Summer of Psalms 2022 – Readings for May 30–June 5

Psalm 1

How do you think the world we live in would define those who are “blessed” and those who are not (what the Psalmist calls “wicked”)?

Do you think people today would argue that delighting in the law of the Lord makes you more blessed? In what ways might even the actions of Christian people seem to indicate we do not value meditating on the law of the Lord?

What practical suggestions do you have for your group that would help each one of you meditate on God’s law “day and night?”

Psalm 2

How have you seen the “nations” today set themselves against the Lord and his anointed?

Why do the nation’s plots result in the Lord laughing at their plans? In what ways might the Lord also laugh at our own plans and schemes?

What are ways in which we might be able to encourage the leaders of the nations—our nation—serve the Lord more? Do we seem to want leaders who serve God or leaders who create an environment that benefits us? Why do you think this is the case?

Psalm 3

Tell of a time when you felt as if your foes were many and they tried to convince you God would not be there to rescue you? What was your response to this?

Would you say you were or were not afraid of “many thousands of people” set against you? Why would you say this is the case?

How has God been your salvation? Tell the others in your group the ways he was been this for you, especially during challenging themes.

Psalm 4

Do you agree with the Psalmist that humans “love vain words and seek after lies”? Why do you think this is the case?

What does it mean to be set apart for God?

Can you say that you lie down in peace? Is so, how did you get to this point? If not, what might you be able to do to help move yourself to a place of more peace and trust?

Psalm 5

What are reasons you might cry out to God and seek his attention to you?

Why does the Psalmist say it is through the abundance of the God’s steadfast love that he enters the house of the Lord, versus the morning sacrifices he made or some other act of righteousness?

How can we rely more on God’s righteousness than our own attempts at good works?

Psalm 6

What causes your soul to be troubled? Are the things that trouble you things that you deserve or are even a natural consequence of life, or do these things come about due to the evil of others?

How have you seen the wicked around you renounce the Lord?

Have you ever been at a place where you were ready to give up? Did God rescue and if so, how did he do it?

Psalm 7

So, being pursued by “lions” seems sort of out there, perhaps beyond our typical experiences. Have you ever felt this way? Why? Why would you say people might be in a situation where this would be the description of their lives?

How confident are you in suggesting the Lord check to see if you have done any wrong? What sort of lives should we be living in order to be able to say this?

How often do you thank the Lord for his righteousness? Spend some time doing so now.

Psalm 8

What reasons can you give to affirm that the Lord is majestic in all the earth?

The Psalmist describes the beauty of God’s creation when describing his majestic nature. If you were going to do the same, in what parts of creation do you most see the glory of God?

Why do you think God thought so highly of humankind, including you?

Psalm 9

Spend some time recounting the “wonderful deeds” of God to your group.

How is your life changed knowing that the Lord “sits enthroned forever?” In what ways does this give you confidence to withstand those who might oppose you and your faith?

How is the Lord the stronghold of the oppressed? How can your group be a part of what God is doing to care for those who are oppressed or marginalized?

Psalm 10

Describe a time in your life when the opening of Psalm 10 was your “favorite verse,” or at least the verse that best described the status of your life.

How would you counsel someone who claimed that the Lord had hid himself in times of trouble? The Psalmist writes this, but would you say this is an accurate statement? Why or why not?

How well does this psalm describe your day-in-day-out thinking about God? Is he a God who is near and takes care of those in need, or do we more often think he is far away and does not help us? Why would you say this is the case in your life? What might change this thinking for the better?

Psalm 11

How does your view of your life change if you know that the Lord is in his holy temple?

In this psalm it seems as if God testing the righteous is a good thing, something to be commended. What do we typically think about “testing” and in what ways is it a good thing?

Does it seem like the wicked of our day are hated by God? What examples can you give that help make your point?

Psalm 12

Why would the psalmist say, “everyone utters lies to his neighbor?” In what ways do our own times seem like an affirmation of this statement?

What are the things we often think cause God to act or react? How does your list compare to what the psalmist says here causes God to arise?

How do you allow God to guard you from this generation?

Psalm 13

Describe a time when you were certain God had forgotten you.

Describe a time when God has answered you when you have called out to him.

