Answering God: “The Lord Gives Life”

Passage: Psalm 19
Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

Sermon Summary

Part of “learning Christ” as his disciple involves learning how to answer God in prayer, on the basis of how he’s revealed himself. In Psalm 19, David looks out into God’s creation, then down into Scripture, and finally into himself before answering God. First, David discerns that God has spoken to us through creation. Creation testifies that this world is a gift of abundance and fullness given to us by God and meant to lead us into a life of praise and adoration. David also discerns that God has spoken to us through his Word, which communicates his standards, his counsel, and his wisdom, and is meant to liberate us into the life of fullness and flourishing he’s designed us for.

With such abundant revelation from God, it would seem that David would have all he needs to know God and follow him into flourishing! Nonetheless, when David looks inside of himself, he recognizes his own inability to apply the revelation he’s received, and his need therefore, not only for revelation, but for rescue. Recognizing this, he answers God in prayer, pleading with God to keep him from all manner of sin, and entrusting himself to his gracious God, who is his “rock and redeemer.” David’s trust is well founded: God is not a God who shouts down revelation from afar, but a God who ultimately enters the world he created as the “Word who took on flesh” to rescue us at infinite cost to himself—the most convincing “revelation” we could ever hope for of the Lord’s desire to give us life and flourishing.

Sermon Outline

  • God’s Creation Declares His Glory (vs. 1-6)
  • God’s Word Liberates Our Lives (vs. 7-11)
  • God’s Revelation Leads to Self-Examination (vs. 12-14)

Group Discussion & Personal Reflection Guide

Re-read the passage (Psalm 19)

God’s Creation Declares His Glory (vs. 1-6)

Q) In verses 1-6, David basks in the way God’s creation is constantly communicating his nature to us. What specific words in these verses describe this act of communication, and what is being communicated about God?

Q) Pastor Bobby said the created world is a gift from God to us, which communicates his abundance and fullness, and is meant to lead us into praise and adoration. Have you ever experienced a time when being in God’s creation led you into praise and adoration of God? Where were you? What did you realize about God at that time?

Q) Pastor Bobby said that life is full of “gifts” to us from a generous God (food, drink, weather, play, relationships, etc). How often do you view your life this way? What gets in the way of our recognizing God’s abundant gifts?

God’s Word Liberates Our Lives (vs. 7-11)

Q) Re-read verses 7-11. In these verses, David lists all of the benefits of living by God’s Word— described here as his “law,” “testimony,” “precepts,” “commandment,” and “rules.” What are some of the benefits listed? Which one is the most attractive to you?

Q) In verses 10-11, David says that God’s rules are “more to be desired than gold,” that they are “sweeter than honey,” and that keeping them brings a “great reward.” Do you normally feel this way about God’s “rules” for your life? Is it your instinct to view God’s “rules” as “desirable,” “sweet,” and “rewarding,” or restrictive and burdensome? Why?

God’s Revelation Leads to Self-Examination (vs. 12-14)

Q) Re-read verses 12-13. In these verses, David turns to self-examination, before answering God in prayer. What does David want God to do for him? What do these verses tell us about how David thinks of himself?

Q) In verse 14, David entrusts himself to the Lord, his “rock and redeemer,” praying that the Lord will somehow find his words, and even his thoughts (“meditations”) acceptable. What truths about God are meant to be communicated by the titles “rock” and “redeemer”?

Q) Pastor Bobby reminded us that we can trust that our God is a generous redeemer, a God who chose not to simply “shout down advice” from heaven but enter our world to save us. Read John 1:1-2, and John 1:14. How is Jesus God’s ultimate communication to us? What does Jesus show us about God’s nature and his desires for us?

Additional Application Questions

Q) How else would you like to engage with God this week?

Q) How can you tangibly care for those in your community this week, both inside and outside of the church?

Prayer

Spend time praying for yourselves, our church community, the North Shore community, and our nation and world—particularly those most vulnerable.

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