Category Archives: Bible Study – Psalms

How can we dwell with God? (Psalm 15 Bible study)

To live with God is something that most people in the world are fixated upon (whether their god is the right one or not).  We are all created to worship something bigger than ourselves, and were were made by the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible to live with Him, and He with us.  So how is that possible?  Is it simply a matter of just believing in Jesus Christ: what else are we meant to do?  Here is my Psalm 15 Bible Study about this topic

God bless, Pastor Haydn.

 

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Getting past distress and doubt in thankful prayer (Psalm 77)

No life goes smoothly, not even for God’s children; in many ways, their woes seem to get bigger once they do follow God because Satan, the enemy, is on their case.  But no matter how deep we get into distress and doubt, we can bring it to God in prayer and get out of it by remembering God’s kindnesses towards us, both cosmic (e.g. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection) and the smaller, everyday ones (e.g. living in affluence and having access to clean drinking water).  Here is my Bible study on a passage on this – Psalm 77 Bible Study

God bless, Pastor Haydn.

 

I asked the Lord that I might grow

In faith and love and every grace,

Might more of His salvation know

And more earnestly seek His face.

‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,

And He, I trust, has answered prayer;

But it has been in such a way

As almost drove me to despair.

I thought that in some favoured hour

At once He’d answer my request

And by His love’s constraining power,

Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of that, He made me feel

The hidden evils of my heart,

And bade the angry powers of hell

Assault my soul in every part.

Nay more, with His own hand He seemed

Intent to aggravate my woe.

Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,

Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

“Lord, why is this?”, I trembling cried.

“Wilt Thou pursue this worm to death?”

“This is the way”, the Lord replied,

“I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ

From self and sin to set thee free,

And cross thy schemes of earthly joy

That thou might’st find all thy in Me”.

–  pp. 23-24 of Spiritual Maturity by Oswald Sanders (Moody Publishers: Chicago), 1994.

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Jesus Christ & our fear of abandonment (Psalm 22 Bible study)

Abandonment is one thing that human beings are absolutely terrified of, and that’s because we are made in God’s image, and therefore designed for relationship with Him and one another.  It can occur when a parent leaves home, a death happens, or a divorce.  It can result in work-a-holism, obsessive behaviour, addiction, fearful attachment, and anger.  God understands that, and Jesus does too.

Jesus Christ experienced abandonment on the cross when God the Father put all His wrath for sin on Jesus.  Why?  Because every man, woman, and child has rebelled against God – and therefore deserves His anger for that disobedience.  That consequence is Hell, where people are abandoned by God forever.  Yet Jesus experienced abandonment on the cross 2,000 years ago so that those who trust in Him will not experience Hell, but have friendship with God forever.  It also means that when Christians experience sorrow, betrayal, and abandonment, that Jesus Christ completely sympathises.  Here is a Bible study that I went through with my church today on this subject, based on Psalm 22 and Matthew 27-28: Psalm 22 Bible Study

God bless, Pastor Haydn.

Anger, Reflection, Calm, and Peaceful Sleep (Psalm 4 Bible Study)

Anger is a secondary emotion – it usually comes from a deep sense of hurt and injustice.  It’s a cry of unresolved pain that seeks justice and comfort.  Yet if we ignore it, suppress it, and try to shove it away it still stays there before it oozes out in ways that harm others in aggression.  Aggression doesn’t need to be ‘hot’ and violent – it can manifest in passive ways such as brooding silence.

But is anger a sin?  Surprisingly, the Bible doesn’t say that.  Our world insists that it is, especially in the West, and tells people to hide it all away and just ‘try to be nice’, but Psalm 4 won’t let us get away with that.  Because we are made in the image of God (who Himself has emotions, such as grief, anger, love, and joy), we have emotions too.  So what are we to do with our anger?  Here, I have written a Bible study on Psalm 4 which explored all this.  When we have safe ways to get out anger, we can be calm, sleep well, experience God’s presence, and go on to love others.  Here is the Bible study: Psalm 4 Bible Study.

God bless, Pastor Haydn.  

Should Christians pray for divine vengeance? (Psalm 109 Bible study)

Many people today, even Christians, may think that asking God for divine vengeance upon enemies is an ‘unloving thing’ to do.  They reason that because God wants “everyone” to be saved and no one to perish that therefore divine punishment is a horrible idea on the basis of texts like Ezekiel 18:32 and John 3:16.  And since Jesus commanded His followers to love enemies and not seek retaliation, how is it even possible for Christians to plea for God to punish His enemies and those who harm His children?  So how exactly does a love for mercy sit alongside the understandable demand for divine justice (which we see in places like Revelation 6:10 and 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10)? In Psalm 109, King David asks for such a thing, and many find it a hard prayer to digest and even to pray; even the famous CS Lewis had difficulty with it.   It seems to me that we in the West struggle with this because Christians here have not (yet) had to stand for their faith to the point of bloodshed.  Nonetheless this prayer is in the Bible for a purpose and it has much to say about the role of anger and how we can take it to God so that He can settle all scores.

Here I have written a Bible study on this Psalm.  I have also translated the passage and provided notes.  I have also written in some suggested prayers on how to bring anger to God, and some practical advice on how to process anger with Him.  May it bless, encourage, and instruct you: Psalm 109 Bible Study.

God bless, Pastor Haydn.