Psalm 35

  1. The psalm falls into three division, each ending with a promise to give God thanks.
    Discover these sections, and given to each an appropriate heading, summarizing its contents.
  2. David gives a vivid picture of the vigour, subtlety and malice of his persecutors, and reacts against them with equal vigour. What is the main cry of his heart, and on what grounds does he plead?
    In what respects is he an example to us?

Notes

  1. Verses 4-6. Concerning this and similar prayers in the psalms, see NBD, p. 984.
  2. Verses 11 and 12. Malicious insinuations were made against David, which had never even entered his mind. Cf. 1 Sam. 24:9, 17.
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Psalm 34

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.

  1. 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?
  2. Make a numbered list (avoiding repetition) of the blessings God gives to his people, as stated in this psalm

Psalm 33

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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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

Psalm 32

  1. According to this psalm what are the indispensable conditions for enjoying the forgiveness of God?
    Cf. Prov. 28:13.
  2. What great blessings does the forgiven soul receive, filling the heart with joy?
    What conditions of their continued enjoyment are laid down?
    Are you fulfilling these conditions?

Psalm 31

  1. 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?
  2. 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.

Psalm 30

  1. From what danger had God delivered David?
    What indications are there that the danger had been very great?
    What was David’s state of mind:
    (a) before the danger,
    (b) during its presence, and
    (c) after he was delivered from it?

 

  1. In regard to his experience, to what conclusions does David come about:
    (a) the salutary effects of the affliction, and
    (b) the purpose for which he had been delivered?
    What can he now do that he could not do in the same way before?
    2Cor. 1:8-11.

Romans 16

  1. What can we learn about phoebe from her name and the place where she lived (see Note 1), from the description of her as ‘sister’ and ‘deaconess of the church’, and from the service that she rendered?
    What did Paul ask for her from the Christians at Rome, and on what grounds?
  2. Looking down the list of names, note the references to:
    (a) diligent service;
    (b) sufferings borne for Christ; and
    (c) Christian character. Cf. 2 Cor. 5:9, 10.
  3. How often do you find the phrase ‘in the Lord’ or ‘in Christ Jesus’ or ‘in Christ’?
    Notice also the different connections in which it is used.
    What significance do you attach to the phrase?
  4. (a) How can perverters of the gospel be recognized?
    Cf. 1 Tim. 6:3; Matt. 7:15-20.
    (b) How can we be safeguarded from them?
    Cf. 2 John 10; 2 Tim. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 5:22.
    (c) What encouragement have we in the conflict?
  5. How is God described? How does the present age differ from all that went before?
    What is the one all- important end to be achieved?
    Cf. 1:5. What is the method to be adopted?

Notes

  1. Verse 1. The name phoebe, being that of a goddess, suggests that Phoebe had a heathen background.
    But now she is a sister in Lord, one of the household of faith.
    Cenchrea, the easter port of Corinth, was not an easy place in which to live as a Christian.
  2. Verse 7. ‘My relatives’: this probably means ‘fellow countrymen’, fellow prisoners’; they may at the time have been imprisoned with Paul because of the gospel.
  3. Verse 13. Rufus, possibly the same as in Mark 15:21.
  4. Verses 25, 26. The mystery spoken of is fully expounded in the epistle to the Ephesians. Cf. e.g., Eph. 3:3-6.