THE FAITHFUL PRESENCE OF GOD:
In Psalm 138, David praised God with wholehearted devotion. Another characteristic that seems to leap off the page is boldness. David’s courage to worship the one true God in the face of all those who were in powerful opposition to Him exhibited a total dependence on God. David committed himself to the unfailing love and faithful presence of God.
1. Read Psalm 138. According to verse 1, how did David show contempt for all other objects of worship? (Note: In this context these “gods” were probably idols or perhaps pagan kings who worshiped these “gods.”)
2. Read 1 Chr. 16:25, Psa. 86:8, and Psa. 145:3. What has David recorded about God that makes praise for anyone else or any thing inappropriate?
3. What was David indicating when he praised God with “all his heart”? Read 1 Kings 11:4 for help with your answer. (Note: “Heart” in this context refers to the inner man, mind, and will.)
4. According to Acts 13:22, how did God view David? Why? (Note: It is a comfort to note that when David did sin, because he confessed his sin, it was forgiven and not counted against him. [Psa. 32:1])
5. Like Solomon in 1 Kings 11:4, we can experience a heart that is “turned” toward the “gods” of this culture, either people or things. What are “gods” that misdirect our focus and time in our world today?
6. Are your times of praise and worship a reflection of a fully devoted heart? If not, what is hindering your devotion?
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
7. Reread Psa. 138:2. What character qualities of God (Yahweh) was David praising? (Note: When God’s “name” is mentioned in scripture it represents all He is: His attributes, character qualities, and all that He does–His whole being.)
8. How did God display these two characteristics on David’s behalf? What did David ask God for when he prayed?
9. What does God consider to be of superior value? Read Psa. 8:9 and Psa. 9:10 and note what is revealed about God’s “name.”
10. Read Psa. 18:30 and Psa. 33:4. What is revealed about God’s “Word?”
11. According to Psa. 138:4-5, what influence did David expect God’s Word to have over all the nations, their “gods” and kings? What will their song proclaim?
12. Read Psa. 68:32, Psa. 86:9, and Psa. 96:7. List the different groups that will praise and honor God.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. Psa. 96:3
13. At this point in his life, a humble David was face to face (verse 1), with “gods” of prideful, powerful enemies, yet he boldly praised the one true God. According to Psa. 138:6-8, how does David reveal his full confidence in the Lord’s presence? What is true for the proud?
14. What is David certain that God will do in times of trouble?
15. According to verse 8, of what is David confident? Read Isa. 64:8, Rom. 8:28 and Phil. 1:6 for help with your answer.
16. Review Psalm 138. List each characteristic of wholehearted devotion to God. Note the reference.
17. Reread verse 8. Write a prayer expressing your confidence in God’s unfailing love and faithful presence in your life.
I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills [his purpose] for me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; …God sends his love and his faithfulness. Psa. 57:2-3
© Copyright 2005 Bonnie Lisech (Permission granted to copy for nonprofit use.) Scriptures are taken from the NIV unless noted. [email protected]
With special thanks to Jan Harris for editorial perspective and to Barb Snyder for editorial detail.
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