Reminders for the Future
Prepare in Advance
Before the Session
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Retrieve, review, and have ready the videos listed below (links are provided on this session’s webpage).
- Whiteboard or flip chart and markers.
- It may be helpful to have several different translations of the text available.
- Read aloud today’s focal passage.
- View the Bible Background Video.
Considering God’s Character
Offer this info: This psalm begins with a word we know well – “Praise the Lord!” – in Hebrew Hallelu Yah.
- Is this a suggestion, a command? Who is being encouraged or commanded to praise God?
- What is the singer promising to do, and where (v.1)? Why is it important to praise and thank God publicly? How is it beneficial both for the one who praises, and the ones who hear?
- The psalm invites us to consider God’s actions or deeds… but it also speaks of God’s characteristics (especially vv.2-4). What does the psalmist remind us about who God is and how God acts? Write these attributes – the ones spoken and the ones implied throughout the psalm – in a column on one side of the board/chart.
- In an ancient world filled with vengeful gods that had to be placated with sacrifices and rituals, how would this type of God stand out?
Celebrating God’s Works
Leader: Read through the psalm and find the different actions or things God does. List these on the other side of the board.
- Invite the group to help you compare the characteristics on one side with the actions on the other. How are they consistent – how do God’s actions flow from God’s character?
Offer this info: We don’t know who wrote this psalm or when, but it’s safe to assume that even in the writer’s time, statements like “He provides food for those who fear him” were not always true!
- How can we live with this tension, even when God does not act as we expect?
- Is this psalm simply a reaction to God’s works, or a resolution to praise and thank God? Discuss the difference.
Offer this info: Verse 10 is often quoted, but probably often misunderstood. This is not just a trembling, cowering fear.
- Look in different translations, and at the rest of the psalm. In this context, what is the “fear of the Lord?”
- What does this psalm encourage us to do?
By Jon Parks