I Will Arise

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(Psalms 1, 12, 82 & 82, Proverbs 22)
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 6

I Will Arise

(Psalms 1, 12, 82 & 82, Proverbs 22)

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: http://www.GoBible.org. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: What would you call a human theory that sounds reasonable but is not based on the Bible? What would you call a human theory that conflicts with the Bible? Idol worship in the Bible is a human creating an image and then worshiping it. Would it be reasonable to believe that accepting certain human ideas and arguments can be idol worship? Is worshiping an idea as sinful as worshiping an image? Our study this week is about evil, injustice, and oppression. Many of the modern beliefs about evil, injustice, and oppression are not based on the teachings of the Bible and some of them conflict with the Bible. Let’s explore this more by diving once again into our study of the Psalms!

  1. The Right Guideposts
    1. Read Psalms 1:1-2. What is the relationship between being blessed and taking counsel from the wicked? (We are blessed when we guide our lives by God’s word. When we listen to the wicked, hang around with sinners, or join with the scoffers, we are headed for trouble.)
    2. Read Psalms 1:3. Do the righteous engage in work? (Yes, and those who follow God prosper.)
      1. Why would the psalmist compare a righteous person to a tree by the water? (Water provides the power for the tree. The analogy is that living in the atmosphere of God’s law, as opposed to the advice of sinners, makes the righteous prosper.)
    3. Read Psalms 1:4-6. What kind of life can the wicked person expect? (They are blown around by life. Life is not kind to them. Ultimately, they perish.)
    4. Notice that the first of the Psalms establishes a benchmark: live according to God’s revealed will, or suffer and perish. You choose!
  2. Treating the Poor and Needy
    1. Read Psalms 12:2-4. What kind of people are these? (People who believe they can talk themselves out of anything. People who believe that they are the master of others because of their persuasive words.)
      1. Do you know people like this? People who either flatter or defame others because words are so powerful?
        1. Recently, a man who said he preferred to live as a woman was named “Woman of the Year” by a well-known magazine. Would that fit into what we are discussing?
    2. Read Psalms 12:5. What creates the problem for the poor and needy? (They have been “plundered” by those who deceive them. These talkers create harm for the poor.)
      1. Notice that the word “poor” means, according to Strong’s, “depressed in mind or circumstances.” Do you think this includes young people who are trying to find their way in life and are being “plundered” by those who lie to them?
      2. Let’s talk about those who are poor with regard to the world’s goods. What evil is being presented? (The talkers are just that, they are not doing things to help the poor.)
      3. What will God do? (Create a safe place for the poor and needy.)
    3. Read Psalms 12:6-7. What does God do to help the poor and needy? (He has “pure words.” God tells the truth. As followers of God we must tell the truth.)
    4. Read Psalms 12:8. How does the world view the lies of the wicked? (Vileness is exalted.)
      1. Do you see the picture painted here? God’s people tell the truth, but the wicked prowl about everywhere promoting their vile ideas. Sound familiar?
    5. Let’s change the issue slightly. Read Proverbs 22:7. Is this text simply stating a truth, or does this reflect God’s will? (Read Proverbs 22:4. God rewards those who obey Him with riches, honor, and life. The results that follow for those who do not obey are consistent with God’s will.)
    6. Read Proverbs 22:9. What should those who are blessed do for the poor? (Share their bread. This results in more blessings.)
    7. Read Proverbs 22:3 and compare Proverbs 22:13. Both these texts involve danger. One says avoiding danger is prudent. The other says that avoiding danger makes you a “sluggard.” What do you think is being taught here? (A “prudent” person shows commonsense. They see problems coming and take steps to avoid being hurt by them. The sluggard, meaning the lazy person, falsely claims they are afraid in order to avoid working.)
      1. Have you heard people who claim to be afraid because someone in the room disagrees with their opinion?
      2. If you answered, “Yes,” is that person a “sluggard?” (Instead of exchanging views on what is right and wrong, they are too mentally lazy to consider other points of view.)
    8. In this section we have looked at some texts in Psalms and added texts from Proverbs. What are the principles have we learned? (The natural order of things is that those who obey God are blessed. Those who are blessed should be sure the poor are fed - as part of their obligation to God. This feeding means standing up for truth and helping the poor. Those who are looking for trouble from God cheat the poor and take advantage of them. They do that in large part by deceiving them. Truth is important.)
  3. Judgment Now
    1. Read Psalms 82:1-3. Why do you think this Psalm uses the word “justice” rather than “love?” (The world favors the wicked. God says that He wants justice for the weak and needy.)
      1. What is justice for those who claim they are afraid of something in order to avoid working? What is justice for those who continually disobey God’s rules and suffer for it? (For years I have heard Christians talk about “tough love.” As I understand that term, it means that justice is part of what we do in love for the poor and needy.)
    2. Read Psalms 82:4-5. What should be part of our rescue effort? (To educate the poor and needy. A problem is that they lack “knowledge” and “understanding.”)
      1. What are some obvious areas in which the poor and needy need education? (They need to learn job skills. They need to be guided in legal and money handling matters.)
      2. What if the poor and needy refuse to learn, or if they learn, refuse to reform? (I heard a Puerto Rican speak about the finances of that island. The speaker engineered the bankruptcy of the government so that the island would have a new chance for success. The speaker, who is a Christian and sympathetic to the people of the island, is pessimistic about the future. He fears the people are not willing to reform.)
      3. Note that commentators disagree with me on who is being described as lacking knowledge. They say it is the unjust judges. What do you think?
    3. Read Psalm 82:6-8. What is the goal for our life, and what is the reality of our life? (We are the sons and daughters of God. We should act like it. This applied to both judges and the poor and needy. If we fail, then we go the way of all people without God.)
    4. Read Psalm 76:2-6. When God decides to act against evil, can He be stopped?
      1. What happens to those who have gained wealth improperly? (They are “stripped of their spoil.”)
    5. Read Psalm 76:7-9. From where does God’s power display itself? (From heaven!)
    6. Read Psalm 144:5-6. Does this idea of power coming down from heaven increase the majesty of our rescue?
    7. Read Psalm 144:7-8. What is the consistent enemy of the righteous? (Dishonesty! This is used against the poor and needy, and it is used against the people of God.)
    8. Let’s go back to Psalm 76:9. When it refers to the “humble,” does it mean that we need to be humble? (The context is that God’s people have been humbled by the wicked. God rescues His people who are being lied to, oppressed, and abused by the wicked. That rescue is God’s judgment.)
    9. Friend, doesn’t it seem that the major enemy of the righteous and the poor and needy are lies and injustice? When the world calls us names, or calls us to a plan of action that is based on principles not found in the Bible, we need to resist. We need to tell the truth in love. We need to help those who are suffering, but in a way that reflects God’s will. We will suffer defeats, but God will come down from heaven and He will make things right. Will you determine not to live by lies?
  1. Next week: Your Mercy Reaches Unto the Heavens.