With Stringed Instruments. A Psalm of David. (Psalm 4)

Scripture Text:

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Psalm 4

Questions:

1. Which are you? A defeatist? An optimist? Or a realist? Why?

2. What four things does David ask of God in verse 1? What might be causing him this distress and shame (verse 2)?

3. What outcome does David expect? Why is he so confident? Why is he “set apart”?

4. While wavering loyalty grieves David (verse 2), what counsel does he give those who loyalty burns too fierce (verses 4 and 5)?

5. What’s his answer to the defeatist (verses 6b – 8)?

6. Given his earlier mood (verses 1 and 2), why is David now joyful, peaceful and secure?

7. Does your anger flash hot or burn slow? Is the apostle Paul asking too much when he quotes, “in your anger do not sin” (see Ephesians 4:26)? How do you manage your anger?

8. What is your biggest source of stress? Where lies your confidence?

9. Do disloyal people get you down? What does it mean to yield your rights, needs and feelings to God?

Praise the Lord (Psalm 150)

Scripture Text:

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Psalm 150

Questions:

1. Do you play a musical instrument?

2. Of what is the Temple an earthly symbol (verse 1)?

3. What instruments provide the rhythm? Melody? Chords? Do the people sit politely?

4. What is significant about “breath” (verse 6; see Genesis 2:7)?

5. Is your worship mostly mental appreciation or emotional expression?

Praise the Lord (Psalm 148)

Scripture Text:

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Psalm 148

Questions:

1. Who is your favorite composer or song writer?

2. What color seems to go best with praising God? What taste? What kind of weather?

3. Can you trace the psalmist’s call to worship from the “top down”? Where are the “highest heavens” (see 1 Kings 8:27; 2 Corinthians 12:2)? What different parts of creation join in this symphony of praise?

4. Are any instructions given on how to play your instrument? Who gets the attention and applause? Why? (verses 5, 6 and 13)

5. What do all creatures have in common?

6. What is the “horn” raised up (verse 14)?

7. It is taken for granted in the psalm that creation knows “how to” praise God. How do inanimate objects praise God? Animals and plants? How do you praise God?

8. What songs or activities has helped you praise God in the past?

9. Do you enjoy nature? Do you feel that humanity’s slow destruction of it is a problem for God to solve?