Other Bible Studies

Bible Study Title: God Revealed 

Key Bible Passage: Psalm 19:1-14

1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8. The statues of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Overall theme in this psalm is God reveals Himself through His creation and His Word.

We often make poor judges of character. For example, we may judge people’s leadership abilities solely on the basis of their height or other physical attributes. Visual observation, however, yields limited information, and that information may lead us to incorrect conclusions. Listening to people in a personal conversation provides greater and more accurate knowledge.

    We can learn some about God by observing His creation, but He also reveals Himself through His Word. Psalm 19 considers both types of revelation. Observing God’s creation is like looking at a person’s appearance. It will tell you something about God. However, reading the Bible gives far more helpful insight into God’s character and His involvement in our lives. It is like listening to God tell you about Himself and about how He loves you. As we read, He invites you and me into a personal, growing relationship with Him. 

I. Seen in Creation (Psalm 19:1-6)

1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

     In verse 1, the psalmist celebrated ways God is revealed in creation. In the Old Testament, the glory of God was the manifestation of God’s presence, usually by some visible means. His power can be seen in His presence. The second line of this verse repeats the first line using similar wording. Hence the heavens revealed the presence of God. The firmament (sky) parallels the heavens. Likewise, his handywork parallels the glory of God. The phrase reminds the reader that God created the vast visible space that stretches above a person’s head from horizon to horizon. Therefore, by looking into the skies people encounter God’s glory. God is in nature, but nature is not God. The Bible does not endorse pantheism (the worship of many gods) or worshipping nature. The Creator must be kept separate from His creation.

As we continue, in verse 2,

     Day unto day and night unto night point to the constant cycle of time. Both day and night came into existence by divine command (see Genesis 1:3-5). God created the sun to dominate the day and the moon to dominate the night (see Gen. 1:14-19). Day and night each present unique insight unto creation. Bright sunlight illuminates the features and variety on the surface of planet earth. Night’s dark sky hides the detail on earth but permits humanity to glimpse the awesome and beauty of the universe.

     Here speech is equivalent to the proclamation of the heavens in the verse 1. The verb uttereth depicts the constant bubbling of a spring as it gushes forth water. The sky constantly declares the glory of its Creator. Night or day is irrelevant. The particulars that are revealed may vary, but the greatness of the One who made them is the same.

In verses 3-4,

    The word speech is the same Hebrew word as in verse 2. But continues, the message of how great Our God is, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Day and night do not employ words to communicate the glory of God or the work of His hand. Nevertheless, they reveal both. In other words, the beauty and orderliness of creation proclaim God. Since the sun rises and sets across all the earth, God’s glory should be obvious to everyone.

    The pitching a tent for the sun is poetic language for the disappearance of the sun at night. From the perspective of earth, the sun is the dominant object in the sky. Yet God takes care of it, just as a man might pitch a tent to provide shelter for his family.

Last few verses in this section, verses 5-6,

     In verse 5, the sun is personified as a bridegroom and as a strong man. Both metaphors communicate the idea of youthful strength and vitality. Sunrise is compared to the festive mood of the emerging from the nuptial chamber. The sun’s movement throughout the day remains as resolute and inevitable as an athlete racing on a marked track. Each step brings the runner closer to the finish line, and so the runner rejoices as his or her progress.

    The daily course of the sun follows the constancy of creation. It rises each morning in the east and moves across the sky until it sets behind the western horizon. From our perspective, the earth appears visually to be relatively flat, and the sky looks like a giant inverted blue bowl resting on the earth’s surface. The sun then circles inside this bowl from the rim to a spot directly over our heads down to another spot on the rim opposite from where it emerged. As the sun traverses the sky, its heat radiates down upon everything beneath its path.

    The analogy demonstrates at least two important characteristics of God. First, God does not change. He is neither erratic nor fickle. Second, nothing can be hidden from God. Therefore, hiding from God or lying to God is useless.

STOP 😊 Discussion Time:

End of Section Questions:

1.What conclusion can people draw about God by observing His creation?

2.What misconceptions about God might people draw if they only depend upon what they see in creation?

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II. Seen in His Word (Ps.19:7-11)

7.The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8. The statues of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

In verse 7,

The central idea of the word law is instruction received from a higher authority on how to live. In scope, the word covers teachings given to children by a parent to regulations established by God for humanity. The laws of God are not imperatives that enslave humanity. Rather they are divine teachings that, when followed, free individuals for a better life.

