Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 124

Psalm 124


-Theme: Overcoming overwhelming odds for survival because of the LORD’s deliverance. God’s answers to those who are on His side.

-Historical Insight: This is a Psalm of ascent attributed to David, possibly written after his defeat of the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:17-25).

-*Application* Have you ever felt like the underdog in a battle, but with extreme confidence that things would turn out in your favor? This is the confidence we should have in our God when we know that He is on our side. People will rise up against you, but His Word trumps all the others. What He determines will occur and nothing can stop it. David experienced this firsthand with Goliath earlier in his life (1 Samuel 17). His trust in the LORD and what He could accomplish gave David the strength and courage he needed to defy incredible odds. With God you have a majority, and He can do all things (Matthew 19:26, Mark 9:23; 10:27). So take to your Heavenly Father the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in your path today that threaten to swallow you, engulf you, tear you, and sweep over your soul. When the raging waters tumult on every side, look for your escape and help from the Name of the LORD who made heaven and earth (Psalm 124:7-8, Acts 17:24). He will deliver.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 124:6

Monday, March 30, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 123

Psalm 123


-Theme: Looking only to God for His grace and deliverance.

-Historical Insight: This is an anonymous Psalm of ascent; although, Hezekiah has been suggested as the author.

-*Application* When times of assailing prevail upon us, we need only to lift our eyes to the One who is enthroned in the heavens and has all power to deliver. We are simply servants looking to the Master’s Hand for help in our times of trouble. We are maids at the Hand of her mistress, until He is gracious to us, His children. Even when contempt (buwz- being a laughingstock, Genesis 38:23) fills us and our soul is exasperated with the temporary success of those who are at ease and full of pride, the goodness of the LORD is our strength and portion. We can endure because of His victory, which is assured to us on a permanent basis.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 123:2

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 122

Psalm 122


-Theme: Stepping into the presence of God. Likening the Temple in Jerusalem to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for the believer in Messiah Jesus.

-Historical Insight: This is yet another “Song of Ascent” or “Pilgrim Psalm” as the Hebrew people went to the Temple for the appointed feasts of the Law of Moses. This one is attributed to King David as a sincere worship Psalm for true believers as they came into the holy city from their journey.

-*Application* Are you overjoyed when you get to come into the presence of the most holy God? It can be in the congregation at church, a small group, or individually. But even with that new covenant fact, Jerusalem is indeed a special place. The aurora of coming into the LORD’s presence is a powerful feeling. I have been there, and it is tangible. The old city is still compact together with bustling economy and activity. The nations still gather there and the faithful still worship, waiting in anticipation of the coming King. God’s ordinances are still valid, and with the coming of His Holy Spirit to indwell the believer, more alive than ever. Truly it is a good thing to worship in the House of the LORD. He is everywhere, but Jerusalem is where He has chosen to magnify His presence and set up His earthly Kingdom for the millennia (1 Kings 11:36, Isaiah 65:18-19; 66:20, Zechariah 2:12: 14:4-10, Acts 1:12-14; 2:1-47, Revelation 20:6). Give thanks for His thrones of righteous judgment and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray that God will prosper those who love the holy city. Seek good for the Israeli people and what they struggle for in this time preceding the return of Messiah Jesus. His Temple will be rebuilt and His glory is on the way to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 31:38-40). Peace and prosperity be upon the apple of God’s eye.


Verses to Memorize: Psalm 122:1, 6

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 121

Psalm 121


-Theme: Look to the LORD for your help, the Maker of Heaven and earth. God guards His people from danger and preserves their souls forever.

-Historical Insight: The is a “Song of Ascent” or “Pilgrim Psalm” as the Hebrew people went to the Temple for the appointed feasts of the Law of Moses. It has an anonymous author, but some have suggested Hezekiah as the composer of this melody.

-*Application* Look to the LORD for your protection and salvation in this world. Why? He is the Creator and Sustainer. Who else would have this kind of authority over your existence? No one. Our help comes from the LORD and anyone or anything else is a poor substitute. Acknowledge God in all your ways and keep your eyes focused on Him in complete faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). He doesn’t sleep; He is your keeper and the preserver of your soul. He will “guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever (Psalm 121:8).” You have Someone looking out for you. Take hold of His amazing gift and feel secure in Him.


