Please join us for Bible study this Tuesday, the 23rd, at the church!
Here is the outline:
Bible Study – Oct. 23, 2018
Praise the Lord!
We don’t know who wrote it or when. Psalm 146 begins series of five final songs in the Book of Psalms, and the five are known as the Hallelujah Psalms. “In the earlier psalms, we have studied the writers’ griefs, shames, sins, doubts, and fears. We have witnessed the people of God in their defeats and victories, their ups and downs in life. We have encountered rebellious words and struggling faith. All this is behind us now. In these final psalms every word is praise.”
Hallelujah is a compound word made up of two Hebrew words: hallel (an imperative verb meaning ‘praise’) and jah (a contraction of the name for God, Jehovah). So hallelujah means ‘Praise the Lord (or Jehovah).
In our world, praise has been difficult recently. News from our country and across the world is filled with religious wars, murder, slaughter of innocents, and massive refugee migrations. It is hard to “praise God with my whole self.” Yet, in most of the history of ancient Israel, their situation was similar. Here is the first lesson of this psalm. Praise of God is sometimes an act of discipline. Under the circumstances of war and destruction, praise is not the result of external happiness, but steadfast belief in the face of evidence to the contrary. Indeed praise is defiance of worldly powers. It shouts that despite the situation around me, God is always in control and worthy of praise. The ancients knew that life-long praise can change the world by transforming and empowering individuals. Praise can change our outlook. Praise provides power when we feel powerless.
We have trouble praising because we think man is in control and doing a terrible job. The solution is to remember that it is God who is all powerful and will determine the final outcome. That being said we must still remember that the Bible shows us that God works through men – people just like you and me. We need to keep our focus on Him, be aware of what He is doing, and have our ears open should He call on us!
Let’s read our psalm:
1 Praise the Lord.[a] Praise the Lord, my soul.
2 I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free,
8 The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.
1: The liturgical calendar is divided into seasons – what season are we in now?
2: What is the liturgical color for this season and what is the focus of this season?
3: Our psalm is all about praise. Can you relate this to the focus of our current season?
4: What is praise?
5: How do we praise God?
The theme of our stewardship season this year is music. How does music relate to stewardship?
6: Why should we praise God?
7: What does praise do?
8: This psalm contains beatitude! Can you find it? What does it tell us?
9: Can you summarize what this psalm tells us – what does it mean to you?
When was the last time you purposefully praised God? God longs to bless you through regular times of worship, both individually and with other believers. Will you commit to praise God in both good times and bad?