Posts Tagged ‘Biblical Literacy’

Psalms – An Introduction

The name of the book of Psalms in Hebrew means “Praises” or “Book of Praises.” Those credited with writing the Psalms are David, 73; Moses, 1 (90th); Solomon, 2; Sons of Korah, 11; Asaph, 12, Heman, 1 (88th); Ethan, 1 (89th); Hezekiah, 10. (J. Vernon McGee, Outline of Psalms)

“The collection of 150 individual psalms is organized into five books. Psalms is not a continuous, chronologically arranged story like we find in the historical books. Unlike prophecy, Psalms has no continuing message developed chronologically or thematically. And unlike epistles (letter), Psalms has no continuous unifying teaching or train of thought throughout the book. The book is an anthology–a collection of 150 different prayers, praises, or songs.

Each psalm is a unit of expression, composed during a moment of need or desire. Each has a unique purpose, although many can be grouped in categories, like the psalms of ascents.

As you study the psalms, remember that they are poems. Hebrew poetry does not contain rhyme and meter like much English poetry. Instead, Hebrew poetry’s distinctive feature is parallelism of some form–one line relates to another in various ways. Usually the poetic lines are composed of two (sometimes three) segments in which the second segment repeats, contrasts, or completes the first. Psalms vary in design. Some are acrostics, with each verse or stanza beginning with the next letter from the Hebrew alphabet. (Praising God through Prayer and Worship, Kay Arthur, Pete DeLacy, Harvest House 2008)


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Read Genesis 50 (We made it!)
1. Summarize the events of Genesis 50:1-14

2. What do Joseph’s brothers ask of him in Genesis 50:17-18?

3. Copy Genesis 50:20 here. Can you think of circumstances in your life where the same might be said of wrongs that were committed against you?

4. What do the following verses teach you about past, present and future sins?
 Psalm 103:11-12

 Isaiah 1:18

 Isaiah 38:17

 Micah 7:18-19

5. Copy 1 John 1:9 below. Explain what it means in your own words.

6. Copy Romans 8:28 below. What does it tell you about the purposes and plans of God towards you?

19. Consider the bad things that have happened in your life (“bad” as you look at them). Can you see good that God has produced from those things? If you feel comfortable, please share what you see in your own life that supports what we learn in Genesis 50 about God working out good plans for all through the suffering of one or some.
20. What promises does Joseph give upon his death?


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Read Genesis 47
1. What do Pharaoh and Jacob discuss in the opening verses of Chapter 47 of Genesis?

2. What do you learn from Genesis 47:13-26?

3 How long did Jacob live in Egypt? How old was he when he died?

4. What is Jacob’s last request from Joseph?

Read Genesis 48
5. What happens in Genesis 48?

6. Copy the promise/prophecy of Jacob in Genesis 48:21 here.

Read Genesis 49
This chapter is important because Jacob is speaking blessing and prophecy over each of his sons, foretelling in part what lies ahead.

7. What does Jacob foretell about his son Judah? Why is this important?

8. What does Jacob ask at the end of Chapter 49 of Genesis?


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Read Genesis 46
1. What did Jacob/Israel do when he reached Beersheba?

Note: Beersheba was the last border town before they would cross the desert.
2. What promises did God make to Jacob in the visions in the night?

3. Who came with Jacob to Egypt? Who stayed behind? (No need to give individual names.)

4. What does Joseph tell his father regarding how the Egyptians view shepherds? Where does Joseph propose his family live?


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Continuing with the series started yesterday, we consider how God’s word brings us peace as Jesus promised.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

God’s presence brings us peace.

God is with me to save me and deliver me.

I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; And they will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” says the LORD. Jeremiah 15:20

God is my God and He will strengthen me, help me and uphold me.

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

God is always with me.

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (Jesus speaking)

God goes with me. God will never leave me or give up on me.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

God goes with me, to fight my enemies and to save me.

Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. Deuteronomy 20:3-4

Having God with me, fighting for me, strengthening me, helping me and holding me up, I have peace.

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Why do you come to study the Word of God? You may have different reasons on different days — as I do. But Jesus gave us a reason — peace.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Jesus said His Words were to give us peace — peace in Him. He knew (and reminded us) that the world was full of trouble and lacking in peace, but that He was not subject to the world — He has overcome the world. Through resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven, He conquered death and all the power of this world.

As a mother, I want my child to understand that the things I tell her are for her good, they are meant to help, not to hurt. I remind her of this often because some of the things I say to her can be difficult to hear. They may sound harsh or difficult. And so it is with God. He often has challenging things for us in His Word. Because of this, Jesus, tells us the reason for His words — PEACE.

But how does that happen? What about the Word of God that brings me peace?

One of the ways that God’s Word brings peace to me (and to all who seek to study and know God through His Word) is that it teaches us who He is. It tells us of His character, His attributes, His likes, His dislikes — even what God hates.

God is sovereign over all things.

Another way of saying God is sovereign is to say that He is over all things – nothing and no one or power is more powerful than God. He is the ultimate power. His Word makes this clear and many ways, but here are just a couple to encourage you – to bring you peace.

God is above all other Kings and Lords.

He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. 1 Timothy 6:15-16

God is above all other powers (earthly, heavenly and demonic)

(Consider) the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. Ephesians 1:20-21

God will not allow anything to come between us and His love for us.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Because God is the most powerful being in every realm, I can experience peace. Regardless of the circumstances, I can rest in the knowledge that He is on my side –and that I belong to Him.

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Read Genesis 43
1. What causes Jacob’s sons to return to Egypt? What does Judah tell his father? How does Jacob respond? How is the matter resolved?

2. From Genesis 43:16-34, answer the following questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

Read Genesis 44-45
3. Summarize what happens in these chapters in your own words.

4. What does Joseph tell his brothers in Genesis 45:5-8?

5. What is Israel’s reaction in Genesis 45:28?

6. What do we know about God’s plans and purposes towards us from the following verses?
 Psalm 16:11

 Psalm 36:7-10

 Psalm 145:19

 Romans 8:28-30

 2 Peter 2:9


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