For the remainder of the summer months, we’ll be featuring a “Songs of the Summer” series by utilizing some of the D-Life material from the psalms. This series will include selections that aren’t already being covered in this summer’s D-Life groups. For those not already involved in the D-Life groups, this series will give you a taste of what the groups discuss each week. Please note that we’ll be launching new groups in September, so that will be a great time to get involved.
For this week’s lesson, we will be discussing Psalm 97:1-12. One suggested use for this material would be to break up the discussion questions into three days (and read the Bible study passage each time before discussing those questions).
What does it mean when we say, “Our God reigns?” If God is in control of everything, why is there so much evil and suffering in the world today?
In this Psalm, the writer acknowledges God’s universal rule over all the earth and anticipates His future judgment on the unrighteous. Why should all the earth from coast to coast rejoice in the fact that the Lord reigns (v. 1)?
Why do you think the writer describes the Lord as being surrounded by “clouds and thick darkness” (v. 2a)? Read Exo. 19:16-18. What do the clouds and darkness bring to remembrance for God’s people?
What did the writer say was the “foundation of God’s throne” (v. 2b)? Why is this significant? According to the writer, what will eventually happen to God’s adversaries all around the world (v. 3)?
In what ways do the “heavens declare His righteousness” (v. 6)? Read Rom. 1:18-20. Since all peoples see His glory, why are the unrighteous without excuse? What will become of those who worship images and worthless idols (v. 7)? Why must God’s people rejoice in His judgment (v. 8-9)?
As a command to obey, what are those “who love the Lord” instructed to do (v. 10a)? Do you feel that most believers today practice this command? Why or why not? Why is hating evil a barometer for a person’s love for God? In what ways is hating evil reflected in your life?
When believers truly hate evil, why are they often persecuted by the world? What does God promise to do for “the lives of His saints” that hate evil (v. 10b)? How can we hate evil and yet show love for sinners at the same time?
God judges the unrighteous, but what does He give to the righteous and upright in heart (v. 11)? What one truth in this psalm causes you to rejoice?
This week’s material is taken from Pastor Bill Wilks’ D-Life Study Guides (Old Testament 2, Week 23: Study of the Psalms).
Suggested Songs for Worship:
“O Worship the King” by Robert Grant & Johann M. Haydn
“Your Great Name We Praise” by Walter C. Smith & Bob Kauflin
“Your Great Name” by Krissy Nordhoff & Michael Neale