An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 104 - Seeking God Early Through God Hearing Prayer (Psalms 63-66)
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1. How diligent was the Psalmist in seeking after God?
Very much so:
“(1) O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (2) To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary” (Psalms 63:1-2).

-Consider this:
“(1) As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (2) My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God” (Psalms 42:1-2)?

-We must seek God early to find Him:
“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me” (Proverbs 8:17).

-Why does it matter? Notice:
“(6) Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

2. According to the Psalmist, what is better than life?
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee” (Psalms 63:3).

-See also:
“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalms 84:10).

3. Is the Psalmist content living his life thinking about and rejoicing in the Lord?
Yes:
“(4) Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. (5) My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: (6) When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. (7) Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. (8) My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me” (Psalms 63:4-8).

4. Was the Psalmist convinced that his enemies would fail to destroy him?
Yes:
“(9) But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. (10) They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. (11) But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped” (Psalms 63:9-11).

5. Who did the Psalmist look to for deliverance from his fear of his enemies?
“(1) Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy” (Psalms 64:1).

6. Did the enemies of the Psalmist come after him openly?
No, they worked secretly and behind the scenes:
“(2) Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: (3) Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: (4) That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. (5) They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? (6) They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep” (Psalms 64:2-6).

7. Was the Psalmist confident that God would do something concerning his enemies that would encourage the righteous?
Yes:
“(7) But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. (8) So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away. (9) And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. (10) The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory” (Psalms 64:7-10).

8. What waits for God in Sion?
Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed” (Psalms 65:1).

9. The Psalmist talked of God hearing prayers (Psalms 65:2). Using other Scriptures, please show who God hears the prayers of?
- The righteous are heard while sinners are not: (
Proverbs 15:8, Proverbs 15:29, Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 1:10-18, Isaiah 59:1-3, John 9:31, and I Peter 3:12).

See also question 20!

10. What did the Psalmist say that God would purge away?
-
“Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away” (Psalms 65:3).

- God does not just take away sins without our changing (
I John 1:9).

- Remember, the only sins that God will purge are those repented of (
Ezekiel 14:6, Ezekiel 18:30, Luke 13:3; 5, II Timothy 2:19, and II Peter 3:9).

11. What man did the Psalmist call blessed?
The man that God chooses:
Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple” (Psalms 65:4).

12. Does God perform terrible [frightening] things in His answers to His people?
Yes:
“By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea” (Psalms 65:5; cf. Deuteronomy 10:20-22).

13. Did the Psalmist attribute the “wonders of nature” to God?
Yes:
“(6) Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: (7) Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people. (8) They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. (9) Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. (10) Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof. (11) Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. (12) They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. (13) The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing” (Psalms 65:6-13).

- “Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17).
-
“For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God” (Hebrews 6:7).

14. What kind of noise does the Psalmist teach is to be made to God?
“(1) Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: (2) Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious” (Psalms 66:1-2; cf. Psalms 81:1, Psalms 95:1-2, Psalms 98:4, and Psalms 100:1).


    15. Should songs of praise remind folks of God’s mighty works?
    Yes:
    “(3) Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. (4) All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah. (5) Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men. (6) He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him. (7) He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah. (8) O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: (9) Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved. (10) For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. (11) Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. (12) Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place” (Psalms 66:3-12).

    16. Is one expected to keep their vows unto God even if they make them in times of trouble?
    Yes:
    “(13) I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, (14) Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble” (Psalms 66:13-14).

    - You must keep you vows to God (
    Judges 11:29-31; 35, Psalms 50:14-15, and Ecclesiastes 5:4-6).
    - You better think before you speak (
    Proverbs 21:23 and Ecclesiastes 5:2).

    17. The Psalmist offered burnt offerings to God (Psalms 66:15). Why don’t we do that today?
    Because Jesus is the offering made for us now (
    Hebrews 10:1-22).

    18. Did the Psalmist want to share with others what God has done for his soul?
    Yes:
    “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul” (Psalms 66:16).

    19. Did the Psalmist extol [lift up; praise] God with his tongue?
    Yes:
    “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul” (Psalms 66:17).

    20. What had to be missing from the heart of the Psalmist for the Lord to hear him?
    Iniquity:
    “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18).

    See also question 9.

    21. Did God hear the Psalmist when he prayed (at this time)?
    Yes:
    “(19) But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. (20) Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me” (Psalms 66:19-20).