    Here the psalmist switched from the generic term “God” (v.1) to the LORD. In the Hebrew text the proper name Yahweh is used. This change marks a dramatic shift in the type of revelation being considered. This latter revelation is specific and unambiguous. Perfect also defines it as without a single flaw.

    The word testimony is a derivative of a verb meaning “to repeat.” This noun frequently designated the two stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. Here is a synonym for God’s law. The simple denotes immature people who believe anything. However, God’s Word transforms these individuals, giving them wisdom. As wise people they not only possess knowledge, but they also make appropriate use of their knowledge. God’s Word contains everything needed to live a God-honoring life.

Continuing in Verse 8,

     The term statutes denote the responsibilities that the Lord places on His people. The commandment of the Lord refers to the terms of the covenant. These two terms reflect God’s authority over His people. Both focus on the behavior of those who conform to God’s instructions. This obedience results in a life of rejoicing. The idiom enlightening the eyes likely emphasizes increased spiritual knowledge and wisdom.

And in verse 9,

     The fear of the LORD was an expression of piety. Fear is the natural first response to the revelation of God’s presence and power (see Isaiah 6:5; Ezek. 1:28; Rev. 1:17). However, this initial terror is not what this phrase depicts. It describes people who live their life with the keen awareness of God’s nearness and an understanding of who He is. The awesome realization that God is holy, and humanity is sinful dominates this awareness.

     The word judgments refer to past judicial decisions made by God. These are recorded in Scripture. Since God does not change, subsequent decisions will always be consistent with these earlier incidents.

Continuing in Verse 10,

    Gold and honey were valuable wares in ancient Israel. Honey served as both a sweet food and a trade commodity. The purest honey came from the honeycomb. The two items suggest luxury and affluence. However, the benefits derived from God’s Word are superior to either of these material possessions and yield the satisfaction of a good life.

Verse 11,

     Two specific advantages that Scripture provides are presented in verse 11. First, the Bible warns us about certain dangers. These dangers transcend time and have eternal consequences. Second, doing what the Bible stipulates generates a far better life than one would experience otherwise. This also has eternal results.

 

STOP 😊 Discussion Time:

End of Section Questions:

Question # 3: How does God’s Word help us avoid dangers and traps?

Question #4: If we know there are benefits to keeping God’s Word, why do we so easily choose to disregard or disobey it?

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III. Celebrated in His People (Ps. 19:12-14)

12. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

In Verse 12,

      In this verse the tenor of the psalm changes from praising God’s provision of His Word to a sudden awareness of the psalmist’s sinfulness. The word errors point to conduct generated out of ignorance or inadvertence. The question is rhetorical, People do not recognize their unintentional sin unless it is pointed out. Through the illumination of God’s Word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we discover our sinfulness and find the only means to overcome it. Christ—the living Word and ultimate revelation of God—provides us cleansing and freedom from sin.

Continuing in Verse 13,

    Presumptuous sins and transgression are strong terms used to point out that we sometimes deliberately disobey God. Therefore, the psalmist prayed that God would keep him from such flagrant sin. In the Model Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray similarly (see Matthew 6:13). One day, believers will stand before God and will be presented upright and innocent before Him because the offering of Christ’s blood was acceptable before God (see Jude 24).

Verse 14,

     The psalm ends with the aspiration that the psalmist’s own speech and thoughts will be acceptable to the Lord. Strength means reliable refuge. Our security is found in God, not in ourselves. Identifying the LORD as my redeemer is even more insightful in that the Hebrew word implies a close family relationship. As such, it foreshadows the New Testament idea that believers are adopted into God’s family through the sacrifice of Christ.

STOP 😊 Discussion Time:

End of Section Questions:

Question #5: What role does Scripture play in revealing our faults and shortcomings?

Question #6: How does God use Scripture in our lives to correct us so we can better reflect His character?

Final Questions and Discussion of this Bible Study:

1.Reflect on the various ways God reveals Himself to you. What are you doing put yourself in a better position to hear Him? What actions should you take to better hear Him?

2.As a group, discuss ways of making God’s Word more prevalent in the life of the group. What actions need to be taken to make sure God’s Word is central to all that is done by the group? How can these actions be implemented?

