WHY DO YOU THINK THE 23RD PSALM IS THE MOST BELOVED PSALM?
I THINK, IN PART, IT IS BECAUSE THE WORD PICTURES MAKE THE TRUTHS LIVE
WE CAN PICTURE THE SHEPHERD CARING FOR HIS SHEEP,
LEADING THEM BESIDE STILL WATERS
NOT JUST THE 23RD.
SO AS WE CONTINUE OUR JOURNEY,
LET US ALLOW LESS FAMILIAR WORD PICTURES SEEP INTO OUR HEARTS
MAKING THESE PSALMS OURS
GIVING THESE PSALMS POWER TO
QUICKEN OUR PRAYER LIVES
SUSTAIN US IN TRIAL,
AND OVERCOME THE LIES OF THE ENEMY.
THIS WEEK WE WILL LOOK AT THE MURAL OF PICTURES IN PSALM 18.
TO BEGIN, ON THIS SABBATH DAY, CONSIDER:
Hannah Hurnard’s classic, “Hinds Feet in High Places,” tells of the lamb, “Little Much-Afraid” who wanted the Good Shepherd to carry her over the hard places, but he wanted her to walk them herself, for the only way she could develop the tough hard hooves needed for future climbing was to walk those hard places herself. As we look back at suffering in our lives, if we trusted the Lord and didn’t back up, it did develop strength of character in our lives, faith that He would be with us and work all things together for the good. Then, the next time the trail became rocky and slippery, we found He had “made our feet like hinds’ feet, setting us upon high places.
During this Lent, it was gratifying to see in you and in my own life God making our feet like hinds feet. Looking to the cross and persevering through the wilderness develops those feet. I was particularly moved by our own Diane’s testimony:
Lent was hard in some ways for me this year. In many ways I am still grieving – for my daughter Krista’s situation, for her losses, my own losses. However, there have been gains. Krista is in a much better place emotionally and spiritually than before her crisis. I also personally have been forced to put my faith “where the rubber meets the road”, trusting God when it seems He is silent. And I have found Him faithful. I have clung to Him and He has held me. Throughout Lent (with the help of Scripture, Lenten readings, studying the Psalms here and you my blogging friends), I contemplated Jesus’ sufferings – from His struggle in prayer in the Gethsemane, through His physical torture and rejection, and then His abandonment by His Father on the Cross, I have grieved with my Lord in deep sorrow. Yet, my deepening awareness of the depths to which Jesus was willing to go due to His love for me has helped open my eyes to the deep hope for renewal that there is in Christ. His resurrection proves He is in control. He came to redeem, renew, and restore. He is Life. He gives me life. Nothing can take my Hope away. He is risen.
I just found out Rebecca sang Psalm 18 in church recently!
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. Take a recent trial from your life in which you trusted the Lord and explain how it has strengthened you to face with faith a current trial.
MONDAY-THURSDAY BIBLE STUDY
I’m so thankful for those of you who are continuing on after Lent. I realized, as I studied Psalm 18, that I could have used it for Easter, for just as Psalm 17 can be seen as Christ’s cry for deliverance, Psalm 18 can be seen as God’s answer. I particularly like the song from the Psalm project for it goes through the many images that show God’s deliverance. Go to this page and click on Psalm 18 for a great preview — let the word pictures fill your imagination and penetrate your heart:
You may also like this familiar song — often used with children:
3. Read Psalm 18:1-19 out loud to yourself so that the word pictures can penetrate your heart. Find one that quickens you and describe it, explaining why it ministers to you.
4. Explain how Psalm 18:1-19:
A. Could be a picture of the Exodus
B. Could be a picture of Calvary
C. Could be a picture of your life
5. Look up the following verse references, read them aloud, and then consider the following visuals. Comment on anything that quickens you:
A. PSALM 18:1-2
D. PSALM 18:16
6. Take one of the above pictures and use it as a springboard for praise, confession, or petition.
7. Read Psalm 18:16-27 and find Christ.
8. Read Psalm 18:28-50 aloud and find a word picture that penetrates your heart and explain why.
9. Meditate on the following passages and visuals from Psalm 18:28-50 and comment on anything that quickens you:
A. Psalm 18:28
10. Take one of the above pictures and use it as a springboard for praise, confession, or petition.
Friday: Sermon: The Lord is My Fortress
11. Share your notes or comments! 🙂 on The Lord is My Fortress by John Fesko.
12. What is your take-a-way and why?
I’ve a surprise for you next week!