The Song Of The Surrounded – Daily Bread #19

Read Psalm 118

Questions To Answer:

What’s a song you never get tired of hearing or singing?

What are some songs that are popular now that you think we will still be singing years from now?

What makes these songs stand the the test of time?

Psalm 118 is one of the most popular songs in all of scripture.  It was sung at the end of Passover, sung at the end of the Lord’s Supper, and quoted throughout the Bible.

What do you see in this song that causes it to endure?

When the author says he is “surrounded” to whom is he referring?

What does the writer do when he feels this way?

He uses the phrase “in my distress” or “when hard pressed.”  What are some things we might do in times of crisis or extreme pressure that go against our faith in God?

How is our faith tested in these difficult times?

In verse 14 the psalmist says, “The Lord is my strength and my defense he has become my salvation.”

The word for defense can also be translated, “song.”  How can a song be your defense?

Can you think of a time in your life when you overcame a hardship or struggle and you wanted to sing, dance, or cry out?

Verse 22, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”

Why do you think so many people reject God?

Scriptures To Read:

Psalm 42:5-7

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.

Psalm 121:1-6

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

    where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—

    he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel

    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—

    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,

    nor the moon by night.

Zephaniah 3:14-17

Sing, Daughter Zion;

    shout aloud, Israel!

Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,

    Daughter Jerusalem!

The Lord has taken away your punishment,

    he has turned back your enemy.

The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;

    never again will you fear any harm.

On that day they will say to Jerusalem,

“Do not fear, Zion;

    do not let your hands hang limp.

The Lord your God is with you,

    the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

A Thought To Ponder:

Have you ever felt surrounded?  In old westerns or war movies, you knew the best fight seen was about to break out when the hero would say, “it looks like they’ve got us surrounded.”  Paul would say he was hard pressed on every side.  The Psalmist in chapter 118 describes his life in this creative way: “All the nations surrounded me… They surrounded me on every side…They swarmed around me like bees…I was pushed back and about to fall…”

I bet you’ve felt that way a few times in your life or maybe even this week.  Surrounded, swarmed, pushed back, and about to fall.  It could apply to Seniors in high school, moms with too much to do and too little daylight to do it, or the dad working two jobs to try cover all the bills.

When trouble comes.  Where do you go?  When the stress begins to mount.  Where do you retreat?  When you feel like everyone around you is hostile to God and wants to destroy you.  Where do you find refuge?

The psalmist keeps going back to the Lord.  His love endures forever.

Diocletian was the emperor of the Roman Empire in the late 3rd century.  He ruled over one of the most godless societies in the history of human civilization.  He had a two a two-fold purpose to his reign.  He wanted to expand the borders of the Empire and extinguish Christianity along the way.

In Spain, two monumental pillars were raised, on which were written: “Diocletian Jovian Maximian Herculeus Caesares Augusti, for having extended the Roman Empire in the east and the west, and for having extinguished the name of Christians, who brought the Republic to ruin.”

While he succeeded in one effort he ultimately failed in the other.  As Charles Spurgeon once remarked, “no grave can be found for Christianity because the living need no tombs.”

You may feel surrounded, swarmed, and headed to the grave.  Take courage.  Our God’s love endures forever.  It’s not a love that just revitalizes us it even resurrects us!

A Prayer For Change:

From Chris Altrock

Lord, I’m telling everyone everywhere–“His love endures forever!”

It’s the most important thing I’m learning about you.

It’s the most important thing I’m sharing about you.

Your love endures forever.

When I look back through the story of my life, I see this truth on every page.

When I rewind the movie of humanity, this quality appears on every frame.

Your love is endless. I shout praise to you Lord because your love never gives in, runs out

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