Verses to Memorize: Psalm 121:1-2, 7

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 120

Psalm 120


-Theme: A prayer for deliverance from false accusations and deceitful people who want no peace.

-Historical Insight: This is technically an anonymous Psalm, but some have attributed it to Hezekiah, King of Judah. This chapter begins the “Song of Ascents” or “Pilgrim Psalms.” These were songs the faithful Jewish people would sing in celebration and reverence as they made their way to the Temple for the appointed feasts of the Law. Everything in Hebrew literature speaks of going “up” to the Temple, thus the “ascending” is very important as they came before God. Psalm 120 begins the journey in a distant-hostile land. Psalm 122 pictures the pilgrims arriving in Jerusalem, and the rest of the ascent psalms up through chapter 134 move more and more toward the Temple mentioning various characteristics of the LORD.

-*Application* How do you handle hostile situations where people are lying about you or your character? Do you, in trouble and weakness, cry out to the LORD as your ultimate strength? He will answer with gentle confidence in our times of struggle with accusers. He is the true Deliverer from a deceitful tongue. Keep seeking peace during your sojourn on earth, and never mind those haters. Let your love exude from your inner man, changed and transformed by the renewing of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1-2, Titus 3:5, 1 John 4:7).


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 120:7

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:161-176: Shin and Tav

Psalm 119 (Shin and Tav)- Verses 161-176


-*Shin Application* Are you ever persecuted by those in authority over you without any just cause? You are not alone. The Psalmist experienced this as have many others throughout the ages. The Psalmist answers give us some weapons through the Sword of the Holy Spirit (Ephesian 6:17) to combat this senseless evil. First, stand in awe of the words of God when you are under assault. Second, rejoice in the Word of God; it stands firm through the fiercest storms of life. Find great spoil in the truths of Scripture. Also, hate and despise falsehood that is against the law of the LORD. In other words, be honest and expect honesty. In love, courageously call out deceptions even when it costs you something. Who knows, you may be the next Martin Luther starting a new reformation. Further, praise the LORD continually in your circumstances. His ordinances are righteous and will prevail in the end. Remember that those who love His law have “great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble (Psalm 119:65).” Nothing beats that. Avoid the turmoil of worry and despair. Hope in the LORD’s salvation; it is coming to all who believe. Do His commandments and keep His testimonies. Love them exceedingly because all of our ways are before the all-knowing God.

*Tav Application* As our cries come before the LORD, there should be an expectation that He will give us understanding of every event and circumstance that we face in life. His Word has an answer for every need we have. So, dig deep and mine out His treasures from Scripture. Let your supplication (tÄ•chinnah- petition for favor) come before His throne of grace as you beg for deliverance (Hebrews 4:16). Keep uttering praise to the King in the midst of serious situations. He teaches us in our dire straits. Sing new songs to Him and adore His commandments even in your trouble. Faith overcomes. His Hand is ready to help you, trust in Him. We long for His salvation in this sojourn of life (Romans 8:18-25); keep delighting in His law. Realize that it is for the LORD’s glory that our soul lives. Praise Him continually. He will be your help and Savior. We have all gone astray at times like little lost sheep. Thank God that He seek us out and finds us in our weakness. So, please do not forget His guidelines.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:165

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:145-160: Qoph and Resh

Psalm 119 (Qoph and Resh)- Verses 145-160


-*Qoph Application* Our deepest desire when we cry out to God with all our heart is for Him to answer and let us know that He is there and in control of our situation. This comes by faith, which is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence (substance, conviction) of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Because Christ is our Savior and has rescued us from the dominion of Satan, we shall keep His statutes out of reverence and love all the days of our lives (Acts 26:18). Our devotion knows no time limits; we can come before His throne of grace at any hour with confidence in the King to deliver us as we meditate on His Word and get revived (Hebrews 4:16). Though there may be threats to well-being externally, we shall fear no evil because the LORD is WITH us, He is near (Psalm 23:4; 91:1-16, Matthew 28:20 Roman 8:15-18). And, all His commandments are truth extending from the beginning on into eternity. His Word will never fail or pass away (Matthew 5:18; 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 16:17; 21:33).

