Rejoicing in Restoration
Adult 1 Sunday School Class Psalm 34:1-10; Heb 2:17-18 May 27, 2018
Theme: People want relief from their fears and brokenness. Where does such hope come from ? Hopes for restoration are found through God’s gift of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice.
Understanding and Interpreting the Scripture (responses are in bold print)
Please explain the meaning or significance of the following verses:
* Psalm 34: 1,2,3, “A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed, I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” David is credited with writing this Psalm which expresses his praise for God and what He has done for him. He wants to marshal all Israelite’s to know God as he does and worship him individually or corporately (together). The impetus for David’s actions are God saving him from King Saul who was hunting to kill him when he ran into the Philistine King Abimelech, who was an enemy of Israel. (Read I Samuel 21:10-15) David was between a rock and a hard place. Because of David’s prayers and his faith, he was delivered from this near fatal predicament. In this poem (Psalm 34), which is an acrostic prayer, he gave glory to God individually, and through this Psalm. His testimony encouraged others to join him in corporate prayer.
*v. 4,5,6, “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. 6. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” We seek the Lord when we are in fear of something or someone, knowing that God has the power to deliver us. When the Lord looked upon a believer, they were lightened (reduced burden), and they were not ashamed regardless of whose fault it was. The “poor” does not necessarily mean financially deprived. It could mean someone who is humble, afflicted, humiliated, or helpless in society because they have been oppressed by the stronger elements in their environment. All that call upon Him in belief and faith, their burdens will be lightened, not necessarily removed. For we can not understand the ways of God, but through Jesus Christ we move closer to Him.
*v.7 and 8. “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 8. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” “The angel of the Lord (translated messenger of Jehovah) encampeth”, sounds like a military position which the Lord takes to surround those who fear him. It is suggested that the angel is the incarnation of God Himself, or the preincarnation of Jesus Christ. “blessed is the man that trusteth in Him”, means that God is a refuge for those who seek Him.
*.v 9 and 10. “O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. 10.The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.” 9. “Fear the Lord”, shows a reverence for Him from all of His saints (believers). “…for there is no want to them that fear him.” means that those who obey Him will have all that they need. 10. Lions go hungry for lack of food, but those who obey the Lord will not lack for any good thing.
*v.11, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12. What man is he that desireth life that he may see good?” These verses are called “wisdom literature” from which wisdom instruction is given, and similar to verses found in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. 11. Come my young ones and listen to me, and I will teach you to have reverence for the Lord. 12. The Psalmist asks, “Would you like to enjoy life? Do you want long life and happiness? (THE FOLLOWING TWO VERSES ARE NOT APART OF THIS LESSON, BUT ANSWERS THE PREVIOUS 2 QUESTIONS) 13. “Then keep from spreading evil and from telling lies.” 14. “Turn away from evil and do good; strive for peace with all your heart.”
Hebrews 2:17, 18, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” Christ came to reconcile man to God through propitiation. The duality of Christ is that he was human with the characteristics of man, but without sin; while at the same time He was still God incarnate with His power and majesty. He was their faithful and merciful High Priest in His service to God, so that people’s sins would be forgiven. Christ died on the Cross and by the shedding of His blood took the sins of the world upon Himself though He was without sin (imputed). The act by which an atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ reconciles His people back to God in a way that pleases Him is propitiation.