Monday, November 7, 2011

Search The Scriptures -- Psalms 73 - 77

Study 57 – Psalm 73

1.      The root of the psalmist’s distress was that he was afflicted while trying to live a righteous life while the wicked were being blessed while flaunting their sin.

2.      The psalmist discovered his error when he entered the sanctuary of the Lord. When he entered the Lord’s presence he was enlightened as to the ultimate future of the wicked. He realized that the wicked were going to be severely judged in the end and that he would receive the forgiveness and protection of the Lord.

3.      When we have difficulties understanding the ways of the Lord, the best place to find our answer is in His sanctuary. It is there in His presence that those things that are difficult to understand are made clear.

Study 58 – Psalm 74

1.      In the opening eleven verses of this psalm, the psalmist goes to great lengths to describe what it must have looked like in the final battle for Jerusalem and the utter devastation of the sanctuary of the Lord and the city of Zion. Yet, in spite of these moments when it seems as if God was nowhere to be found, the psalmist reminds himself of all of the wonderful ways in which God has intervened for His people throughout history. As horrific as the current disaster was, there was comfort in knowing that God was always triumphant over every disaster of the past. The word makes clear, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world!” There is indeed great comfort in knowing that.

2.      The psalmist is well aware that God loves His children and will not abandon those to whom He has entered into covenant with. The purpose of His judgment is to bring His children back in line with their role in the covenant in order that God may be able to fulfill His role of covenant blessing.

Study 59 – Psalm 75 and 76

1.      God chooses the time and means of His judgment and both are always perfect! The obvious response is to break out in praise and be ready to aid in the battle!

2.      In 76:1-3 the psalmist is ‘sounding a trumpet blast’ of victory declaring that the Lord has won! In verses 4-6 he describes the battle field strewn with the fallen enemy. In verses 7-9 he declares the Majesty and Superiority of the Lord and His right alone to judge the earth. In the final three verses the psalmist calls his listeners to a renewed commitment to and fear of the Lord.

3.      It is the Lord that exalts and that brings low. He exalts the humble and humbles the exalted. He makes the last first and the first last. This type of language should definitely curb our fleshly ambitions and cause us to realize that getting to ‘the top’ requires the lifting of a cross and a life of servanthood. It is the servant that becomes the leader in the Kingdom.

Study 60 – Psalm 77

1.      The psalmist was truly in the depths of depression. He had come to wonder if God had forgotten Israel and if His anger would withhold His compassion forever. He found an answer to his questions by remembering the deeds of the Lord.

2.   God intervenes in every aspect of His creation from the people, to the storm clouds, the seas, and the quaking of the very earth itself. There is truly no other like Him. The very elements are at His command and if need be He will shake the very earth in order to get the attention of His people. When we are depressed we need to remember this psalm as the only way out of the depths of depression are by remembering the greatness of our loving God.

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