Praise In Place Of Murmur (and a PSA)

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*PSA – this week we will read Psalm 110 and it’s really important. This psalm is both royal (it talks about the Israelite king) and messianic (it talks about the coming messiah). It is also the most quoted and alluded to psalm in the New Testament (27 times), which means we should really pay attention! If you only going to read one psalm this week, make it this one!

As you read through the Bible, you probably notice that the people God called were constantly complaining, murmuring, carrying on. It seems at every problem, rather than just trusting God they have excuses, complaints, petitions, conditions. As we should expect, this usually leads to one problem or another. And if I’m honest, it perfectly describes me and my attitude. But if I can step outside of myself for a moment, I realize that, like all of these Bible stories, one reason God allows so many problems when we go astray is we can (hopefully) eventually learn to trust Him?! I am guilty as the next person of murmuring, especially these days. But this week I am setting a goal to say two praises for every murmur. Will you join me? 

Monday July 27th, Psalm 106

Today’s Takeaways:

  • You’ve probably heard verse 1 before. We never stop needing to be reminded that, “God is good” & “His mercy endures forever!”.
  • The emphasis here is on people’s faithlessness and the pattern of sin. But it follows that the more unworthy we are the more we should praise and admire God for His kindness.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • This psalm recounts many events from the Exodus, can you find a few?
  • What does verse 9 tell us about God’s power?

Tuesday July 28th, Psalm 107

Today’s Takeaways:

  • This psalm starts the same way as yesterday’s psalm! Did you notice? If not, take a look.
  • This psalm accounts different ways God helped people (those coming home, those in prison, those ill and those out on the sea).

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • Redemption is an important concept to understand. Talk with your kids about the word “redeemed” and what it means. (Hint: If people are redeemed, they are loosed from bondage for a price. In the Torah, redemption had to do with the Exodus and leaving slavery in Egypt. But there is a metaphysical aspect too about being released from the bondage of sin. Christians usually focus on the sin aspect, but when we’re reading Hebrew Scriptures we should keep the Exodus in mind.)
  • Who are the redeemed in this psalm? (Those delivered from Egypt).
  • Who can be redeemed?

 

Wednesday July 29th, Psalm 108

Today’s Takeaways:

  • You might feel like you have read this psalm before and you’d be right! It is compiled from two psalms we’ve already read. The first section (verses 1-5) is taken from Psalm 57:7-11 and the second section (verses 6-13) is taken from Psalm 60:5-12.
  • In verse 1, our Psalms book translates as “My heart is steadfast.” Other translations say “fixed” and “confident” – this might be easier for your kids to understand.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • David was a sinner, no exceptions there. He committed some pretty bad sins, too. But his heart was always fixed on God and God credited that to him. We should never, ever feel like God doesn’t love us because of some bad decision we’ve made.
  • How far does it say that God’s love reaches? How is God’s love showing in your life right now, this day?


Thursday July 30th, Psalm 109

Today’s Takeaways:

  • This psalm falls in the category of “imprecatory prayer.” That’s a super technical name for a prayer for revenge. The psalmist doesn’t hold back. His anger burns up the pages. As we’ve mentioned many times before, psalms are full of ALL range of feelings.
  • The good thing is, David didn’t act on these words (and he certainly had the power as the king). He left judgment to God, as it should be.
  • In verse 27 it is clear David wants everyone to know that everything is done through God and by God.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • Think of the most recent time that you have passed judgment, when it wasn’t your place. Ask God for forgiveness. Try praying “thy will be done” – and meaning it.

 

Friday July 31st, Psalm 110

Today’s Takeaways and Talking Topics:

  • This psalm is both royal (it talks about the Israelite king) and messianic (it talks about the coming messiah). It is also the most quoted and alluded to psalm in the New Testament (27 times), which means we should really pay attention!
  • The beauty of this psalm is in the details. A surface reading is that this is just a hymn to the king. There are lots of those psalms. But there is such a deep meaning here.
  • Start at the first line “The LORD said to my Lord…” Here’s a little detail that you might miss. In English translations LORD refers to Yahweh, the personal holy name of God. While Lord indicates a generic name for god, lord, master etc. In this case it is translating the word Adonai, which means master.
  • So verse 1 says, “Yahweh said to my master…” But look who wrote the Psalm – King David! So the king himself is saying that Yahweh was talking to his (the king’s) master. As Christians we believe this is very prophetic. That David is having a vision of Jesus and his coming kingdom. (Who else could be the king’s master?)
  • There are so many other prophetic levels here – like verse 4. But for our kids, a good discussion about verse one could be an opportunity to discuss how little details in the Bible tell us so much.
  • If you want to go a little deeper you can show that Jesus is presented as the king (verses 1-3), eternal priest (verse 4) and victorious warrior (verses 5-7) and that this also teaches us that God and Jesus rule the earth together and are seated together.

 

Saturday August 1st, Psalm 111

Today’s Takeaways:

  • God is to be praised for his works.
  • To fear God is a good beginning. Fear is not something to get away from. Fear here doesn’t mean afraid. It means obedience to God’s will.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • How can you show obedience to God?

 

Sunday August 2nd, Psalm 112

Today’s Takeaways:

  • Both yesterday’s and today’s psalm are acrostic. That means each of the 22 lines starts with one letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
  • Psalm 112 also begins with the same sentiment that psalm 111 ended “blessed is the man who fears the Lord”.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • We often hear the word righteous (not just in this psalm, in the Bible in general). Do you know what it means? Who is the only one who is really righteous?  
  • Verses 5-8 tell us how a Christ follower should conduct themselves and behave when problems arise or something bad happens. How is that?

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