Promises

Whatever you do when you get this email, please listen to this song, it’s dope (direct quote from one of the artists). 

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A couple of this week’s psalms speak about God’s everlasting love and faithfulness toward us. This is one of the most reassuring things in my life. No matter what happens or what I do, God’s love is unfailing and He is always there for me.  As always, this week’s psalms cover a range of emotions – including one of the most depressing Psalms of all.  But the idea of everlasting love is one that I hope you will work to instill in your children.

Monday July 6th, Psalm 85

Today’s Takeaways:

  • You’ve read enough Psalms by now to recognize the rhythm of Psalm 85. Here the Psalmist starts by showing gratitude to God for delivering the Israelites from captivity and sin, next he shows gratitude for being rescued from God’s (righteous) anger and last there is a prayer of petition for continued favor.

Today’s Talking Topic:

Verses 10-11 are my favorite.

10 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.

Where and when did love and faithfulness meet? (hint: in Jesus, on the cross)

Tuesday July 7th, Psalm 86

Today’s Takeaways:

  • Verses 5 and 15 are two of the most important for kids to really put to heart – “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you” and “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
  • God loves us in an unimaginable, unconditional way. When we mess up and sin against God, we let God down. But Psalm 86 tells us that God is filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. He won’t leave us when we mess up.
  • The greatest example of God’s compassion is that Jesus came to earth to die on the cross in the place of sinners

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • What does unconditional love mean? Can you think of a few people in your life who love you unconditionally? How is it shown?
  • How do you feel when you do something wrong? What do you do when that happens?

Wednesday July 8th, Psalm 87

Today’s Takeaways:

  • This psalm is full of love for Jerusalem (gates of Zion), God’s chosen city. Zion was the mountain in Jerusalem where Solomon built the temple.
  • Rahab symbolizes Egypt, which along with Babylon, was an enemy of Israel. Tyre and Philistia symbolize decadence.  And Ethiopia symbolizes a faraway land.
  • The upshot is that God is the God of the entire earth, but He has a special relationship with Mt Zion in Jerusalem.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • God’s work happens in time and space. Think about that.  God’s work has to happen somewhere, and God chose Jerusalem as the place where much of it happened.  Let’s think of some things that happened in Jerusalem (feel free to skip over ones that your children haven’t learned about yet):
    • Abraham was willing to offer Isaac as a sacrifice there.
    • King David made Jerusalem the kingdom’s capital.
    • It was the home of the great temple David designed and Solomon built.
    • Jesus recognized and honored the city and observed the feasts and temple rituals.
    • Jesus died on the cross there, was buried, and rose from the dead.
    • The church was born there at Pentecost.
    • The apostles served and sent out the Gospel.

Thursday July 9th, Psalm 88

Today’s Takeaways:

  • Sometimes we feel that EVERYTHING is going wrong. We feel sad and alone and like God has abandoned us. But God’s silence doesn’t mean He left us.
  • Psalm 88 is really dark and heartbreaking. Most of the Psalms that start off sad end in hope, pleading to God in confidence. This Psalm inverts the standard. It starts with reassuring hope (verse 1 “Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you”) but gets dark from there.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • We often cry out to God only in times of deepest need.
  • Maybe sometimes God needs to be silent for us to learn to listen.
  • But daily prayers of petition and thanksgiving are really important. What do you need to put in front of God today?

Friday July 10th, Psalm 89

Today’s Takeaways:

  • This psalm also feels like the opposite of the rhythm we have gotten used to. Like Psalm 88, it begins with joy and praise and ends with complaining and petition.
  • Verse 2 reminds us again of God’s faithfulness “I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.”
  • The first 37 verses talk about Israel’s victory and God keeping promises made to David.
  • At the end it pleads for God to remember those promises and made himself known again.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • Do you ever think you are not being heard? How does that make you feel? What can you do about it?

Saturday July 11th, Psalm 90

Today’s Takeaways:

  • This psalm is historically attributed to Moses, which would make it to be the oldest psalm chronologically. When you think of this Psalm as written by Moses, it makes a lot of the lines even more powerful because Moses personally saw God’s judgment.
  • God is the creator (verse 2) and He is everlasting.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • This Psalm beautifully describes how God and humans experience the passage of time differently. Think about the Psalm’s words. How does it make you feel to think that your whole life is like a breath to God?

Sunday July 12th, Psalm 91

Today’s Takeaways:

  • This psalm should be a familiar concept for children. In our virtual VBS we just talked about God being our shelter.
  • When sometimes things are going from bad to worse in our lives we tend to feel God has abandoned us, and we fail to see what He is doing in our specific circumstances.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • Verses 1-2 say “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
  • In those verses do you notice 4 different names for God? They all have slightly different meanings and are used differently. Can you guess why?

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