-*Resh Application* We see the necessity of our affliction in this passage. Our affliction and trouble brings about our cries to the LORD for rescue, deliverance, and redemption. While salvation is far from the wicked, the believers who follow in obedience to God’s commands find His mercy and reviving strength. So, while our adversaries and persecutors may be many, don’t turn aside from His testimonies. Behold the treacherous ones and loathe (quwt- to be grieved by, detest) them because they do not keep the Word of the LORD. Pray for their salvation and a change of heart (Luke 6:28). Ask the LORD to consider how much you love His precepts (ways) and trust in the strength that is coming from Him. The sum of God’s Word is total truth and His righteous ordinances last forever, even after the wicked are erased. So, take pity on the losers who are currently outside the Kingdom, and love them like Jesus did sharing your precious faith (Matthew 9:36, Mark 6:34, Luke 19:41-44, Romans 10:15). Let love prevail in your affliction tests. Who knows, the very ones persecuting you may come to Christ and be radically transformed, like the Apostle Paul (Acts 9).


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:160

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:129-144: Pe and Tsadhe

Psalm 119 (Pe and Tsadhe)- Verses 129-144


-*Pe Application* Wonderful (pele’- marvelous, extraordinary, astonishing) are the testimonies of the LORD. In other words, He will definitely blow our finite minds with His wisdom and creative actions when we closely observe His magnificent ways. When we unfold (pethach- opening, entrance, doorway, disclosure, communication) the LORD’s words, they give us light. It is no wonder that Jesus made the claim that He was the “Light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5).” By the Messiah and His Word the simple are made wise and gain supernatural understanding. So open up your mouth wide and drink in the Spirit of the Living God. Pant and long for His commandments to invade your existence, and He will come with all of His passion and grace turned straight in your direction, full attention. We are those who love His Name. When we gravitate towards His precious Word, iniquity no longer has dominion over us. We are set free from the bondage of sin, and we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (1 Peter 1:18-19). No more oppression, no more guilt. God’s face shines on us and in us as we learn all about Him and walk in His ways (Colossians 1:27). Our only sorrow comes from not seeing everyone experience the joy of the LORD through obedience to His law of love.

-*Tsadhe Application* God is righteous and His judgments are upright. He is exceedingly faithful and true. The purity of the Word is our delight as His children. Though we may be small and despised, we will not forget His precepts. Why? Because the LORD’s righteousness is everlasting giving us everlasting life!


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:133

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:113-128: Samekh and Ayin

Psalm 119 (Samekh and Ayin)- Verses 113-128


-*Samekh Application* Here we see the contrast between the righteous and the wicked. The righteous are single-minded, loving the law, commandments, hope, safety, patience, statutes, truth, testimonies, steadfastness, reverence, and judgments of the LORD. On the other hand, those who are unrighteous are drifting back and forth in double-mindedness. They have no moral compass, and become unwanted by the righteous. These walk in shame and eventual misery. They have no hiding place or shield in time of trouble. These are impatient and keep finding evil at every turn. They have an insatiable appetites for self-satisfaction that drifts from the laws, commandments, statutes, precepts, and testimonies of the LORD God. They use deceit to advantage, which in the end becomes useless. The wicked will be removed from the earth “like dross.” They have no fear of God eventually leading to their doom of separation from His lovingkindness.

-*Ayin Application* Doing justice and righteousness leaves one with the confidence that God will not abandon in the time of oppression. The LORD is our surety (‘arab- pledge) for good and protection. Through His Word we eventually will see our salvation brought to bear by our continual and abiding faith. By believing, we know He will deal with us, His servants, with lovingkindness, giving us the understanding we will need to overcome those who wage spiritual war against us (2 Chronicles 32:8, Nehemiah 4:14, Ephesians 6:12). God will act of our behalf. Hate every false way brothers and sisters in Christ, but continue in agape.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:122

Friday, March 20, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:97-112: Mem and Nun

Psalm 119 (Mem and Nun)- Verses 97-112


-*Mem Application* What this section is a precursor to is the coming of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling of every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:16; 16:7-13; 17:21). He is the One who gives us that continual and abiding love of God’s ways including His law, His testimonies, His precepts, His ordinances, and His statutes. It is His enduring presence that keeps us meditating on His Word all day long making us wiser than our enemies and giving us more insight than all our teachers and understanding than the aged. His conviction restrains us from every evil way and keeps us focused on His righteousness. The Holy Spirit from God teaches us Himself, so we have all we’ll ever need from His Word (Psalm 119:102)!

