Lesson 6 delves into various biblical texts, particularly Psalms 18, 76, and 144. These Psalms depict God as a mighty warrior and judge ready to save His people from threats. The Psalms emphasize the severity and urgency of God’s response to the cries and sufferings of His people.
The role of King David is highlighted as a successful warrior and gifted musician who praises God as the sole deliverer and sustainer of His people. Despite being engaged in war, David does not rely on his own abilities but acknowledges that God is the true deliverer. The Psalms underscore that worship and prayer are more powerful than human means and that God alone is the source of strength.
Furthermore, the Psalms emphasize God’s care for the oppressed and His commitment to justice. They call for advocacy for the poor, needy, and oppressed. Trusting in human means and leaders is portrayed as futile, and believers are encouraged to place their hope in God.
The Psalms also reflect the prophetic anticipation of God’s impending judgment on the unrighteous and the certainty of redemption through the divine judge, especially in connection with Jesus Christ. Finally, it is stressed that God is not only a judge but also a merciful deliverer who identifies with the poor and punishes those who do wrong.
Comfort and Hope: Psalms as Companions in Daily Life
The lesson “I Will Arise” from Psalms holds various connections to our everyday lives and faith:
Trust in Times of Challenge: The Psalms show that even amid wars and difficulties, trusting in God is crucial. In our daily lives, this encourages us to rely on God’s help in challenging times and strengthen our faith.
Dependency on God’s Power: King David emphasizes that his victories are not based on his own abilities but that God is the true deliverer. In everyday life, this reminds us that our abilities are limited, and we rely on God’s power.
Caring for the Oppressed: The Psalms call for advocating for the poor, needy, and oppressed. In daily life, these calls remind us to actively promote justice and compassion, especially towards the weakest in our society.
Hope and Praise as Sources of Strength: The Psalms show that praise and prayer are powerful sources of strength. In everyday life, these practices encourage us to find hope in the midst of challenges and uncertainties and deepen our connection with God.
Avoidance of Trusting in Human Means: The Psalms warn against trusting solely in human leaders and means. In our everyday lives, this reminds us that our ultimate trust should be placed in God, not in transient human solutions.
Awareness of God’s Justice and Love for the Poor: The Psalms emphasize God’s justice and His special care for the disadvantaged. In daily life, these teachings encourage us to advocate for justice and manifest God’s love through our actions toward the needy.
Overall, the Psalms in the lesson “I Will Arise” provide practical guidance for a deeper spiritual life and active participation in the service of justice and love in our everyday lives.
1.Because the painful realization of evil in the world can lead one to question whether God truly reigns: How can we develop an unshakable faith that withstands temptation? That is, what must we focus on to preserve our faith in God’s love, goodness, and power? What should the cross tell us about God and His nature?
Developing an unshakable faith that endures even in the midst of the painful awareness of evil requires a conscious alignment with specific fundamental principles and convictions. Here are some key aspects to focus on in order to maintain faith in God’s love, goodness, and power:
God’s love and goodness: Reflect on biblical promises and testimonies of God’s love and goodness.
The Cross as the center of faith: Recognize the cross as the central symbol of Christian faith, representing God’s unconditional love through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
God’s sovereign rule: Trust that God is sovereign over all, even over evil, and His plan surpasses human understanding.
Faith community: Surround yourself with a supportive faith community to share experiences and find strength.
Prayer and spiritual practices: Maintain regular prayer and spiritual practices for a deeper connection with God.
Cultivate gratitude: Foster a grateful attitude, focusing on positive aspects of life and acknowledging blessings.
God’s Word as an anchor: Ground your faith firmly in God’s Word, finding strength and comfort in verses about God’s love, goodness, and power.
2. Why is it important not to rely on human means (leadership figures, institutions, or social movements) as the ultimate wisdom and solution for justice in the world but solely on God’s Word and judgment?
It is crucial not to rely exclusively on human means, leadership figures, institutions, or social movements as the ultimate wisdom and solution for justice but solely on God’s Word and judgment, for several reasons:
Limited wisdom of human leadership: Human leaders and institutions have limited wisdom and understanding.
Changeability of human authority: Human leaders and structures are subject to change, while God’s Word is constant and unchanging.
Influence of sin and corruption: Human leaders and institutions may be influenced by sin and corruption, whereas God’s Word is pure and free from error.
God’s perspective and wisdom: God’s wisdom surpasses human understanding, providing a divine perspective beyond human limitations.
Moral foundation: God’s Word serves as an unshakable moral foundation, offering clear guidance in times of uncertainty.
Trust in God’s sovereignty: Relying on God’s Word acknowledges dependence on His sovereignty, even when human solutions seem unclear.
Eternal perspective: God’s Word reminds us of our ultimate home in eternity, framing justice within a larger context.
Overall, dependence on God’s Word and judgment highlights the need to look beyond human limitations and temporal boundaries, ensuring that true justice and wisdom are found in God.
3. What practical implications does the truth that the sanctuary is the place of divine judgment have?
The truth that the sanctuary is the place of divine judgment has several practical implications for the spiritual life and behavior of believers:
Awareness of holiness and sin: Understanding the sanctuary as the place of divine judgment promotes awareness of holiness and sin in believers’ lives.
Repentance and confession: Recognition of God’s judgment in the sanctuary leads to a deeper understanding of the need for repentance and confession of sins.
Emphasis on redemption: The sanctuary underscores the significance of redemption through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Believers recognize the forgiveness available through Christ’s sacrifice.
Commitment to justice: Believers, aware of God’s judgment, are motivated to pursue justice in accordance with God’s commandments.
Confidence in divine justice: The belief in the sanctuary as the place of divine judgment instills confidence that God, as the ultimate Judge, will address all injustices.
Holiness and spiritual growth: The sanctuary’s focus on God’s judgment encourages believers to pursue holiness and experience spiritual growth.
Anticipation of Christ’s return: The sanctuary emphasizes the anticipation of Jesus Christ’s return, a source of hope and encouragement for believers.
In summary, the truth about the sanctuary as the place of divine judgment influences believers’ attitudes and behaviors, fostering a deep respect for God’s holiness and justice.
4. How can we understand the harsh language of some Psalms? How does this language help us empathize with the humanity of those who wrote them?
The harsh language in some Psalms, especially those that call for revenge and retaliation, can be challenging to understand at first glance, particularly when compared to the principle of loving one’s enemies (as in Matthew 5:44). It is essential to comprehend these Psalms in context and consider their linguistic nuances. Here are some perspectives that can help:
Expression of profound suffering: Psalms were often composed during times of extreme distress, reflecting the deep pain and desperation of the authors fighting for survival.
Prophetic proclamation: Some Psalms have a prophetic dimension, foretelling divine judgment on evildoers. They serve as predictions of God’s actions rather than personal calls for revenge.
Trust in divine justice: The harsh language often expresses confidence in divine justice, entrusting revenge to God as the righteous Judge.
Honest communication with God: Psalms represent honest dialogue between the worshiper and God, allowing for the open and sincere expression of emotions, including anger and pain.
Solidarity with the oppressed: The harsh language may also demonstrate solidarity with the oppressed, advocating for justice for the suffering.
Acknowledgment of human weakness: The harsh language reminds us that Psalmists were human, with weaknesses and emotions. It reflects the human experience in all its highs and lows.
Understanding these contexts helps believers empathize with the human experiences of the Psalmists, viewing the Psalms not only as prayers but also as expressions of human spirituality in various life situations.