Praise the LORD. (Psalm 149)

Scripture Text:

(click to open in a new window)

Psalm 149

Questions:

1. Do you like to dance? What kind of dance? Or do you prefer to watch others do it?

2. What four activities are done to praise God (verses 1 – 3)? What is God doing to praise the people (verse 4)?

3. What is meant by singing for joy “on their beds” (verse 5; see also Psalm 63:6)? In a land with few private bedrooms, wouldn’t this be a nuisance?

4. What’s the flip-side of this kingdom of joy (verses 6 – 9)? Why vengeance? How is this type of activity “the glory” of all saints?

5. In your church’s worship, can you see God joining in with delight or spontaneity or nodding off in boredom? How about you? What kind of celebration does God delight in?

6. What “double-edged sword” do you wield against the “kings” of this world? Are you binding the evil in the world or are you bound yourself?

7.

8.

Advertisements

Praise the LORD. (Psalm 147)

Scripture Text:

(click to open in a new window)

Psalm 147

1. Do you prefer thinking, talking or doing? Demonstrate from your activities today?

2. How do you express creativity?

3. List the verbs describing God’s activity. Which are thinking? Speaking? Doing?

4. When was this psalm probably written (verses 2 and 3)? How has God chosen to respond to the needs at hand? On what two qualities is our attention focused (verses 5 and 6)?

5. What’s the cause of thanksgiving in verses 7 through 9? Why do we need to be reminded to give thanks? What does God see as strength (verses 10 – 11)?

6. What two blessings are in store for Jerusalem (verses 12 – 14)? What is this “word” that “runs swiftly” (verse 15)?

7. Does the poet sound burdened by the Jewish Law here (verses 19 and 20)? Why is the law so important to Jews?

8. What comes to mind when you think of power?

  • physical strength?
  • compassion?
  • moral truth?
  • beauty?
  • ability to influence events?
  • other?

9. In reference to Question #8, do you feel powerful?

10. Has God ever surprised you with a creative alternative to an “impossible” situation? Is a new creation waiting to be born in your life now? Or are you empty, infertile, running up against the limits of your understanding? How can God’s might and understanding penetrate these barriers?

11. Do you sometimes delight in the strength of the horse? The legs of a man? The legs of a woman? Why is fearing God the better choice?

A Song of Ascents. (Psalm 132)

Scripture Text:

(click to open in a new window)

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?