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Psalms 115-116

Talks for Growing Christians

Contrasting Lifeless Idols and our Lord; Love and Worship of our God

Psalms 115-116

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Lesson Number 83

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Senseless idols are no match for the loving Lord.
  2. Worship should be a way of life for the believer.

Practical Application

  1. Pray while the sun shines.
  2. Don’t worry about your death!

Questions

  1. When do we presume Psalms 115 and 116 were written?
  2. When might the Lord Jesus have sung these psalms?
  3. Explain the point of Psalm 115:1-2.
  4. Tell two ways in which Psalm 116 is prophetic.
  5. How does verse 15 fit into Psalm 116?

Answers

  1. Although neither of these psalms has titles, from the content we deduce that both are post-exilic, meaning they were written after the Jews returned from their Babylonian captivity.
  2. These psalms were traditionally sung after the Passover meal, so the Lord and His disciples may have sung them after the institution of the Lord’s Supper (see Matthew 26:30).
  3. The pagan nations could no longer ridicule Israel about their silent God who had let them go into captivity. God had spoken in power and brought them back home to Jerusalem. The glory was all the Lord’s.
  4. It is prophetic of what the godly remnant of restored Israel will sing in the future when they are delivered through the Tribulation Period to live and reign with Christ in His earthly millennial kingdom. It is also prophetic in its Messianic implication, as the Lord is seen speaking in joy and gladness after His resurrection.
  5. This verse may seem out of place at first, since in the rest of the psalm the psalmist is thanking the Lord for deliverance from death. The point, however, is that because the death of a believer is significant and not by chance, if the Lord does deliver you from death He has a good reason to want you to keep on living and serving Him.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Few people in our culture today literally worship idols. But we certainly put our trust in things beside the living Lord. Discuss some of the things people trust in rather than God, and evaluate these things with Psalm 115:4-8.
  2. Although this life is often painful and hard, in reality it is so brief. Psalm 116 encourages us to praise the Lord while we are present on this earth. How can you be more mindful of the brevity of this life?

Challenge

  1. Many Christians say they are not afraid to die, but they may be worried about how they will die. Don’t worry about your death! The death of a saint is precious and significant to the Lord.

Key Verses

  • “The dead do not praise the LORD, nor any who go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD From this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!” Psalm 115:17-18
  • “Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD In the land of the living.” Psalm 116:7-9

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