Archive for the ‘Psalms’ Category

Songs of Ascent

Read Psalm 118:26. Those with Jesus on the Palm Sunday road that day are singing part of what are called “The Hallel” (the Songs of Ascent – sung during the Ascent up to Jerusalem for the feasts which occurred 3 times per year) which consists of Psalms 113-118, which were sung during Passover season. You will recall that our story is taking place during the Passover Season (Feast of Unleavened Bread). The songs would have been on everyone’s mind. “Hosanna!” means “O Save!”

  1. What does Deuteronomy 16:16 say about the requirement of the people to come to the temple in Jerusalem?
  2. Copy the following portions of Hallel Psalms to give you an idea of what the people would have been singing and thinking about as they entered Jerusalem at this time of year. Psalm 113:2 Psalm 113:4-6 Psalm 115:9 Psalm 116:1-2 Psalm 116:12-14 Psalm 117 Psalm 118:19-21
Flowers in Jerusalem
Flora – Israel
Flowers – Jerusalem

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Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.

–Psalm 37:3-6

Here is the “to-do” list from Psalm 37:

  • Trust in the LORD and do good
  • Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness
  • Delight yourself in the LORD, and wait for Him to fulfill your desires
  • Commit your way to the LORD and trust in Him, and wait for Him to bring forth your righteousness and justice and make them bright

One thing that I notice from the list is that very little outward action is required. Most of what God is asking of me is internal, e.g. trust, delight, wait, and commit. Several of the other seemingly “action” words He uses are really about internal concepts as well.

For example, dwell is speaking to us of living the Christian life-a life of promise. In the Old Testament the Israelites, under the leadership of Joshua, finally came into the land that God has promised Abraham many years before. That entry into the promised land is analogous to the New Testament believer living the abundant life-life based on the promises of God after being born again.

Feed on His faithfulness sounds like an action, but it is really a state of mind. The idea is that we would live and prosper remembering that God is faithful to the promises He has made to His people.

So I am to trust the LORD – rely on Him, to have confidence in Him.

I am to dwell in the place He has placed me and be sustained by His faithfulness as I live there.

I am to delight in the LORD. This is easy because He is my exceeding joy (Psalm 43:4). The image that God brought to mind when I was thinking about this was that of a dog rolling in green grass, arching her back and just enjoying the stretch, the warmth of the sun and the scratch of the grass on her back.

I am to commit my way to Him, but why wouldn’t I in light of the promises He makes to me. Here are just 2 found in this short passage:

  • He will give me the desires of my heart
  • He shall make my righteousness and my justice bright like the sun at noon-day, so that everyone will know-there will be no way to hide what He has done in my life

How great is our God and how wonderful His promises!



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What does a Shepherd do?

What does a Shepherd do?

The image of the shepherd is found throughout the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. The most well-known place is probably psalm is Psalm 23, which reflects on the shepherd and what he does for the sheep.

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

What does the shepherd do according to verse 1 of Psalm 23?

He removes my want. How does He do that? He provides. One of the names of God is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.

He provides simple things like food and shelter–a job, a place to live, a car. But he also provides intangibles like comfort, companionship, and peace.

A beautiful picture is painted for us in Isaiah 40:11 where Isaiah tells us “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.”

There is nothing the shepherd will not give for his sheep even his life. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:11



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 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:1-2

When you are attacked or betrayed by someone close to you, the world can feel very unsafe. The Psalmist faced such things as I do and you may.

He speaks of the “secret place of the Most High” which reminds me that God keeps me near Him–in a place only He and I know of–a place outside of time and space–a place of relationship. I am with Him. He will never leave or forsake me.

The psalmist uses the name “Most High” and I am reminded that no one is stronger or more powerful than my God. He is the greatest ally because He is all-powerful. He has no rival–no equal.

When he says, “shall abide,” I hear the promise of God that I will always live with Him–nothing can separate us.

The “shadow of the Almighty” speaks of protection. The sun can be relentless in Israel. A shadow is a place of escape from the heat, a cool pocket of relief from the elements and the danger of exposure.

God is my refuge–a place to hide from my trouble, to retreat from the world that wants too much and offers too little.

God is my fortress–I love that image. God is a huge castle behind the wall of which I am safe and protected from my enemies.

See also Philippians 4:4-9; Psalm 34:17-19



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Psalm 9

We have been posting a series of bible studies in the book of Psalms. If you missed the introduction, you can find it at this link: Introduction to Psalms

Read Psalm 9
1. What background and/or historical knowledge do you have for this Psalm?

2. What do you learn about God from this psalm?

3. What does David say about the nations? The wicked?

4. What does David ask God for in this psalm?

See also related studies in the book of Psalms: Psalm 1, Psalm 2, Psalm 3, Psalm 4, Psalm 5, Psalm 6, Psalm 7, and Psalm 8


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Psalm 8

Read Psalm 8
This is a Psalm of Praise. It is often categorized further as a creation psalm. Other creation Psalms include Psalm 19:1-6; Psalm 33 and Psalm 104.

1. What background and/or historical knowledge do you have for this Psalm?

2. What does David say about God in this psalm?

3. What does David say about man in relationship to God?

4. What does David say about man in relationship to the animals, fish, etc.?


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Psalm 7

Read Psalm 7
1. What background and/or historical knowledge do you have for this Psalm?

2. What is the significance (meaning) of the name “Yahweh?”

3. What is David asking for in this psalm?

4. What does “selah” mean or signify?

5. How does David describe the evil or wicked one?

6. What do you learn about God’s character in this psalm? (verses 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

7. What is the change that occurs from the beginning of the psalm to the end in the mind/emotions of the psalmist?

8. What is the significance (meaning) of the name “Most High” (El Elyon) in verse 17?


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Psalm 6

Read Psalm 6

1. What background and/or historical knowledge do you have for this Psalm?

2. What is the prayer of David to God in the opening verses?

3. What do you learn about David’s situation, mental state? Give verses to support.

4. Where does the transition in tone occur in this psalm?

Going deeper: What does “sheminith” mean?


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Read Psalm 5
Because the Psalm is short, try to read it over several times during the week. Maybe even in different translations.

Psalm 5 is considered an individual lament psalm because it is a cry for help to God in a time of distress.

1. What background and/or historical knowledge do you have for this Psalm?

2. What is the Psalmist asking of God in the opening verses?

3. What does David (Psalmist here) have to say about God’s conduct and character? (Verses 3-6)

4. How does David describe his time with God? (Verses 7-8)

5. How does David describe his adversaries?
Going Deeper: From what you know of his life, who were some of David’s adversaries?

6. What do you learn about David from this Psalm? God? Believers (those who love God/righteous)?

7. What application can you make to your own life?


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Psalm 4

Read Psalm 4
1. What does David ask of God in verse 1?

2. What 2 things does David know about God according to verse 3?

3. What instructions does David give in Psalm 4:4-5?

4. What does verse 7 teach us about God?

5. What does David tell us about his sleep in verse 8?

6. How can you apply the promises and instructions of this psalm to your own life? Give examples.



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