Preparing for Sunday - Psalms, Part 2
- Last week we considered the book of Psalms as a whole. This week we will focus on how the Psalms affects our faith in God.
- Look through several headings of several psalms in each of the five sections of the book. List some of the musical terms that you see referred to (i.e.., "to the choirmaster," "maskil," "mahalat," etc.). While it is difficult (if not impossible) to know what these refer to specifically, what do they indicate about the importance of music and how these psalms were to be played?
- Read through the following psalms: 7, 35, 58, 69, 85, 109, 137. What does the psalmist say about his enemies? Why does this not contradict the gospel of Jesus in the New Testament? Or does it? If you think so, explain.
- Read through the following psalms: 2, 8, 22, 69, 110. These are often referred to as Messianic psalms; those that speak of the coming of the Messiah. What characteristics do you learn about the Messiah? What indicators are there in each passage that this refers to the future Messiah and not someone else?
- If the book of Psalms is an ancient Hebrew compilation of songs sung for the worship of God, how do the songs we often sing in church compare? What is similar in content, character, detail, theology, language and vocabulary used, repetiveness? From reading through the psalms, how concerned were the ancient Jews about what they sang? How they sang? Why they sang?
- When would it be right to pray similarly to the psalmist in the imprecatory psalms? What is ultimate in the heart of the psalmist when he prays for his enemies with such violent intent? How should these psalms inform our own confidence in God?
- What about the Messiah is to be worshiped as a result of reading the Messianic psalms? What do you learn about him? How does the psalmist respond to him and what does that suggest about our own responses to him?
- List a number of ways the psalms could and should affect our faith in God. What tends to hinder these effects? What would stimulate them?
- How could this book affect your approach to worshipping with God's people this week?
- How should you view and respond to the events of your week in light of what you have read in this book? Are there specific sins to confess? Praises to express? Thanksgivings to make?
- The psalms are a book of prayers and songs. As you consider what we will be singing this week, what will we be singing about God? Can you find some of these themes in the book of psalms? How will you sing them with the church this week?
- Pray for those who will be leading our gathering this week: Joel Conrad, music; Adam Naler, Elders' prayer and Scripture reading; Bret Capranica, teaching.
- Review and meditate on the lyrics of the songs we will sing this week. Listen to each of them so that you know them well enough to sing with understanding and zeal.
Songs for Sunday
Morning Gathering - July 12, 2015