The Lord Hears and Delivers

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(Psalms 17, 123, 139 & 1 Corinthians 10)
Lesson Number: 


Lesson 4

The Lord Hears and Delivers

(Psalms 17, 123, 139 & 1 Corinthians 10)

Copr. 2024, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: Two stories frame our study this week. The one involved a church member who was certain that God would heal her of cancer. At some point she was shocked to realize that she was going to die. I could see the great disappointment in her eyes. It has been decades, but I still recall her reaction before she died. The other story comes from a famous preacher. I heard him say that he prays for a good parking space - and he gets a good space. Why would one faithful lady die while another is rewarded with good parking - a trifling matter? Let’s plunge into our study of Psalms and learn more!

  1. He Sees and Hears
    1. Read Psalms 139:1-5. Do you think this close connection is only because King David is such an important person?
      1. Does God help important people with parking spots and the little people die of cancer?
    2. Read Psalms 139:6. What foundational point is David making that answers the questions I have been asking? (David is writing about God’s extraordinary powers. God knows everything about him. God knows what David is thinking and what he is about to say. Grasping this knowledge of an all-powerful God is “high.” Like David we have trouble reaching up to understand it!)
      1. Is there any reason God would do this for King David and not for you? (This highlights the weakness in human thinking: that God has limited powers. If God’s powers are unlimited then He does not need to ration His help. He does not need to make a decision on who to help because He cannot help everyone at once. This is what David calls “Knowledge [that] is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.”)
    3. Read Psalms 139:7-12. Would you want to flee from the sight of God?
      1. Why would a person answer, “Yes?” (The only reason would be if they were involved in activities of which God does not approve.)
        1. What important point flows logically from this? (God’s awareness of our situation does not turn on whether we are obedient. We cannot run away from Him even if we were in hell.)
      2. Let’s go back to my church member who was shocked to realize that God was not going to help her. What do you think were her thoughts about God’s reasons? (It would logically be that she was unworthy. She had disobeyed in some way.)
      3. If our level of obedience does not affect God’s knowledge of our situation, what is the remaining conclusion as to why God did not heal the church member who believed that God would heal her? (God made an executive decision not to heal her then. God would allow her to die and then heal her at the Second Coming of Jesus.)
    4. Read Psalms 139:13-16. How involved was God with you before you were born?
      1. What did God know about your lifespan before you were born? (God has written in His book the number of days that David would live even before he had his first day!)
      2. What does that say about God and the church member who was sure she would be healed? (God made the decision on this before she was “formed.”)
      3. How should we react to this - when it is our life that hangs in the balance? (We simply need to trust God. There is no negligence on His part. He has made a wise decision knowing all of the facts.)
        1. How does Satan’s war on us impact this question?
    5. Read Psalms 139:17-19. Does King David have a path that he wants God to take? (Yes. He wants the wicked killed so they will leave him alone. At the same time David realizes that God’s thoughts are vast. They are beyond David’s grasp.)
      1. Can God find you a parking spot? (Why not? It is no strain on God’s capacity. He knows everything about you. He can help you find your car keys.)
    6. Read Psalms 121:6-8. How should the church member who was dying of cancer understand these verses? Cancer was an evil that was taking her life! (Read Psalms 121:2-4. The decision to allow her to die from cancer was not because God lacked the power to heal or because He was not paying attention. God will give the woman eternal life instead of a temporary extension now.)
  2. Confidence
    1. Read Psalms 17:6. David states that God “will answer me.” If you review Psalms 17:1-5 you will see that David argues what a great and obedient man he has been. Must we obey to have God hear us? (That is what we have just discussed. I don’t think that we need to obey for God to hear.)
      1. If that is true, what is David talking about? (David believes that when God makes an executive decision on helping, part of the decision turns on whether we have been faithful.)
    2. Read Deuteronomy 28:1 and Deuteronomy 28:15. Do you think this is part of David’s thinking? (The Old Testament is clear that the general rule is that obedience results in blessings and disobedience results in curses. No doubt that shaped David’s thinking.)
      1. In that context, how do you explain Job and Jonah? (If you know these Bible stories, you know that God listened and answered the prayer of Jonah after his rebellion put his life in danger. Job suffered terrible things even though he was faithful. I think the lesson is that God always listens. What He answers may turn in part on our obedience.)
      2. The caption of this section is “Confidence.” After this discussion, on what can you be confident? (God always loves us and listens to us. That does not mean that He will do what we want. Nevertheless, we need to trust His decision.)
  3. Not Willing
    1. Read Matthew 23:37-38. We just finished discussing whether God’s help turns on our obedience. What does Jesus teach us about God’s willingness and our willingness when it comes to blessings? (God listens and God is willing to bless. We are the ones who reject God. We are those who are not willing to be gathered safely under God’s wings.)
      1. Were the people who rejected God’s protection and blessings religious?
        1. How do we who are religious avoid falling into that same problem? (The text suggests they were rebels. The stoned and killed the prophets. They wanted their own religion rather than God’s religion.)
        2. How tolerant is God about our rebellion? (You and I would stop helping after one killing! Why help people like that? But Jesus came to His people even though they killed Him, too! God is much more tolerant than we are.)
    2. Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. What spiritual advantages does this group have?
    3. Read 1 Corinthians 10:5-6. What is the reason for the failure of these people? (They desired evil.)
    4. Read 1 Corinthians 10:7-10. How is evil described? (It mentions four things: idolatry (quoting Exodus 32:6 about the golden calf), sexual immorality (referring to Numbers 25:1-9), putting Jesus to the test (likely referring to Numbers 21:5-9), and grumbling.)
    5. Read 1 Corinthians 10:11-13. Is the message of those who died in the wilderness for us? (Yes! This is what we need to avoid. We should not assume that we are fine.)


      1. What is the promise made to encourage us? (God will not give us a temptation that is too great. He will make a way of escape.)
    1. Friend, do you see God’s two-tier program to deliver you? First, we see that God listens and helps. The exception being for those who are not willing to be in a relationship with Him. But even for those, God has a next step, He will make sure that you are able to be in a relationship with Him. Nothing can prevent you from choosing God, other than your own free will. Will you choose, right now, to come within the circle of God’s protection and wisdom?
  1. Next week: Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land.