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Psalm 124 1
1 If the Lord had not been on our side—let Israel say—2 if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, 3 they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us; 4 the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, 5 the raging waters would have swept us away. 6 Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. 7 We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. 8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

OneForAllBackground

We believe that David wrote this psalm after he and his people were delivered from some very threatening danger. It was likely to have involved them all in ruin. Whether by foreign invasion, or internal insurrection, is not certain but whatever it was he seems to have had a great affect upon David and a very desirous to affect others, with respect to the generosity of God, in making a way for them to escape. David is careful to give all the glory to God and takes none for himself as conquerors usually do.

  • David magnifies the greatness of the danger they were in, and of the certain ruin they that they were at the brink of (v. 1-5).
  • David gives God the glory for their escape (v. 6, 7 compared with v. 1, 2).
  • David takes encouragement in trusting God (v. 8).

In singing this psalm, besides applying it to any particular event or calamity meant for us that we were delivered from, we can have parallel thoughts of the work of our redemption by Jesus Christ, by which we were rescued from the powers of darkness.

Biblical Truth 2

“Eaten us alive” is like a picture that means “destroyed us”. The waters, deep river and angry waters are all like pictures of the enemy. David felt that Israel was in a *trap. But God made them free! Their enemies wanted to destroy Israel but God did not let them do it. It is a word-picture. Another word-picture is the river in verses 2 – 5. If God had not sent help, the river would have drowned Israel. The enemy was not a river. But the river was like a picture of what the enemy could do. Same purpose of the analogy of a snare meant to capture a bird.

Items for Discussion

  • How is this Psalm similar to a sporting event like a national championship and how is it different?
  • What are the things that interfere with our daily recognition of what God does for us?
  • Do you think people today recognize when they are saved from great calamities? Why or why not?
  • We truly live in a world that loves to take credit for being great, doing great things – rewarding winners – What criteria should we be using when handing out our rewards?
  • This Psalm is an example of being saved from a national calamity – How is it that we assure our children never take their own credit for the victories and blessings that come our way but give credit where credit is due?

 

Mark 9:38-50
38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” 39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. 42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [44] [a] 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. [46] [b] 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’[c] 49 Everyone will be salted with fire. 50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

44 [a] Mark 9:44 – Some manuscripts include here the words of verse 48.
45 [b] Mark 9:46 – Some manuscripts include here the words of verse 48.
Mark 9:48 – Is quoted from Isaiah 66:24

Background

The Book of Mark is the earliest and shortest Gospel. Like the other Gospels, it tells us about the things that Jesus did. And it tells us some things that he taught. Mark belonged to a family who lived in Jerusalem. Mark became a Christian and he joined the church there. Then he travelled to tell people about Jesus, working with both Paul and Peter. Mark wrote his Gospel so that people across the world who never met Jesus would learn about God’s good news.

Biblical Truth 3

Many remain ignorant because they are ashamed to inquire. While Jesus teaches so plainly the things which belong to His love and grace, men are so blinded that they do not understand what He is saying. We will be held accountable for our disagreements and disputes, especially those about being greater than others. Those who are most humble and self-denying, most resemble Christ, and shall be most tenderly owned by Christ. This Jesus taught them by a sign; whoever shall receive one like this child, receives me. Many have been like the disciples, ready to silence men who have success in preaching to sinners to repent in Christ’s name. They do this because they are not the ones who the flock follows, sort of a completion for souls. Christ blamed the apostles, reminding them that he who renders miracles in His name would not be likely to hurt His cause. If sinners are brought to repent, to believe in the Saviour, and to live sober, righteous, and godly lives, we then see that the Lord works though the preacher.

It is repeatedly said of the wicked, their eternity is where the worm does not die and the fire is never quenched. Surely it is beyond compare and better to undergo all possible pain, hardship, and self-denial here, and to be happy for ever hereafter, than to enjoy all kinds of worldly pleasure for a season, and to be miserable for ever. Like the sacrifices, we must be salted with salt; our corrupt affections must be subdued and mortified by the Holy Spirit. Those that have the salt of grace, must show they have a living principle of grace in their hearts, which works out corrupt dispositions in the soul that would offend God, or our own consciences.

Items for Discussion

  • So looking at our current events today, who are those we see that may have a humility problem?
  • How are humility and your ability to learn new things intertwined?
  • We are told that all will be held accountable for our disagreements and disputes. Why would God view disagreements so negatively?
  • God is not calling us to agree with everyone but He is calling us to peacefully settle disagreements. How do you do that in a world that thrives on divisive behavior?

Discussion Challenge

  • How does our Church promote the skills to live like we are being called to live, humble, with living grace in our hearts and fully trusting in our God?
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