This is a psalm that shines with new light when we know the probable circumstances of the time when it was composed. See the psalm heading and 1 Sam. 21:10 – 22:2. Perhaps it was sung in the cave of Adullam for the instruction of David’s followers.
- Who are those who may expect the Lord’s blessings?
Note the various ways in which these people are described.
Are we ourselves entitled to claim blessings on the same ground?
- Make a numbered list (avoiding repetition) of the blessings God gives to his people, as stated in this psalm
This psalm begins where Ps. 32 left off. The Hebrew word translated ‘rejoice’ in verse 1 is the same as that translated ‘shout for joy’ in Ps. 32:11.
- The call to praise (verses 1-3) is followed by reasons for praise (verses 4-19).
What are these, and do they help you to join in praising God?
- What reasons are given as to why the nation whose God is the Lord is blessed above other nations?
What is the psalmist’ response to this (verses 20-22)?
Note. Verse 3. ‘A new song’: the song of the redeemed. Cf. Ps. 40:3. ‘Play skillfully’: Good advice for all who aspire to lead the praises of God’s people
- What would you pick out as the most bitter ingredients in David’s cup of sorrow (verses 9-18) ?
What would you do if you were in a similar situation?
What did David do?
- In the rest of the psalm what witness does David bear to God both in his prayer and praise?
What message does he bring to fellow – believers everywhere?
Note. Verse 5a Cf. Luke 23:46 as evidence that this psalm was in our Lord’s mind on the cross.