How do you sing to the Lord for the bountiful things he has done for you because of your crying out to him?

Psalm 14

In what ways do people of the world declare there is no God? Why do they believe such a statement?

What are some specific ways you can share with others as to how you go about seeking God?

Would it be accurate to say today that there is none who does good? Why or why not?

Psalm 139.1-24 – November 6, 2020

Psalm 139.1-24

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

 (Psalm 139:1–6, 23-24, NIV)

Is there another passage in scripture that better communicate the intimacy of God’s knowledge of you? Feeling left out and all alone? This is the psalm for you!

Thought Questions:

Do you think of God searching you as a positive or negative thing? Why do you feel this is the case?

In what ways do you see people seeking to be fully known? In what ways do they look to their relationship with God to provide this, versus a relationship with other people or things?

Pray that God will search you today and as he does, respond to his prompting.

Psalm 107.1-43 – September 18, 2020

Psalm 107

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.

(Psalm 107:1–3, NIV)

What’s your story?

Thought Questions:

In what ways have you experienced the never-ending forever-enduring love of God?

As one who has been redeemed by God, what story do you have to tell others about God’s love for you?

Go tell someone that story today.

Psalm 34.1–22 – September 7, 2020

Psalm 34:1–22

I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together. 

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them. 

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

(Psalm 34:1–14, NIV)

Taste and see that the Lord is good!

Thought Questions:

What sort of actions would you describe as glorifying and extolling the Lord together? In what ways do you do these things and how can you do them more?

How has the Lord delivered you from all your fears?

Does it seem odd that we would describe seeking the Lord with the idea of “taste and see?” Why is this a perfect way to describe our desire to know him better?

Psalm 125.2 – September 4, 2020

Psalm 125.2

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.

(Psalm 125.2, NIV)

“When we went to the Holy Land, as we were driving into Jerusalem, the song came to me–the Lord truly surrounds his people.”

Thought Questions:

In what ways is being surrounded by God a good thing? Why is this the case?

Jerusalem is literally surrounded by mountains, providing a barrier for protection from outside forces. In what ways has God provided a barrier of protection for you?

How is your faith strengthened knowing God protects you both now and forever?

Psalm 62.1-2 – September 3, 2020

Psalm 62:1–2

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

(Psalm 62:1–2, NIV)

“Each chapter of life, I use these scriptures to renew my mind & keep my sight set on Christ.”

Thought Questions:

Describe a time when you have fully felt rest in God, rest that impacted your entire being.

In what ways did you thank God or give him praise for being the one who brought you rest and salvation?

What are some practical ways we can rely on God to be our rock in a world that is anxious and stressful (and certainly not one in which we find rest)?

Psalm 119.1-176 – August 27, 2020

Psalm 119

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—
they do no wrong
but follow his ways.
You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me.

 (Psalm 119:1–8, NIV)

“It shows true love of our God and the cry of his heart to follow God’s commands.”

Thought Questions:

Take some time today or this week to read all of Psalm 119, start to finish.

As you read through the entire psalm, what themes, ideas, or words do you hear repeated? Why are these important?

What does it mean to “walk according to the law of the Lord”? What things do you try to help you do that?

Psalm 42.1-11 – August 4, 2020

Psalm 42:1–11

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng. 

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. 

My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me. 

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life. 

I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?” 

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

(Psalm 42:1–11 , NIV)

Psalm 42 is a great Psalm for these times when so many find their souls downcast and disturbed, when the world around us seems to have gone off the tracks.

Thought Questions:

Would you say that your “soul pants for God?” Why would you say this is or is not the case? How can you make it more the case?

One reason we might have to not long for God (or anyone, for that matter) are struggles or troubles in our life. How do you typically respond to troubles when they come your way? Is increased trust in God one of your “go to” reactions?

In what ways do you put your hope in God, both today and everyday?

Psalm 136 – July 16, 2020

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

(Psalm 136:1–3 , NIV)

God’s love endures forever.

Thought Questions:

Make a list of the things for which you are thankful to God today.

As you read through the Psalm 136 in its entirety, what things would you add to the author’s list?

How does God’s love impact your list of thanksgivings?