The book of Psalms paints a picture of Old Testament worship that was filled with remembering God as Creator, Judge, and Savior.
Guitar, piano, or keyboard for those who choose Applying: Option 2, paper, pencils, magazine clippings of things wealthy people own
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Hold up the magazine photos one at a time. Discuss how great it would be to own these possessions. Now ask the group: Would you be happier if you owned these? Why or why not? Would you find it easier to praise God in worship if you owned these? Why or why not?
- Take a walk outside in God’s creation and bring back an object that you can praise God for, sharing why it is meaningful to you. For instance, bring back a leaf and say, “I praise the Creator for this leaf because it reminds me that God is with me through every season of my life.”
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- What color is worship in the book of Psalms? Red? Blue? Yellow? Orange? A mixture of certain colors? On a piece of paper, write the word WORSHIP in bold colors that depict the meaning of worship. Explain your choice of colors to the group.
- Thought Questions
The psalms teach us about God. Some focus on specific attributes of the Lord. Read through the following psalms and look for a common theme about God. What is it?
- The sanctuary is a place of justice and mercy.
- For those in distress, the sanctuary is a place of refuge and safety.
- We can trust that God will be fair when judgment is administered.
- All evil, sin, and wickedness will someday be destroyed as shown in the Day of Atonement.
- The sanctuary is a place to draw close to God—this is what all worship should lead to.
Study Psalm 49. This passage lifts us up in worship to see and remember some important lessons. What do you learn from this psalm?
- “Why should I fear in the days of evil?” (vv. 1-5).
- No one can redeem his life with his wealth (vv. 6-9).
- It’s easy to think that life will go on forever and forget that we all will come to an end (vv.10-12).
- For the wicked, life will end forever in the grave. But the righteous will be saved (vv. 13-15).
- Don’t worry about the unrighteous who boast. They will come to an end someday (vv. 16-20).
Worship is also about remembering. Read Psalm 78:1-8 and discuss what we should remember and why.
- We need to remember the words of God in Scripture.
- We shouldn’t hide truths about God from our children.
- God’s commandments are important to remember.
- We need to learn from history and not follow our forefathers where they went astray.
- We need to remember the wonderful acts of God in Israel’s history and in our own history.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to the larger group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: Psalm 119:97, 98 says, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me...” How would your life be different if this were true for you? Would you treat your family, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers differently? If so, how?
- Option 2: This is for the brave-at-heart. We have only the lyrics to the psalms; we have no idea what the music sounded like. Compose music for Psalm 100 using an instrument provided, or sing acapella. Perform the psalm for your group.
- Option 3: Read Psalm 141:2. According to David, is it permissible to raise our hands in worship? If so, should it be done privately? Is it appropriate to raise them publicly?
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Read Psalm 73. Asaph is very discouraged because of the injustices he has seen. Yet in verse 23 he writes, “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” Have you been holding onto an injustice that keeps you from fully worshiping God? If so, leave it in God’s hands.
- Read Psalm 49:7, 8. Only the payment of Jesus’ death was enough to ransom us. Knowing that Christ is our only hope, worship the Lord now. Worship the Savior in whatever way this overwhelming thought strikes you.