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Psalm 91:1-6 1
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

clip_image101Background

This Psalm is without a title, and we have no means of ascertaining either the name of its writer, or the date of its composition, with certainly. It may be another Psalm of Moses. Many expressions used here are similar to those of Moses in Deuteronomy, and some evidence, from the peculiar idioms, would point towards him as the composer. However, we should never guess or speculate. This Psalm, like so many, could have also been written by David’s pen. What we do know is that Psalm 91 talks about the strength, security, protection, joy, etc. that comes from God. Verses one and two tells us that whoever dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Biblical Truths

Psalm 91 is a prayer of someone who has taken refuge in the security of the temple. The psalmist is confident that God’s presence will protect the people in every dangerous situation. The shelter of the Most High is basically a “hiding place” but in the psalms a designation to seek protection (see Psalm 27:5; 31:21; 61:5). The shadow of the Almighty means literally, “the shadow of the wings of the Almighty” (Psalm 17:8; 36:8; 57:2; 63:8). These verses make clear that the shadow is an image of the safety afforded by the outstretched wings of the cherubim in the holy of holies.

Items for Discussion

  • How many different names are given to God in verses 1-2 and how do they differ in your mind?
  • Why is the metaphor of God as a fortress so effective in describing our God’s Protection?
  • What is God promising and not promising in these verses?
  • What is the bottom line to these verses?

 

I Timothy 6:11-16
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

Background

It is suggested that this letter was written by Paul late in his career because he gives special attention to correct doctrine and church organization. The authorship, however, is not without its controversies. Jesus’ second coming recedes into the background compared to references in Paul’s earlier letters. The letter is not addressed to congregations but to those who shepherd congregations. This letter is probably written from Macedonia between the end of Paul’s first Roman imprisonment and his execution under Nero (A.D. 63-67).

Biblical Truths

The letter instructs Timothy on his duty to restrain false and useless teaching and proposes principles pertaining to his relationship with the older members of the community and with the presbyters. It gives rules for aid to widows and their selection for charitable ministrations and also deals with liturgical celebrations, selections for the offices of elder and deacon, relation of slaves with their masters, and obligations of the wealthier members of the community. This letter also reminds Timothy of the prophetic character of his office and encourages him in his exercise of it. The central passage of the letter expresses the principal motive that should guide the conduct of Timothy–preservation of the purity of the church’s doctrine against false teaching.

Items for Discussion

  • How does Paul start off in verse 11? What advice is he giving?
  • Would you consider this advice only for those who seek the leadership of the Church or for a church’s entire congregation?
  • What do you notice about the metaphor used in conjunction with faith, “fight the good fight of the faith?”
  • What are the cold facts of verse 16?

Discussion Challenge

  • Why is faith in God and Christ so difficult?
Additional Study Notes

Items for Discussion from Psalm 91

  • How many different names are given to God in verses 1-2 and how do they differ in your mind?
    • Most High — God’s strength and sovereignty.
    • Almighty — protector of all.
    • Lord — meaning sacred, holy.
    • God — the first true God — Thee God.
  • Why is the metaphor of God as a fortress so effective in describing our God’s Protection?
    • A fortress is a stronghold of a permanent nature. So placing our trust in God is placing our trust in something that is permanent. Verses three through eight go on to tell us more about His protecting nature and loving care for those that place their trust in Him.
  • What is God promising and not promising in these verses?
    • These verses tell us that God will deliver us from anything that tries to come against us. Anything that Satan tries to throw against us, God has already made an escape route. God has already covered it; He has already given us the protection, the security, the safety, the healing and the strength. God has covered it all, and we need only place our trust in Him and He will deliver it to us for He is our God and in Him, we can trust.
    • He has not promised us that Satan will not try and that bad things will come at us.
  • What is the bottom line to these verses?
    • If we have truly place our trust in the comfort of God than we should be able to rest secure at all times in all dangers, and in all circumstances knowing that, we are resting in the shadow, the shelter of the Almighty God. God will send ministering spirits, angels to keep a watch over us and to keep us fully in His protection. He says that no evil shall befall us, nor shall any plague come near our dwelling. Why, because we have made the Lord our refuge our habitation. We have decided to dwell in Him.

Items for Discussion from 1 Timothy

  • How does Paul start off in verse 11? What advice is he giving?
    • Read several prior verses to get the gist of the topic.
    • Calls Timothy a man of God
    • Tells him to run from the things/temptations of the world
    • Paul gives him the secret to success: Flee yes but pursue righteousness also.
  • Would you consider this advice only for those who seek the leadership of the Church or for a church’s entire congregation?
    • For every Christian, there must be a conflict with corruption, and temptations, and the powers of darkness.
    • Eternal life is the crown proposed for our encouragement.
    • To the rich must especially be pointed out their dangers and duties, as to the proper use of wealth.
  • What do you notice about the metaphor used in conjunction with faith, “fight the good fight of the faith?”
    • It is a fight.
    • Faith does not necessarily bring a peace into one’s life.
  • What are the cold facts of verse 16?
    • Immortality is possessed, and achieved only through Christ. He dwells in unapproachable light which no man, or person in the flesh can see.

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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