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Psalm 9:9-20 1
9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. 11 Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. 12 For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted. 13 O LORD, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may declare your praises in the gates of the Daughter of Zion and there rejoice in your salvation. 15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. 16 The LORD is known by his justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. 17 The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God. 18 But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish. 19 Arise, O LORD, let not man triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. 20S trike them with terror, O LORD; let the nations know they are but men.

clip_image119Background 2

David probably wrote Psalms 9 and 10 as one psalm. The Jews thought that he wrote it after he killed Goliath. The first part says that God beat the foreign enemy (Psalm 9). The second part says that wicked men in Israel are making the helpless into oppressed people. (Psalm 10) The reasons for thinking that it was one psalm are:

  • Psalm 10 has no words at the top about David or music. This is not usual in a psalm by David.
  • Hebrew words that David did not often use are in Psalms 9 and 10.
  • Psalms 9 and 10 make one acrostic.

Acrostic psalms use the Hebrew alphabet. The first bit starts with the first letter. The second bit starts with the second letter. This happens until the alphabet finishes. Look at Psalm 9 on the next page and you will understand. We have used English letters. These are not the same as Hebrew ones. After a time some of the letters became lost or mixed up! Also, the Jews decided to make them into 2 psalms. Some Christians have put them back together as one psalm, for example, some Roman Catholics.

It is difficult to write an acrostic psalm. The words sometimes go in a strange order. This makes them hard to understand. It may give you help if you change the order of the words. In verse 3 you could say “My enemies went back” instead of “Back my enemies went”. It means the same.

Biblical Truths 3

Psalm 9: 7 – 10: God is always ruling the world. Sometimes it is hard to believe this, but it is true. Sometimes we must wait a long time for his righteous judgments. Righteous here means this: the judgments of God are the best judgments. While we wait for his judgments, what can we do? Psalm 9:9-10 tells us! We can:

  • Look for the LORD: if we do this, the LORD will find us!
  • Trust in the LORD: if we do this the LORD will give us help
  • hide in the LORD: if we do this, the LORD will make us safe

Psalm 9: 11 – 14: When God finds us, gives us help and makes us safe, that is not the end. We must:

  • always give praises to the LORD: on our own, and in Church
  • tell people about God: our family, our friends, those we work with

Many people will not like this! As they made life difficult for David, so they will for us. So we must pray, ‘Have mercy on me, LORD’. These are the words that some Churches still pray in Greek: KYRIE ELEISON. God’s mercy is when he is loving and kind to us, and not angry.

Psalm 9: 15 – 20: In Psalm 9:6 we read, ‘You killed them’. In Psalm 9:15-16 we read how God does this. Often, people kill themselves, or each other! The plan that they made to kill their enemies kills them. They go to Sheol. The Jews thought that Sheol was a dark place. It was under the ground. The psalm finishes by telling us 2 things:

  • God will remember the oppressed, even if they have to wait a long time
  • God will teach men and women that they are only human, it is only God that is really powerful

Items for Discussion

  • What can we learn about our God from David’s description of his Lord?
  • From what you can remember about European histories, who were the “lords?” How did subjects behave?
  • Why would this Psalm, if David really wrote this right after killing Goliath, have significance to the Israelites?
  • Read Verse 16 – What are some modern day examples of this in action?
  • What cautions should government (our leaders) take from this Psalm?

Mark 4:3-41
3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.” 9 Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” 13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” 21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” 26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” 30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” 33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. 35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Background 4

The Gospel of Mark (literally “the good news according to Mark”) is the second of the four canonical gospels in the New Testament but is believed by most modern scholars to be the first gospel written, on which the other two synoptic gospels, Matthew and Luke, were partially based. It was written anonymously but has been traditionally ascribed to Mark the Evangelist (also known as John Mark), a cousin of Barnabas. However, there are pieces of evidence that may confirm that the author of the Gospel of Mark was a disciple of Peter. The gospel narrates the life of Jesus of Nazareth from his baptism by John the Baptist to the resurrection, but it concentrates particularly on the last week of his life (chapters 11-16, the trip to Jerusalem). Its swift narrative portrays Jesus as a heroic man of action, an exorcist, a healer and miracle worker. It calls him the Son of Man, the Son of God, and the Christ (the Greek translation of Messiah).

Two important themes of Mark are the Messianic secret and the obtuseness of the disciples. In Mark, Jesus often commands secrecy regarding aspects of his identity and certain actions. Jesus uses parables to explain his message and fulfill prophecy (4:10-12). At times, the disciples have trouble understanding the parables, but Jesus explains what they mean, in secret (4:13-20, 4:33-34). They also fail to understand the implication of the miracles that he performs before them.

Biblical Truths

The parables of Jesus, found in the synoptic gospels, embody much of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus’ parables are quite simple, memorable stories, often with humble imagery, each with a single message. Jesus, for example, likened the Kingdom of God to leaven (an image usually meant as corruption) or a mustard seed. Like his aphorisms, Jesus’ parables were often surprising and paradoxical. The parable of the good Samaritan, for example, turned expectations on their head with the despised Samaritan proving to be the wounded man’s neighbor. The parables were simple and memorable enough to survive in an oral tradition before being written down years after Jesus’ death.

 

No.
Parable.
 Matthew
 Mark
Luke
 1  Lamp Under a Basket  5:14-16  4:21,22  8:16,17 – 11:33-36
2  A Wise Man Builds on Rock and a Fool on Sand  7:24-27  6:47-49
3  New Cloth on and Old Garment  9:16  2:21  5:36
4  New Wine in Old Wineskins  9:17 2:22 5:37,38
5  The Sower  13:3-23 4:2-20 8:4-15
6 The Tares (weeds)  13:24-30
7 The Mustard Seed  13:31,32 4:30-32 13:18,19
8 The Leaven  13:33 13:20,21
9 The Hidden Treasure  13:44
10 The Pearl of Great Price  13:45,46
11 The Dragnet  13:47-50
12 The Householder  13:52
13 The Lost Sheep  18:12-14 15:3-7
14 The Unforgiving Servant  18:23-35
15 The Workers in the Vineyard  20:1-16
16 The Two Sons 21:28-32
17 The Wicked Tenants  21:33-45 12:1-12 20:9-19
18 The Wedding Feast  22:2-14 14:16-24
19 The Fig Tree 24:32-44 13:28-32 21:29-33
20 The Ten Virgins  25:1-13
21 The Talents  25:14-30
22 The Growing Seed  4:26-29
23 The Watchful Porter 13:33-37
24 The Creditor and Two Debtors  7:41-43
25 The Good Samaritan  10:30-37
26 A Friend in Need  11:5-13
27 The Rich Fool  12:16-21
28 The Faithful and Wise Servant  12:35-40
29 Faithful and Wicked Steward  24:45-51 12″42-48
30 The Barren Fig Tree 13:6-9
31 The Lower Seat 14″7-11
32 Building a Tower and Making War  14:25-35
33 The Lost Coin 15:8-10
34 The Lost Son 15″11-32
35 The Shrewd Manager  16:1-13
36 The Rich Man and Lazarus 16:19-31
37 Unprofitable Servants 17:7-10
38 The Persistent Widow 18:1-8
39 The Pharisee and the Tax Collector  18:9-14
40 The Minas (Pounds) 19:11-27

Items for Discussion

  • What are parables?
  • Why would Jesus have chosen to teach using parables that so many, including the disciples struggled to understand?
  • Which are your favorites?
  • Why are parables so effective?
  • How do we use them today to teach others?

Discussion Challenge

  • Christ was the ultimate teacher – How can families and churches use His model of teaching to teach other life skills to those around us?
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