September 6, 2020
God’s Life-Giving InstructiON
Unit 1: The Ten Commandments
Connect to My Experience
· Looking back on your life, what progression do you see in your understanding of God?
· How did you initially perceive God? How do you perceive God now?
· Do you have a regular practice that helps you examine where you’ve been and where God is leading now?
Connect to the Word
Read Psalm 19:1-6.
The psalmist begins by speaking a word about God’s general revelation. This is where God’s revelation begins.
· In what ways have you come to know God, or God’s character, in the manner the psalmist describes?
· Can you share a story in which you encountered God in creation? Possibly a time when you were in nature and felt God’s presence in a special way?
· In what ways does creation “pour forth speech”?
· Why is it not surprising that creation points to the Creator?
Mesopotamia worshiped the sun as the god “Shamshu/Shamash,” and Egypt as the god “Re.”
· The psalmist says, “In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.” How would this have been received by those who thought of the sun as a deity? What message is the psalmist sending?
· What does it tell us about God that He created the sun’s warmth to encompass everything and, by extension, everyone?
· How would you summarize the message, or messages, of verses 1-6?
Read Psalm 19:7-11.
The psalm’s topic shifts significantly in these set of verses. Moving from general revelation, the psalmist now considers the law of God and its character.
· What might have caused the writer to move from a general sense of God’s revelation to a more personal connection?
· What words or phrases stand out to you from these verses? Why?
The psalmist, using synonyms for the law, describes it as being perfect, refreshing, trustworthy, radiant, pure, and righteous.
· How does this description correct our modern take of the law of God? How have we possibly misunderstood the purpose of God’s laws?
· In what ways are God’s laws perfect? Refreshing? Trustworthy? Right? Joyful? Radiant? Firm? Righteous? More precious than gold and sweeter than honey? Warnings? Rewarding?
Read Psalm 19:12-14.
The psalm begins with an outward focus by paying attention to God’s work in all of creation.
· In light of verse 12, what is the danger in humanity determining their own errors?
· In what ways does God help us avoid willful sin and/or its power over us?
· In light of verses 1-13, how would you interpret the words of the psalmist in verse 14?
Connect to My Life and the World
God alone has the right to give us laws/boundaries/guidelines/commands on how to live in right relationship with Him and others.
· In light of this, how should we view God’s laws?
· How do God’s laws express His love for us?
The psalmist thought it important to be careful about his speech and thought, that it might be pleasing to God.
· Why is it important for the “meditation of our hearts” to be pleasing to God? In what ways does the “meditation of our hearts” affect the way we live our lives outwardly?
· How might our speech be different if we considered that people are looking at us and making deductions about God from how we speak? How can the psalmist’s prayer be a guide for us?
Make it a practice to pray this each morning:
May these words of our mouths and this meditation of our hearts be pleasing in your sight, Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.