic since there is no specific valley that has ever been known to bear that particular name in the region. The symbolism represents the sorrow, struggles, tears, and pain that people experience on their journey back to God with His rich grace and healing.

-*Application* We often journey through difficulties on our way to God’s redemptive touch in our lives. Better is one day in His courts, which last forever, than a thousand elsewhere. This should cause us to see the eternal in spite of the temporary pleasures of this world. The real euphoria comes with abiding in the King, and He withholds no good thing from those who walk in His righteousness, forgiven and set free from sin. This only can happen through trusting in Him to save. Be the blessed man!


Verses to Memorize: Psalm 84:11-12

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 83

Psalm 83


-Theme: Protection of His people. A prayer for God to do whatever it takes to convince the nations of the world that He is indeed God. Sooner or later all will acknowledge that the LORD is in charge.

-Historical Insight: A Psalm of Asaph or possibly one of his descendants. Israel’s enemies (Edom, the Ishmaelites, Moab, the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, Tyre, and Assyria) are indicted for conspiring and cohorting against the children of God for overthrow and destruction of His Kingdom. These are traditional and historical enemies of Israel in the surrounding regions of the Middle East.

-*Application* There are definitely times that we cry out for our God to awake and thunder His answers rather than the “still small Voice” that is often characteristic of His ways (1 Kings 19:12, KJV). How many times have we seen our own enemies “make an uproar” and exalt themselves planning schemes in tandem against us as we, as Christians, attempt to do the righteous thing? This can be debilitating unless we remember this Psalm and claim its promises. God will fight for us even against formidable foes in the highest of spiritual places. But, the imprecatory prayer against God’s enemies can be applied to us if we are not walking with Christ. God’s people will be everlasting, His haters will blow away like “whirling dust” or “chaff before the wind” as the LORD pursues them. Dishonor, shame, and terror should drive all of us to seek the Name of the true God. When we do, we will find His peace, rest, humility, and eternal glory. He is the most High over all the earth (Psalm 83:18).


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 83:18

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 82

Psalm 82


-Theme: God will judge the wicked who have unfairly treated others and vindicate the weak, the orphaned, the afflicted, the destitute, and the needy with justice. God is an impartial, all-powerful, and wise judge.

-Historical Insight: A psalm of Asaph.

-*Application* A man of understanding will walk in Light and not darkness. Remember that there is a God and He sees all the things of man under the sun. He will vindicate righteousness and submission. He will judge oppression and pride.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 82:8

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 81

Psalm 81


-Theme: God’s goodness versus Israel’s waywardness. God’s deliverance in spite of our wanderings away from Him.

-Historical Insight: This was probably a song celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles as a holiday hymn. It celebrates the exodus from Egyptian slavery and bondage. Written by Asaph.

-*Application* Do you sing and shout joyfully unto the LORD in utter praise and worship? He is our strength. Don’t hold back your emotion in adulation of Him! Bust loose with every instrument you’ve got! He has established a testimony just the same in us and for us, His children; so let the world know of His greatness and supremacy. Call upon Him when you’re in trouble, and allow Him to rescue you with answers from His heart. Listen to the LORD and put away other gods that come before Him. If you will open up your mouth wide (have expectation), He will fill it with His Spirit and all His righteousness. Obey the LORD. Don’t walk in the stubbornness of your old-worldly heart. Those are your own devices, and these lead to destruction (Proverbs 3:5-6; 12:15; 14:12; 16:25). Do you want God to subdue your enemies and turn His Hand against your adversaries? Of course you do. Walk in His ways and surrender to His leadership. He will do it! The haters of the LORD would pretend obedience to Him. This is hypocrisy. The time of punishment for these folks who are pretenders is forever in separation from the Father of love. God will feed His righteous children with the finest of food and delightful things in total and supreme satisfaction. Which will you choose, the world, yourself, or Him? Seems like an obvious choice, doesn’t it?


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 81:16

Bible Study Notes in Pslams- Chapter 80

Psalm 80


-Theme: God is the One who restores, revives, and causes His Face to shine upon those whom He desires to save. The comeback from destruction that can be attained by God’s people when He steps in to save the day. He is our only Source of salvation.

-Historical Insight: Authored by Asaph for the choir director; set to El Shoshannim; Eduth. This Psalm was probably written shortly after the Northern Kingdom of Israel was captured with its people deported to Assyria.

-*Application* Let God save you as your personal Shepherd and powerful Friend. Realized that He can look down from Heaven and see perfectly into your situation for sustained deliverance and care. He will strengthen His vine and revive the broken things in your life when you call upon His Name.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 80:3

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 79

Psalm 79


-Theme: Cry out to God when all seems lost. He is the Redeemer, Savior, Helper, Glorifier, Compassionate King, and Avenger to whom we should give thanksgiving and praise.