-*Nun Application* Let’s meditate on the first verse in this section for a moment or two, maybe all day if you’d like. “Your Word is a lamp (niyr) to my feet and a light (‘owr) to my path (Psalm 119:105).” Here we see the illumination factor that the Spirit of God gives us by His Word (1 Corinthians 2:10). We need light to see. When we have darkness, we wander around and don’t know which direction to take. God’s Word gives us the enlightenment that we need to find our way. I have often noted during the course of my life that the LORD will reveal only portions of this direction at a time. It is a lamp, or candle, that illuminates only the step, or few steps, ahead of you so that you can keep having the faith for the big picture and the big vision, or grand scheme, if you will. This is to keep our dependence squarely on the Sovereign of our souls, and reduces on own self-confidence. This is good, because if we knew everything that God was going to take us through as His servants, we might change our minds and regress in the adventure of the life of the Kingdom. So whether things are great, and they often are if we’d just appreciate it for a while, or if they are afflicting, as in the case of this Psalmist here in verses 107-110, allow the LORD to do His refining-developing work in you to revive, make strong, teach, remember, and inherit all of His great and redeeming promises. Incline your heart through His illumination to perform at a high level all of His righteous statutes forever, even to the end.



Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:105

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:81-96: Kaph and Lamedh

Psalm 119 (Kaph and Lamedh)- Verses 81-96


-*Kaph Application* Have you related to what the Psalmist is saying here about languishing (kalah- to be spent, exhausted, to be finished, to come to an end) for God’s salvation, whether it be a situation on this earth or a longing for our eternal home in Heaven? Do ever feel like you just can’t take any more of the tough times that God has allowed you to go through? Sometimes the only thing we can do beside cry out to our Maker is to wait on His Word. This is a common condition to man as we can see here in the Scriptures. His will is to perfect (complete, finish) us in His image, and that unfortunately at times includes suffering (Genesis 1:27, 1 John 2:5, 1 Peter 5:9-10). In those turbulent times of distress, remember to cling to His Word over you to comfort and protect in His transcending security. His judgment will come upon the wicked, and we will stand justified IF we have held on to His promises and remembered His statutes of love (1 John 4:13-17). Those who defy His law, deceive, and persecute you have a definite end (Philippians 3:18-20, Revelation 20:14-15). Therefore, like the Psalmist, be revived in the Word of the LORD over every troubling situation you face in His strength and His saving power. Keep the testimony of God’s mouth and trust in His lovingkindness. In the end, this is what prevails victorious.

*Lamedh Application* The Word of God stands firm, or settled, in Heaven. His faithfulness extends and continues throughout all generations according to His perfect ordinances, which are intended for the conquering inheritance of His servants (Psalm 119:89-91, 1 Peter 1:3-4, Acts 20:32; 26:18). As long as the law of love that God gives us is our delight, we need not worry about perishing in our afflictions. Never forget His precepts for by them you are revived. He will redeem and save by His righteousness alone when we seek Him out and trust in the work of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. So, diligently consider His testimonies to overcome evil that wants to destroy you in this world and steal your prize. There is an end and a limit to all human systems and perfections, but God’s ways, held strong by His commandments, have the power to give grace, mercy, and life. Christ is the ultimate fulfillment and completion of God’s law of love, and there is no condemnation in Him for those who believe (Romans 8:1). His Kingdom is broad and has no end (Isaiah 9:7, Luke 1:33).


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:89

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:65-80: Teth and Yodh

Psalm 119 (Teth and Yodh)- Verses 65-80


-*Teth Application* Have you considered just how well the LORD deals with you as you walk with Him in servanthood? According to His promises in His Word He teaches us and gives us understanding that mystifies the world system and all it holds dear. Through belief in Christ we have Godly discernment and knowledge. When we stray off the righteous path and suffer affliction, the LORD’s commandments adjust our thinking and instruct us of a better way. Even when you innocently encounter oppression from lying-arrogant people, observe the LORD’s precepts with all your heart realizing that His delight is in seeing you through difficult situations that are impossible to conquer without His help. Pain teaches us to learn His statutes and illuminates a better course. His graceful law is better to us “than thousands of gold and silver pieces (Psalm 119:72).”