3.Examine your life, looking for areas of disobedience (both willful and unintentional). Ask God to reveal these areas to you so that you can ask for His forgiveness. What actions do you need to take so that you reflect to a greater degree His character in your life?

Bible Study Title: Path (12/13/2021) Sunday

Key Bible Passage: Psalms 1:1-6

1.Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doeth he mediate day and night. 3. And he shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. 

Overall theme of this Bible Study is believers should embrace godly wisdom because obedience to God’s Word is the path of true life.

     Have you every encounter a fork in the road, and your GPS did indicate this fork in the road. At this point you have to make a decision. Do you go left or right? Sometimes the decision determines how long the journey will take. In some rare cases, the decision determines whether you will reach your destination. Either way, you have to make a decision.

     You see the Bible repeatedly describe life as journey. On this journey we face daily choices about which path to take. Do we follow God’s instructions, or do we listen to what the world says? Some people reject God’s way completely. Others constantly struggle to make godly choices. No one gets it right every time; nevertheless, we must always seek to choose correctly.

    Here in psalm 1 (wisdom psalm)  describe two paths that people can select. One path leads to life, and the other leads to death. At the beginning of Israel’s history, Moses are two ways before the people. The Israelites had to choose the way of life and blessing or the way of death and adversity (Deut. 30:15). Later, Jesus likewise identified two ways—the narrow way that leads to life and the wide way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). These two ways are the only two options available. Every person will decide which way he or she lives. While the right choice seems obvious, most people make the wrong choice. Believers should embrace godly wisdom because obedience to God’s Word is the path to true life.

I.The Path of Life (Ps. 1:1-3)

1.Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doeth he mediate day and night. 3. And he shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Here in verse 1:

     The righteous person, according to biblical standards, is the one who is in right relationship with God. This right relationship achieved not by a person’s good works, but through faith in Christ. However, genuine faith generates good works.

The word “Blessed” (Hebrew Esher) is best understood as the sense of joy, blessedness, or contentment of those who faithful walk in a right relationship with God. This state is the consequence of godly choices. This word essentially points to the best possible life that an individual may achieve and it occurs 40 times in the Old Testament, and at a least half of these are in the Book of Psalms.

     Take note in verse 1 of the progressive action from walking to standing to sitting. In the imagery of life as a journey down a path, the traveler stops to listen to the banter of bystanders. The unsuspecting journeyers soon joins the conversation and eventually takes seat among those gabbers. The traveler in this verse does not do those things. He does not stop, stand, or become one of the wicked.  

     He or she encounter the “ungodly” refers to a person who corrupt in his or her heart, the “sinner” refers to one who is living in their sin and loving it, and the “scornful”, refers to a person is scoffing at God. 

    The words the palmist used depict a progressive decline, but one that avoidable. The negative construction of his verse warns the reader that each step is a choice. Therefore, the psalm encourages readers to avoid that choice. Do not be influenced by the wicked. Refuse to walk down the sinful path. Do not align yourself with those who scoff at that which is holy. In other words, we need to be careful who we align ourselves with as believers and disciples for Jesus.

Here in verse 2:

2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doeth he mediate day and night.

If certain behaviors must be avoided in order to attain biblical happiness, then what conduct is acceptable?

     Simply aligning ourselves with the “law of the Lord.” The  law of Lord is simply put Scriptures. Scriptures transforms the nature of those who delight in it. Such people who read the Bible because they hunger for God. They eagerly absorb its instructions and constantly seek to abide by them.

    The righteous person not only read the Bible, in the law doeth he [she] mediate day and night.   In order to understand the significance of this verse, we first must know what the verb “mediates” means. Biblical mediation is not related to Eastern religions, etc. The Hebrew verb means to make a low sound; here the sense is to read and repeat Scripture in an audible whisper. When we look at “day and night” in this verse, we need to be clear that God is not expecting us to read the Bible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, it does mean that the actions of the righteous are steered by the truth of Scriptures at all times. Their conduct quietly reinforces truths from the Bible because God’s Word has become an integral part of their thinking.