-Historical Insight: This is a Psalm of Asaph, or possibly one of his descendants, probably written, it seems from the context, after the Babylonians had leveled Jerusalem (Psalm 79:1-8, 2 Kings 25).

-*Application* As God’s sheep of His pasture we are privileged to have Him as our Avenger. When all seems lost, it really isn’t with the LORD. He will come through for the glory of His Name in our lives. His anger and jealousy over us is palpable in so many ways. Submit to His agenda and walk in His ways. Cry and groan before Him in times of distress, and expect His compassion, grace, and mercy to be abundant to take away your reproach.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 79:9

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 78

Psalm 78


-Theme: Lessons from the history of Israel from the time of slavery in Egypt to the reign of King David. Generational instruction for the perpetuity of a God fearing-honoring people.

-Historical Insight: This is a parable of Asaph, set as a maskil (a psalm that teaches something). It is a general history lesson as God established His testimony in Jacob and set a law in Israel (Psalm 78:5). These laws were expected by God to be taught to the succeeding generations (Deuteronomy 6:1-7). The purpose was to instill the confidence of God and the right heart for faithful righteousness into the ones who would come behind so that they would not be a stubborn and rebellious house like their fathers (Psalm 78:7-8). Asaph goes through each scenario to demonstrate this, from Ephraim’s refusal to keep covenant with God, to the Egyptian exodus complaining, to the wilderness wanderings testing of God, to their possession of the holy land in the hill country with idolatry, to the Kingdom of Israel of God’s choosing. He describes what had happened and why God was justified in His anger and wrath when disobedience was prevalent. Asaph also depicts the grace of the LORD in these events, and how much He cared for His people through it all. Even the grief of God is portrayed when His people forgot His power and authority over them (Psalm 78:40-42). There is special attention given to Zion and the tribe of Judah near the end of the parable with David receiving credit for being the one who “shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands (Psalm 78:72).” This encompasses the Davidic line, which runs as a constant theme through Scripture fulfilled in the Messiah.

-*Application* This is a clarion call for us to instruct our children in the ways of God with all due diligence and patience. It is His expectation for each generation to obey Him and His plan for salvation and shalom (well-being). Shepherd your family, and those you have influence over, according to the integrity of your heart and guide them with skillful hands. May your confidence be put in God.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 78:54

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 77

-Theme: The LORD’s rejection will not last forever. Remember His deeds and wonders of old in desperate times. God has control over His creation. God will lead His people despite hardships.

-*Application* God invites us to cry aloud and raise our voices towards Him when we don’t understand our struggles and dilemmas. There will be times of sleeplessness when your soul will be refused comfort. This is stress and worry at its worst. Sometimes, as the Psalmist Asaph bemoans, we are so troubled we cannot even speak. In these times ponder and meditate on the goodness of God in previous times and hold on to Him as the anchor of your soul (Hebrews 6:9). He will not reject you forever. He will favor you again and His lovingkindness never ceases. His promises will be attained by you, but endurance is being tested in these times and trials. Grief draws us into closer fellowship with our Creator. Allow that to happen when you go through intense pain. His way is holy and needs no explanation. Ask “what” instead of “why.” What I mean by that is this: Ask, Lord what do want me to learn through this hardship. Don’t bother with asking why, because that answer usually will not be attained on this side of Heaven. Let the Hand of Providence guide you and trust Him with even the most bitterest moments of your existence. Victory will come as you overcome through patience and persistence (Luke 11:1-13)!

Verse to Memorize: Psalm 77:11

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Pslams- Chapter 76

Psalm 76


-Theme: God is all powerful and to be feared above all others in Israel and the world. The kings of the earth fear Him and will be brought under His subjection. He will save the humble of the earth. Hostility towards God and His people gives the opportunity for Him to do great deeds of glory. Make vows to God and fulfill them. Bring Him the gifts He deserves.

-Historical Insight: This Psalm was written by Asaph for the choir director on stringed instruments. This more than likely paralleled the reign of King Hezekiah in Judah as a celebration song of the defeat of Sennacherib’s Assyrian army after the siege of Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:13-19, 37).

-*Application* God turns the table on evildoers and brings good out of tribulations and trials. Stay humble in your desperate times and seek out the favor of the all-powerful King of the Universe. He will vindicate all your righteous deeds as you surrender to His authority in your life.



Verse to Memorize: Psalm 76:7