-*Yodh Application* God is our Creator. He fashioned us for His desires and His purposes. He gives His anointed understanding so that we can learn His commandments and bear testimony of His greatness in the world. The ones that reverence God will see our witness and be glad in the fact that we have the patience to wait for the Word of God to be completed in our destiny. His judgments are righteous, and He allows suffering for a divine purpose, our spiritual growth. He shows Himself faithful in our misery. When there is no other salvation, He is there to come through in our most clutch of situations. He is our comfort and shield in times of trouble. He causes us to live and thrive as we continue to meditate on His precepts. In the end, we can be held blameless in our heart and come into blessing unashamed as we take on His righteousness through a unified relationship.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:74

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:49-64: Zayin and Heth

Psalm 119 (Zayin and Heth)- Verses 49-64


-*Zayin Application* The idea here is that there will be no doubt concerning God’s remembrance of His servants who walk with Him according to His Word. His Word is our hope, and His promises are secure. We need not fear anything. His Word to us is our comfort and joy. It revives us to continue on no matter what our circumstances appear to be. So, don’t worry about the arrogant or the wicked who try to hate on you. Keep loving them like Jesus did, and does. You will be victorious in your pilgrimage on this earth. Remember the LORD’s ordinances of old and comfort yourself in them. His statutes are our songs, observe them and walk in His freedom!

-*Heth Application* What does it mean to make God your portion? Part of that answer, the Psalmist reveals here, is our fulfillment of keeping His words to us. This is completion of our call in other words. Seek God’s, not other people’s, favor with ALL your heart and consider your ways. Be quick to obey His commandments of love. Do not forget them and always give thanks for His righteousness. Give Him complete reverence and awe. Then, you can fully expect His gracious work and lovingkindness to be accomplished in your life (Psalm 119:58, 64).


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:58-59

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:33-48: He and Vav

Psalm 119 (He and Vav)- Verses 33-48


-*He Application* Our greatest need whether we realize it or not is to be taught. When we learn from the LORD it endures, and our observation of His truths has the power to hold us to the end of our earthly walk step-in-step with His dreams, visions, and plans for our lives. This is the essence of what we truly crave in our passions, namely to have eternal significance and meaning. Again, it all comes down to the heart. Delight in His will, His testimonies, His commandments. This will allow us to avoid looking at vanity (shav’- emptiness, falsehood, wickedness). We will then have Godly gain and avoid dishonest pursuits that will end in ruin. God’s Word will revive us and extend us. It instills the proper reverence for Him and takes away our reproach (cherpah- scorn, accusation). His ordinances are good because they take away our guilt when we humbly enjoy and obey them.

-*Vav Application* Here is a plea for God’s lovingkindness to come, which brings with it His salvation. The accuser will come against, but with Christ we have an answer for he who comes against us. It’s all about trusting in the Word of God. We wait for His ordinances and fulfillment with great expectation and faith. This keeps us going strong in His law of love “continually forever and ever (Psalm 119:44).” In His precepts we walk with liberty (rachab- broad, wide, spacious). In other words, we will go further in life than we ever dreamed with God as our guide. We may even go before kings with the unashamed gospel of our salvation in Christ Jesus, who we love more than anything else. This is why we meditate on His statutes.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:42

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:17-32: Gimel and Daleth

Psalm 119 (Gimel and Daleth)- verses 17-32


-*Gimel Application* Our prayer as servants of the Most High God is for Him to deal bountifully with us, like the Psalmist pleads. We need open eyes to behold Him. We are strangers here who need help with His law, His commandments, His ordinances, His testimonies, and His statutes. We long and hope for openness of sight to His ways that will clear us up in our discernment. He is our counselor with His Word guiding our path through the difficulties and trials of this realm. He takes away our reproach, contempt, and oppression by His grace and mercy as we meditate on all His goodness.

-*Daleth Application* Our God revives us by His Word. He answers our prayers of desperation and grief. He strengthens us according to His Word. He removes our false ways of this world and graciously grants His loving law to replace. We need to choose the faithful way and place His ordinances before us at all times. Cling to His testimonies to avoid shame. As we run the way of His commandments, our hearts will be enlarged with the fruits of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25).


