people praising God September 21 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Psalms 107, 111, 112, 117, 146, 147

Praise and God’s Unfailing Love

A favorite portion of the Bible is the Psalms. Most people identify with the Psalms because the writers write about themes common to everyday life like pain and suffering, disillusionment, betrayal, deep remorse, trust, obedience, joy and blessings. The Psalms are Hebrew songs. Some rehearse the LORD’s blessings on the righteous and His curses on the wicked, and others are highly emotional and touch us deeply. While the Psalmists write of many struggles, many songs offer hope for the future.

While theological scholars are not exactly sure when the Psalms in today’s Bible reading were written, they certainly seem to fit in the context of the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. Ezra records struggles with neighboring nations after the Jews return to their own land and rebuild the temple. When it was completed there must have been songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. Nearly 150 years later, King Artaxerxes allowed Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. Again, there was a lot of trouble with the neighbors. It had been a tough time for Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem, but finally the walls were complete. Again, it was a time of celebration and memories.

The Jewish returnees remembered when times were not so good. Psalm 107 seems to suggest that some exiles wandered in wasteland, and others were in prison, sitting in darkness and gloom. Some exiles nearly died because of their foolishness, and others served as slaves on ships and nearly perished. Now the repentant exiles gather from various places to Jerusalem. Through all the troubles God saved them from, the refrain of the song is, “Let them [the redeemed, the people of Israel] give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men” (vss.8, 15, 21, 31, NIV). The Psalmist ends with the exhortation: “Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD” (Psalm 107, NIV). Most of us are not Israelites but we, too, have been redeemed. What has God saved us from? Let us consider the great love of the LORD and give Him praise.

In Psalm 111 the writer praises God for providing food for the Israelites in exile, for remembering His covenant to them, and for returning their land that was once occupied by foreigners.

Psalm 112 recounts the blessings of those who fear God’s name—one of them being his triumph over his foes (vs.8). The enemies of Israel “were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work [of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls] had been done with the help of [their] God” (Nehemiah 6:16, NIV).

Psalm 146 and 147 are praise songs which are similar to the theme of Psalm 107, God’s unfailing love. The songwriter says, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—the LORD, who remains faithful forever” (Psalm 146:5-6, NIV). No matter what troubles the believer faces, God is forever faithful.

Do we count on the help of man or do we trust in the LORD? “The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (Psalm 147:11, NIV). Because Israel put their hope in the LORD, He delivered them from bondage and exile. He can do many things for us, too, if we will put our hope and trust in His unfailing love.

Lessons to Live By

  • When we read the Psalms, we find comfort, help, and courage to persevere. We also find much cause for rejoicing in the LORD as we trust in His unfailing love. Do we know Him? He can give us forgiveness, peace, spiritual life and help (more...)
  • Has God delivered us from our troubles or given us victory? Let's remember to praise Him and publicly declare what He has done for us.

Focus Verse

Psalm 147:1 (NIV) “Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!”

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A Look Ahead: Our next Bible study continues the rejoicing of the Israelites. They sang these songs going up to the temple to worship. Please join us for Songs to Sing on the Way to Church.

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