Here in verse

3. And he shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The psalmist compared the person who follow God’s counsel to a productive tree planted near a river or irrigation canal. The verb planted reveals that tree did not sprout in this location by chance. God set it in this place. The phrase rivers of water focus on the watercourse as the source of the liquid that is essential to life. The analogy points to the Bible as God’s resource for living in a manner that keep an individual right with Him.

     God declared that the person who follows the counsel of His Word (as opposed to listening to the advice of the wicked; see verse 1) would flourish and produce fruit. Therefore, God’s Word supplies everything necessary for living a fruitful and rewarding life. The phrase whatsoever he doeth shall prosper does not guarantee financial prosperity or career advancement. Rather, because this person follows the counsel of God’s Word, his or her ambition is to glorify God, not to obtain monetary or personal reward. We are saved by grace alone, but grace never stands alone. Grace produces confirming works (Eph. 2:8-10). Belief will be succeeded by godly behavior. Fulfillment in life is found through faithful obedience to God and His Word (James 1:22-25). So this promise points to success in honoring the Lord through our behavior.

STOP 😊 Discussion Time:

End of Section Questions:

Question 1: What is the godly fruit that God desires for His followers to produce?

Question 2:  How can worldly wisdom hinder growth?

Question 3: How does reading the Bible nurture the development of this godly fruit?

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Path of Death (Ps. 1:4-5)

4.The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

In verse 4,

The Psalmist pointed out that the ungodly are like worthless chaff which the wind driveth away. The words not so are emphatic in the Hebrew text. The wicked are the opposite of all that was said about the righteous in the previous three verses,

     In ancient Iseael, harvested grain stalks were laid out on a threshing floor to dry. The threshing floor commonly was a shallow pit cut in the stone bedrock of a hilltop. After the stalks dried in the hot sun, the grain was beaten on the rock surface either with a large stone or with the hoofs of animals walking on the grain. In the evening, the wind normally blew harder across the hill. At that time, the farmer used a winnowing fork to toss the beaten crop up in the evening breeze. The heavy kernels of grain dropped back into the stone depression. In contrast, the chaff was blown away. John the Baptist employed this same imagery in his preaching about the coming of the Messiah: “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matt. 3:12).

In verse 5,

5.Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

Listening to the deceptive advice of the wicked lead to instability and destruction. The psalmist warned his readers that the ungodly face sure judgement and eternal separation from God’s righteous people. The word therefore functions to indicate that the fate described here is the direct consequence of wicked lifestyle.

     Standing is a posture of confidence. In an ancient trial it signified the validity of one’s testimony. When the wicked are brought before the Almighty in judgement, they will not be able to maintain their erect posture. The facts will condemn them, and they will be humbled by their guilt. They will be unable to defend the choices that produced their lifestyle. God’s verdict will result in eternal separation from Him.

STOP😊Discussion Time

Question 4: How should God’s warning about the future of the wicked affect you?

Question 5: How should you feel?

Question 6: What should you do?

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III. The Conclusion (Ps1:6)

6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The psalmist stated that God protects the righteous while allowing the wicked to move toward disaster. It must be noted that ultimate collapse and expulsion take place at the final judgment, but divine judgment is a present reality. Regardless of the effort, any attempt to refute God is futile and ultimately will fail. Likewise, estrangement from God’s people is in reality the manifestation of that failure. It should always be remembered that condemnation is not a future fate but a present reality.

    The grammatical construction of the Hebrew statement translated the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous stress es that God’s knowledge of the righteous is a present reality. The verb itself means “to know through experience.” God’s knowledge of His people is not intellectual knowledge but knowledge that is derived by walking with His people.

    In addition, God is identified by the divine personal name. The word Lord is the Hebrew Yahweh. This is the name of God used in His covenant with Israel and therefore indicates that the relationship is an intimate one. The intimacy of God’s knowledge guarantees His presence to secure His people. Believers can live with confidence, knowing that God guarantees His protection to the obedient.

     Again, the righteous are those individuals who are right with God. Their way is a lifestyle of faith. They have been saved by faith and live by faith. Faith is not merely saying words but is a trust that produces obedient acts that develop the believer into the likeness of Christ.

    While the lifestyle of godly man or woman reflects growth toward being Christlike, the lifestyle of the ungodly ultimately leads to ruin.

STOP😊Discussion Time

Question 7: What does this verse teach about the security of those who follow God?

Question 8: How does this security impact our behavior?