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:26, 28

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 119:1-16: Aleph and Beth

Psalm 119 (Aleph and Beth)- verses 1-16


-Theme: The true and enduring nature of the Word of God. Righteous living from a whole heart. The blessed and blameless way.

-Historical Insight: This is the longest chapter of Scripture with 176 verses. It is an anonymous Psalm, but some have suggested Ezra, the priest, as the author after the first rebuilding of the Temple. It has 22 carefully constructed sections, each being 8 verses long and corresponding to the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse starts with the representing letter of the section and the vast majority of verses have God's Word mentioned in them. The reiteration and repetition was common in Hebrew culture where few transcripts existed and memorization was emphasized orally. Some of the most impactful and poignant verses in the Bible occur in this resonating chapter of truth.

-*Aleph Application* To be blameless (tamiym-sound, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity) is the best and most desired way to live your existence on this earth. If that is to be accomplished, we must walk in the law of the LORD, which all revolves around our love for Him and others (Matthew 22:36-40). We must seek Him with all our heart (Deuteronomy 4:29; 6:5, Psalm 119:2, Jeremiah 29:13). His ways are righteous with ordained precepts that are to be diligently followed. This will establish our ways in this world according to a higher calling and reality that transcends the common, mundane, and temporary. We will find no shame in the ways of the LORD. They will be pleasing and give us abundant life now and for all eternity (John 10:10). His ways can be learned quickly as well as over a long period of time with constant growing and abiding (Psalm 119:7, Ephesians 4:15, John 15).

-*Beth Application* A young man can keep his way pure by keeping it according to the Word of the LORD. Keep seeking after God with a whole heart and allow His Spirit to keep you from wandering off the straight and narrow path (Psalm 119:1-2, Matthew 7:13-14). Treasure God’s Word and hide it in your place of deepest affection. This will keep you from sinning when temptation comes against your well-being (Psalm 119:11). We must hunger and thirst after righteousness, begging Him to teach us daily from His statutes and meditating on His precepts (Psalm 119:12-16, Matthew 5:6, Luke 9:23). Then, we will live a pleasing and unadulterated life before our King with no regrets.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 119:11

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 118

Psalm 118


-Theme: Confidence in the Cornerstone, Jesus Christ, for eternal love and life. God’s love is unchanging in the midst of changing circumstances. The security of the LORD in any situation.

-Historical Insight: This Psalm has an unknown author, but echoes many of the thoughts and themes of King David’s Psalms. It is Christological in essence, being quoted by the Savior during His first incarnation (Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, Luke 20:17).

-*Application* First and really foremost in any situation we face, we must give thanks to the LORD for He is good (Psalm 118:1). His love is everlasting, and we can count on it no matter what happens in the course of this life (Psalm 118:2-4). When we call upon Him in our distress, He is sure to answer and set us in a large (merchab- wide-open, roomy, expansive, broad, freedom from distress) place (Psalm 118:5). What the Psalmist is talking about here is a full release from fear in tense times. His realization is that man can only do to him what God allows for His glory. The acceptance of this undeniable fact should be the same for us. Our refuge must be in the LORD; never trust in man and his limited power (Psalm 118:6-9). The LORD is our strength and our song, and He alone becomes our salvation (Psalm 118:14). His Right Hand “does valiantly” and is “exalted” ensuring life and a testimony to His people (Psalm 118:15-17). Though His discipline can be severe upon us in certain situations, He does not give us over to eternal death. He preserves His chosen people, and opens the gates of Heaven to us (Psalm 118:18-21). There are Christological implications in verses 22-23. Jesus referred to this prophecy when He spoke of being rejected by His own people during His sacrificial visit to earth (Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, Luke 20:17). Christ is the most important part of the building in the Kingdom of God! We can rejoice in and be glad for this “day” of the Messiah (Psalm 118:24). This is a day of salvation for His people, but a day of judgment for those who have rejected Him (Isaiah 49:8, Romans 2:5, 2 Corinthians 6:2, 2 Peter 3:7, 1 John 4:17, Revelation 12:10). It is okay to pray for God’s prosperity and light to come (Psalm 118:25-27). Then, again in the final stanza, it comes back down to giving God thanks for His marvelous accomplishments and goodness (Psalm 118:28-29).


