A Song of Ascents. (Psalm 132)

Scripture Text:

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Psalm 132

Questions:

1. Who are your two closest friends? Why are you close? Is your time together prearranged or does it “just happen”?

2. Have you ever had to spend the night in a car? Airport or train station? Out in the brush or on a hillside? Why?

3. What “hardships” has David endured (verse 1; see 2 Samuel 7:1)? What does he promise Yahweh? Does God need an earthly “dwelling”?

4. Where was the Ark of the Covenant prior to David’s conquest of Jerusalem (verse 6; see 1 Samuel 6:21 – 7:2)? Why does he want it in his city?

5. What does the Lord swear to David (verse 11; see 2 Samuel 7:16)? What condition is placed on the promise (verse 12)? Based on what happened to Israel, how would you say his sons did?

6. On what is the permanence of David’s dynasty based (verse 13)? How will Israel be blessed (verse 14 – 18)?

7. What human needs are fulfilled in the building of churches and shrines? In the anointing of human leaders? Should we get beyond such needs?

8. Do you give yourself deadlines? Is it good to put time limits on goals? What is the relationship between human and divine effort?

9. What need does God want you to fill in your church? At home? At work? In the neighborhood? How committed are you to the project(s)? Have you made so many promises, that you can fulfill them all?

10. What do you make of the fact that there is no longer a king in Israel and that Jerusalem was conquered? Is God unable to keep His promises? Or did the people bring it on themselves?

11. How has Israel become the most dangerous place for Jews today?

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A Song of Ascents. (Psalm 129)

Scripture Text:

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Psalm 129

Questions:

1. What chore would you prefer: mowing the lawn, putting on a new roof or cleaning house?

2. Why has Israel been oppressed and hated throughout history (verses 1 – 3)? How have the Jews managed to outlive every oppressor (verse 4)?

3. What does the psalmist wish for the “haters of Zion” (verses 5 – 8)? Do you like this attitude?

4. What is freedom? Does it lie in political sovereignty? What internal menace always plagued Israel?

5. Have you ever suffered harsh treatment? Are you emotionally tied up? How? Has God cut the cords for you before?

A Song of Ascents. (Psalm 128)

Scripture Text:

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Psalm 128

Questions:

1. Describe your domestic happiness from a fruit picker’s perspective:

  • out of season?
  • ripening?
  • ripe and juicy?
  • rotting?

2. What type of blessings are promised the “man who fears the Lord”? Why not blessings of a more spiritual nature?

3. How are the individual blessings bound up with national prosperity (verses 5 and 6)?

4. Do you believe that God rewards good in this life? Why or why not? How or how not?

5. Will happy, godly families lead to a prosperous, peaceful nation? Why or why not? How or how not?