In this study, God seems to draw us repeatedly to the theme that He does not save us FROM trials but rather saves us IN trials both in the sense of saving us in the trial itself and saving us by means of the trial as we explore Psalm 91. We discuss much of the imagery — fowlers, pinions, eagles, bucklers — as well as possible ties to the Exodus. We take a brief look at the role of angels and our need to not only be protected from evil but to be given the strength to battle against evil. We look at what it means to cleave to God in love but we keep returning to the theme that, to love Him as He loves us, we must learn love through experience, not just knowledge and that experience is often given to us as the way to salvation by means of trials.
In tonight's study, we look at a canticle of praise comprised of several verses in Revelation 4 and 5 used as the last of the psalms in the Evening Office for the Solemnity of All Saints. We also examine the verses in between to gain context. This leads us primarily to a discussion of how great Jesus is, how He is the bridge between the Creator and creation, the Mediator, the Way, how He Himself is the Gospel, and why we would burst into such praise of Him. We explore some of the Old Testament images and themes used by John in Revelation. We digress a bit about how our prayers and lives can be a pleasing aroma to God as well as on the Millennium and possible answers to the question of over whom the Saints reign in the Kingdom. We then stopped the cameras and prayed the Evening Office together.
We begin our study of this of this historically messianic psalm with thoughts on the love of the Father for the Son. We explore Christian and Jewish understandings of the "adoni", the lord to whom the LORD speaks. We explain some of the cultural allusions in the psalm and spend quite some time on Melchizedek, the priesthood of Jesus, and the references to Psalm 110 in the Letter to the Hebrews. We conclude examining the shift in perspective at the end of the Psalm and the somewhat enigmatic conclusion.
This study explores Psalm 63 including its possible context of Absalom's rebellion against David. We considered how we can still see God's power and glory in His sanctuary today. We dwelt upon what it means to value God's love even more than life itself. We spoke of spiritual delights and intimacy with God and challenged ourselves to see how close we are to Him gauged against this psalm.
In this study, we begin by setting the context of Psalm 15 as David bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Zion. To do so, we spend time exploring the history of the Ark and its journey including the abuse of religion while the Ark is in Shiloh, the capture and return of the Ark, and the disturbing incident of Uzzah being killed for steadying the Ark during transport. This leads to a discussion on conscience. We then expound the psalm itself including the issues of "despising the reprobate" and not lending money at interest.
Tonight's study begins with Psalm 4 as a possible response of David to Absalom's rebellion. We branched into how we can and must find joy in our afflictions, digressed into one reason for intercessory prayer including prayer to Saints, and concluded with a discussion of complete trust in and surrender to the will of God.
We then continued on to Psalm 134 by first introducing the Songs of Ascents. We referenced the round the clock praise of God in the temple and its extension into our need and desire as a community to provide for those who today offer their lives in constant prayer and praise. With finished by dwelling on the deep intimacy we can have with God.
We then turned off the cameras and prayed Night Prayer of the vigil of All Saints which uses Pss 4 and 134 as the psalmody.
We expound Psalm 30 in the first half of tonight's study including its liturgical history, the story of David and the census and the altar in Jerusalem, the influence of Satan and the demons in our lives, and the experience of feeling abandoned by God.
We explore Psalm 32 in the second half. We discuss the importance of love covering a multitude of sins, the connection between sincerity and forgiveness, and the dangers of ignoring God.
We begin tonight's study with a discussion of the Ordinary, Proper, and Common regarding Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours as well as a discussion of Solemnities, Feasts, Memorials, and Optional Memorials. We proceed to explore the Benedictus, the Canticle of Zechariah as part of the Ordinary of the Liturgy of the Hours including its historical setting, powerful Old Testament references, and images of light, darkness, and peace.
The second half proceeds to Psalm 57 which we will use when we pray the Morning Office from Thursday week I. We show the possible connection to David's early flight from Saul and the treachery of Doeg and David's trust in God's deliverance. We touch upon the constant spiritual threat to our lives.
We finish our exploration of Psalm 18 by examining how some of the colorful images of conquest are more than images but reflect events from David's life. We reflect on God's humility and how He makes us "sound" as He is "sound". We saw how David perceived the living God by observing God's actions in his life and how we do the same. We also mused on how Christians understand verses about vengeance upon the wicked.
We covered about half of Psalm 18 tonight with an emphasis on understanding specific events in David's life that shape the images in this Psalm along with references to the Exodus. We read about Cherubim, examine David's musings on how God treats us according to how we are and perceive God, and conclude by discussing the role of humility in exaltation.
In the short first half of tonight's study, we address the question, "do we have to suffer to learn to love God?"
In the second half, we begin our introduction to the book of Psalms including structure, origin, editing, challenges in translation, and, very importantly, what does it mean when we say the Bible is the Word of God.
We continue through the Letter of James discussing overcoming sin at its root and the progression from sinfulness to sin to death contrasting the path to death with the path to life. We digress a bit onto the subject of first fruits and conclude with an exploration of the literal meaning of our rebirth.
In this study, we examine the scriptural basis for Purgatory and explore perspectives on sin and forgiveness.
We suggest you begin here:
Foundations of Bible Study