Verses to Memorize: Psalm 118:8, 14, 22-24

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 117

Psalm 117


-Theme: God is the King of the whole world, which He loves. His truth is everlasting.

-Historical Insight: This anonymous Psalm of praise is the shortest in Scripture lasting only two verses.

-*Application* The LORD is God over and above every nation. He sets up rulers and expects praise from all the people groups of the world. Why? Because His lovingkindness is great towards us all, and His truth is everlasting. He deserves everyone’s praise. Meditate on His agape and veracity at length today and forevermore.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 117:1

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 116

Psalm 116


-Theme: Call upon the Name of the LORD, praise for being saved and blessed by the LORD, Thanksgiving for being one of His children.

-Historical Insight: This is an anonymous Psalm of praise.

-*Application* What a blessed thought to understand that we serve a God who hears and responds to our needs and most of our wants. When we are in distress, pain, and sorrow we can call upon His Name with great expectation. He is our Savior. He is gracious, righteous, and compassionate, preserving the humbly simple who believe. He returns us to our place of rest and deals bountifully with us in His rescuing work. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones (Psalm 116:15).” Thankfully, we too can be His servants and reap the rewards of faith as we fulfill our promises to follow Him and praise is Holy Name in the assembly of His people whether it be in Jerusalem or anywhere else. Our family has just moved. With all the adjustments and stress that something like that entails, it is nice to rest in the fact that God is with us and will continue to love and care for us as we fulfill His call upon our lives.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 116:15

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 115

Psalm 115


-Theme: The temporal verses the eternal. Idols of man compared to the greatness of the LORD. The LORD’s blessing on those who fear Him and trust in Him. Prioritizing God as number one.

-Historical Insight: This is an anonymous Psalm of God’s glory among men and His eternal benefits to His people.

-*Application* God deserves the glory, and we should be quick to give Him His due with all credit and praise. His lovingkindness and truth put His enemies to rest with overwhelming power and authority because of His authenticity. The idolatrous works of man’s hands have no life and cannot save in the end. Only those who trust in the LORD will find help and a shield against the adversary. When we fear the LORD and trust fully in Him, He will bless us and be totally mindful of our needs. In other words, He will care for us, not just now, but for eternity. We, as God’s people will bless and praise the LORD “from this time forth and forever (Psalm 115:18).” It doesn’t matter if you’re small or great in this world, the opportunity to join His everlasting Kingdom is always available (Psalm 115:13). He will give us increase, which will extend into future generations (Psalm 115:14). The Maker of heaven and earth will be magnified, but those who reject Him will die and go down into silence where they have no way to praise Him (Psalm 115:17). This is Old Testament biblical proof of what we call hell, or a place of separation eternally from the Father.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 115:13

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 114

Psalm 114


-Theme: Israel’s deliverance from Egypt by the power of Almighty God. Judah, the sanctuary of Yahweh and Israel, the LORD’s dominion.

-Historical Insight: This anonymous Psalm recounts the Exodus journey from slavery in Egypt, to the wilderness wanderings, to the entrance into the Promised Land crossing the Jordan. It displays God’s awesome power to control earthly events for His people’s benefit and survival.

-*Application* Do you observe the powerful works of the LORD in your life to preserve and refine you? He desires to make you His possession and the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit by the fulfilling of His New Covenant (Deuteronomy 4:20, Romans 8:9, 11, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Colossians 1:27, Titus 2:14, 1 Peter 2:9). Notice the joy when God comes into a situation and takes control. His sustaining power is always sufficient. Even a rock can turn into a pool of water to quench thirst and add life for His people (Psalm 114:8).


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 114:1-2

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 113

Psalm 113


-Theme: The massive scope of God’s concern and care for us. The LORD’s great humility to behold His creation.

-Historical Insight: This is a short and powerful Psalm that is anonymous in authorship.

