Prayer Psalm: 76
Prayer Point: Psalm 76 reminds us that we need a big God in a world with big problems. He will destroy the powers of this world and establish an eternal peace. Pray that we might believe this so that we will not succumb to fear.
The soldiers have awaken only to discover that the tomb they had been guarding now stood empty. They hurry back to report the news to the chief priests. How do the chief priests conspire to keep the story secret? Why were the soldiers willing to go along with the story? What does this event tell you about the condition of the chief priests’ hearts?
Verse 17 says that ‘some doubted’. Why do you think that there were still doubters among the disciples even after the resurrection of Jesus? How does Jesus handle this?
Jesus before his ascension gives the disciples the mission they (and we) are to carry out. The central command is “make disciples,” leaving the confines of Israel and bringing Jesus to the nations. Just as an apple tree is designed to make more apple trees, so Jesus’ disciples were made to make other disciples. All the other statements describe what it means to make a disciple.
What two things go into making a disciple (hint: one is a one time event, the other is a lifelong process)? What promises does Jesus give his disciples as he sends them on this mission?
The full title of the book of Acts is “The Acts of the Apostles.” Some have suggested that it should be “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit, at the very least, is the central character in the story. As you read though Acts, look for this pattern:
- The Holy Spirit acts.
- The crowds witness the Holy Spirit’s action.
- The Apostles explain to the crowds what has happened, always tying the event back to Jesus.
This pattern is first seen here in Acts 2. The Holy Spirit arrives with the sound of a rushing wind and the Apostles preaching Jesus with each person hearing the message in his own language. The crowds witness the action and ask for an explanation. How does Peter explain to the crowds what they have just witnessed? Who does Peter point to in verses 22-36? How does Peter’s sermon fit into Jesus’ vision statement (Acts 1:8)?
Judges 5:19-31 – The Ode Continues …
What does verse 19 tell us about the kings of Canaan? (“Kings came, they fought; the kings of Canaan fought at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo, but they carried off no silver, no plunder.” (Judges 5:19 NIV))
How do verses 20-23 describe the events? (It appears that all of nature was unleashed against Sisera and Jabin. This would be the LORD’s handiwork.)
The meat of this psalm is reserved for verses 24-30. How significant are these verses? (Here is the praise given to Jael for her courage. Since this was a song it would be used in repeating the story of the battle. As Jael owns the final verses, her name and courage will be remembered for generations to come in Israel. This event is mirrored in Jesus’ life (kinda) when he was anointed at Bethany: “She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:8-9 NIV))
This is how the psalm of praise ends: “So may all your enemies perish, O LORD! But may they who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”