1. What had the “fathers” in Israel told the current generation (at the time the forty-fourth Psalm was written)?
“(1) We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old. (2) How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out. (3) For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them” (Psalms 4:1-3).
2. Did the Psalmist express faith in God’s ability for deliverance?
Yes: “(4) Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. (5) Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. (6) For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. (7) But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. (8) In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah” (Psalms 4:4-8).
3. While they knew what God was capable of doing for Israel, what was the “but”?
“(9) But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies. (10) Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves. (11) Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen. (12) Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price. (13) Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. (14) Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people” (Psalms 4:9-14).
God only turns His back on His people when they’ve sinned (Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and Joshua 7:12).
4. Is the Psalmist confused at all by God’s relationship with Israel at this time?
Yes: “(15) My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me, (16) For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger” (Psalms 44:15-16).
5. Has God’s position against Israel pushed them from Him from what the Psalmist says?
No: “(17) All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. (18) Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way; (19) Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death” (Psalms 44:17-19).
6. Did the Psalmist feel that Israel could hide anything from God?
No: “(20) If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; (21) Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart” (Psalms 44:20-21).
7. With what request does the forty-fourth Psalm close with?
“(22) Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. (23) Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. (24) Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? (25) For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. (26) Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake” (Psalms 44:22-26).
8. What was the heart of the Psalmist inditing [gushing; overflowing] with?
“My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer” (Psalms 45:1).
Our hearts should have a lot of overflowing goodness (Luke 6:45).
9. Does this Psalm portray the king of that time favorably?
Yes: “(1) My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. (2) Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. (3) Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. (4) And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. (5) Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee” (Psalms 45:1-5).
10. Based on Hebrews 1:8-9, who is being discussed in Psalms 45:6-7?
Jesus! See also: Isaiah 9:6-7 and II Peter 1:11.
11. How do you know the person discussed in Psalms 45:6-7 is not the same person in the verses that follow?
“(8) All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.” This does not apply to Jesus (Matthew 8:20). Jesus’ body was only given herbs, etc. when He was buried (Luke 19:39-40).
“(9) Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.” Jesus did not have any daughters of kings nor a wife as a queen. His work was to serve His Father’s will and die, not to be married and have women surrounding Him (Mark 10:45).
“(10) Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; (11) So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” Jesus had no wife for these passages to apply to! Some of the Apostles and even brothers of the Lord had wives (I Corinthians 9:4), but not the Lord!
“(12) And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. (13) The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. (14) She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. (15) With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace.” Now you’d have Jesus having multiple women!
“(16) Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.” Now you have Jesus having children if you say this context continues to talk about Him. You have the Father, Son, Sons of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Now there is the king of the kingdom and princes too. Remember, also a queen. True Bible students know this is not so. It does fit David, Solomon, etc.
12. Will the king that is predominantly mentioned in Psalms forty-five be forgotten?
No: “(17) I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever” (Psalms 45:17).
This too certainly applies beyond Christ (I Kings 2:45).
13. What is the main point of the forty-sixth Psalm?
That God is there for His people in times of trouble. He is to be trusted as a refuge: “(1) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (2) Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; (3) Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. (4) There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. (5) God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. (6) The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. (7) The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. (8) Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. (9) He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. (10) Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (11) The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah” (Psalms 46:1-11).
14. What does God’s people have as a reason to clap their hands and sing praises to God?
“(1) O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. (2) For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. (3) He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. (4) He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah. (5) God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. (6) Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. (7) For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. (8) God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. (9) The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted” (Psalms 47:1-9).
15. Was praise supposed to be extended to God from His city?
Yes: “(1) Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. (2) Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. (3) God is known in her palaces for a refuge” (Psalms 48:1-3; cf. Isaiah 27:13).
16. Would the knowledge of God and His praises in His city and palaces cause fear for kings?
Yes: “(4) For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. (5) They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. (6) Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail” (Psalms 48:4-6).
17. Is there any evidence in our context that God is able to use natural events as weapons?
Yes: “Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind” (Psalms 48:7).
18. Did the actions of God become known in His city?
Yes: “As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah” (Psalms 48:8).
19. Were the children of Israel focusing on God’s character while they were in His temple?
Yes: “We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple” (Psalms 48:9).
20. What did the Psalmist proclaim about God’s “right hand”?
“According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness” (Psalms 48:10).
“The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works” (Psalms 145:17).
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalms 16:11).
“(13) Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. (14) Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face” (Psalms 89:13-14).
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
21. Did the Psalmist show interest in God showing His works in Zion?
Yes: “(11) Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments. (12) Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. (13) Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following” (Psalms 48:11-13).
22. How long did the Psalmist desire God to guide Israel?
“For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death” (Psalms 48:14).