-*Application* How often do you simply set aside time to praise the LORD as His servant? Today, take time to bless the God of Heaven and earth with your exultation of His glory knowing that this can and will be done forever by His saints. He is high above the nations, not just above, HIGH above. His glory is even above the heavens. Think about the incredible images from the Hubbell telescope and wonder just how amazing our God is enthroned above all of that splendor. He is tops! No one is like Him, yet He humbles (shaphel- to humiliate, to be abased, to become low, sink) Himself to behold (ra’ah- to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider) all the things He created in Heaven and in the earth (Psalm 113:6). Our God is so wonderful, amazing, gracious, giving, and so much more all at the same time. He cares for us and considers the mess that we’ve made by succumbing to temptation and drifting away from Him. This is what causes our poverty and misery. We need help, a Rescuer, a Deliverer, and Jesus is that lowly-humble aid in our desperate situation (Isaiah 53, 1 Peter 3:18). He brings joy and life back to the table, and even gives His Spirit as the seal and promise of our comfort and security (Song of Solomon 8:6, John 4:16-27, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13, 1 John 4:13). What a great God we serve! Check out this amazing song of praise and worship Him today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb0QLBPIq0s


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 113:6

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 112

Psalm 112


-Theme: The advantage of having faith in Yahweh. God guards those who follow His commands.

-Historical Insight: This is an anonymous Psalm of praise for believers.

-*Application* Do you want to be blessed? That’s a straight up question with an obvious answer. Yet, there is a supreme lack of fear of the LORD (Yahweh, the Great “I Am”) in our American culture and really throughout the world these days. Is it any wonder that we do not see the “blessings” of God on our society and earth? We don’t delight in His commands; instead, we desire to go our own way and do our own thing in the name of freedom, which is really bondage. His commandments bring shalom to the soul and love to the heart. Their application brings peace and prosperity. The absence of greed flows from an obedience to His concerns and precepts resulting in great generosity that pours out abundance and wealth. This is why we must preach and live in accordance with God’s will. Our future and their generations depend on it. Don’t be shaken, trust in the LORD, not yourself or any sort of secular reasoning. He will prove advantageous in the end and you will fear nothing of the evil tidings that surround us in modern phenomena (Psalm 112:7). Uphold your own heart by trusting in His provision, commands, and righteousness. Vex the wicked with your upstanding stance in Christ Jesus and watch expectantly for the redemption of the LORD, for “the desire of the wicked will perish (‘abad- vanish, go astray, be destroyed, Psalm 112:10).” So to sum up: Trust God, fear Him, do righteousness, and be blessed both now and eternally.


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 112:7

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 111

Psalm 111


-Theme: Awe, fear, reverence for the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Great, splendid, majestic, enduring, gracious, compassionate, powerful, holy, and awesome are the works of the LORD, and His provision is manifold. His redemption is for His believing people, and He has ordained His covenant (promise) forever.

-Historical Insight: This is a familiar sounding Psalm with an anonymous author to be sung in the congregation of the righteous.

-*Application* All that God does is good and should be well-received by His people. The question for us is this: do we delight in His ways and commandments? If we do with great diligence and study, we will acquire a great understanding as well as His promises for redemption (Psalm 111:2, 9-10). He is true and just, and all His precepts are sure (‘aman- firm, faithful, trustworthy, established, confirmed, Psalm 111:7). Fear Him and you need not fear anything else. Your wisdom will germinate and grow. Put your stake in His plan, and rest in His will. His praise endures forever (Psalm 111:10)!


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 111:9

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 110

Psalm 110


-Theme: The power of the LORD in His Messiah. Jesus is the ruling Messiah over His enemies.

-Historical Insight: The author of this Christological passage is none other than King David, who was promised the eternal Kingdom (2 Samuel 7). Jesus recited these words in Matthew 22:41-45 to defend His authority with the Pharisees who did not receive His first incarnation. A common practice in ancient civilizations’ conquests was to make the subdued enemy’s leader humiliate himself to bow on all fours so that the victorious king could rest his feet on them. Thus the analogy of the writer revealing God’s complete domination of His opponents.

-*Application* The Messiah’s rule over His enemies as ordained and orchestrated by the LORD Himself should give us confidence in the day of battle against evil foes that threaten our security and well-being. God is never scared, nor does He fear the intensity of the fight. Neither should we. Remember valiant soldier of the cross, you are assured the inheritance in the Kingdom and complete victory in the final analysis (Romans 8:16-18). We as believers share in the Christ’s glory! The Messiah is not only David’s Lord, but ours as well! Jesus is our one-time for all-time go between as Priest, we need no other atonement (Genesis 14:18, Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 5-8)!


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 110:1