Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Psalm 25:1-10 1
1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; 2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. 4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD. 8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. 10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.

clip_image075Background

This psalm is full of devout affection to God, the out-goings of holy desires towards his favor and grace and the lively actions of faith in his promises. We may learn out of it,
I. What it is to pray, ver. 1, 15.

II. What we must pray for, the pardon of sin (ver. 6, 7, 18), direction in the way of duty (ver. 4, 5), the favor of God (ver. 16), deliverance out of our troubles (ver. 17, 18), preservation from our enemies (ver. 20, 21), and the salvation of the church of God, ver. 22.

III. What we may plead in prayer, our confidence in God (ver. 2, 3, 5, 20, 21), our distress and the malice of our enemies (ver. 17, 19), our sincerity, ver. 21.

IV. What precious promises we have to encourage us in prayer, of guidance and instruction (ver. 8, 9, 12), the benefit of the covenant (ver. 10), and the pleasure of communion with God, ver. 13, 14. It is easy to apply the several passages of this psalm to ourselves in the singing of it; for we have often troubles, and always sins, to complain of at the throne of grace.

Biblical Truths

This psalm is in acrostic form (A poem or series of lines in which certain letters, usually the first in each line, form a name, motto, or message when read in sequence), except for the last verse (an indication that this verse was added): each verse (in Hebrew) begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The last verse is spoken on behalf of a group (probably a congregation) while the rest of the psalm is in the first person. Perhaps the last verse was added to adapt the psalm to liturgical use.

The acrostic form gives the psalm an artificial pattern, making it challenging to find a logical structure. The psalm, however, does contain most of the elements of a lament:

A cry for help (vv. 1-3)

The psalmist’s situation in life (vv. 18-19)

His profession of present innocence in spite of sins in the past (v. 21, see also vv. 7, 11, 18)

His expression of trust (vv. 8-15)

A prayer for vindication (vv. 16-20).

Items for Discussion

  • We have been given numerous psalms filled with wisdom. What do you personally learn from them?
  • This psalm emphasizes four themes: Can you find them?
    • teaching,
    • knowing God’s ways,
    • keeping the covenant, and
    • prosperity through holding in God in awe
  • Take each theme and discuss why it is important to today’s Christian?

 

Acts 3:11-26
11 While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. 17 “Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’ 24 “Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

Background

The traditional title of this book is, in some respects, a misnomer: it primarily deals with the “acts” of Peter (Chapters 1-12) and Paul (Chapters 13-28). It really should be called “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus had indicated that the next phase of God’s program would be “The Comforter’s.” Certainly He, the Holy Spirit, is the principal mover behind the scenes in the Book of Acts.

Biblical Truths

In Acts 3 as he did in Acts 2, Peter preached another sermon to a Jewish audience at the Jerusalem temple. A miracle attracted this Jewish audience. These people listened in the place where God choose to let His name dwell [see Deuteronomy 12:11; 1 Kings 9:3]. They understood they were God’s chosen people. Their ancestors received the Law that governed their physical existence and the messages of God’s prophets. They came to this place to pray. Peter spoke to a highly religious audience who came to pray to the living God in a place He confirmed His name dwelled.

You can’t keep a good thing quiet. From a small incident involving three people – Peter, John and the healed man quickly became the center of a large and astonished crowd. After all, this did take place in a very public place – Solomon’s colonnade, a roofed cloister running the length of the outer Eastern wall of the temple, where Jesus had also taught. People came running to see what had happened and Peter seeing the crowd, took the opportunity.
Here again we see such a change in this man. Peter, no longer blustering and out of his depth as – for example at the transfiguration of Jesus, no longer a puzzled onlooker at some miracle of Jesus but involved in a miracle himself. The Holy Spirit has brought him maturity of understanding and the ability to help others make the connection with Jesus for themselves.

Items for Discussion

  • What was the core of this lesson?
  • What responsibility did he emphasize?
  • What must occur if Peter’s audience were to receive God’s gracious spiritual blessings?
  • Both audiences were composed of highly religious people. Both groups were in Jerusalem to worship. Both groups recognized (a) they were God’s chosen people and (b) God’s presence was continuously in the temple at Jerusalem [remember this is the same God to Whom you pray!]. In your understanding, why would Peter stress repentance to these audiences?
  • Does this emphasis affect you personally?
  • Living with Christ at the heart’s center: What did this mean in practice for Peter and for us?
  • What is the most important thing you now try to tell others about Christ?

Discussion Challenge

  • What day-to-day opportunities do we have to share the good news of Jesus with others?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
Share