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SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3-1st Quarter 2024--The Lord Reigns

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Richard Myers:
1st Quarter  Lesson 3                                                                                                                                                                                       Jan 13 - Jan 19

The Lord Reigns

Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon

Richard Myers:
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study

Psalms 8:1-9; Psalms 100:1-5; Psalms 97:1-12; Psalms 75:1-10; Psalms 105:7-10; Galatians 3:26-29; Psalms 25:10.

    Memory Text:
    “The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure” (Psalms 93:1).

The Psalms unswervingly uphold the foundational belief in God’s sovereign reign. The Lord created and sustains everything that He had created. He is the Sovereign King over the whole world, and He rules the world with justice and righteousness. His laws and statutes are good and bring life to those who keep them. The Lord is a just Judge who ensures that the world remains well ordered, and He does so by rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked, but in His time, not ours.

God’s covenant with Israel plays a special role in securing the world because it heralds the Lord’s salvation. The Lord adopted Israel as His prized possession, making Israel, of all the nations, His people. The Lord is faithful to His covenant and continues to care for His flock despite their unfaithfulness and, at times, open rebellion

He "continued to care for His flock" until three and half years after their murder of the Son of God, their Messiah. Grace comes to an end for the nation of Israel. What we do learn from the Psalms is the power of grace to transform sinners into saints, and the long-suffering of Jesus with a man and a nation that were guilty of murder. It ought to cause us to be long-suffering with men and church.

The Lord’s sovereign rule thus renders the world firmly established and secure. The psalmists want the reader to understand this foundational truth. With this worldview as their lighthouse, the psalmists seek to thrive and to serve God with undivided devotion.

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 20.

Richard Myers:
Sunday  January 14
The Lord Has Made Us

Read Psalms 8:1-9; Psalms 100:1-5. How are God and people portrayed in these psalms? What do these psalms reveal about God’s character?

Creation plays a crucial role in the Psalms, in upholding God’s sovereignty. The heavens, which are “His handiwork,” proclaim His glory and power (Psalms 19:1-4; Psalms 97:6). God’s name is majestic in all the earth (Psalms 8:1; Psalms 8:9). The Lord has created everything; He has no beginning (Psalms 93:2) and no end (Psalms 102:25-27). He is everlasting and superior over the gods of the nations, which are only “the work of men’s hands” (Psalms 115:4), nothing more. The idols “have hands, but they handle not” (Psalms 115:7); as for the Lord, “in his hand are the deep places of the earth . . . and his hands formed the dry land” (Psalms 95:4-5).

Several psalms portray God’s power over the forces in nature that other nations believed to be divine (e.g. Psalms 29:1-11; Psalms 93:1-5; Psalms 104:1-35). These psalms reassert the claim that the Lord reigns over all creation and is supreme in power and dignity. Psalms 100:3 strikes one subtle form of idolatry—self-reliance, stressing that God made us, “and not we ourselves.”

Creation also testifies to God’s love. Everything that exists owes its existence to God, who also sustains life (Psalms 95:7; Psalms 147:4-9). Notice that God not only granted people existence but He also made ancient Israel “His people and the sheep of His pasture” (Psalms 100:3). The notion of “His people” and “His sheep” reveals God’s desire for a close relationship with His people.

Only the Creator has the power to bless and cause His people to increase, and thus, He is the only One worthy of their worship and trust. Numerous psalms call everything that has breath, all the earth, the sea, and everything in it to shout for joy before the Lord.

The glory of God is seen in the creation, even in the fallen earthly creation, and the Psalms point us to God alone as worthy of worship.

“What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalms 8:4). What is your response to God as your Creator? When God calls the stars by their names (Psalms 147:4), how much more do you think God cares for you?

Richard Myers:
Monday January 15
The Lord Reigns

Closely tied—in fact inseparably tied—to the Lord as Creator is the Lord as Sovereign, as Ruler. The declaration “The Lord reigneth” is solemnly proclaimed in Psalms 93:1; Psalms 96:10; Psalms 97:1; Psalms 99:1, but its echoes are heard throughout the book of Psalms.

The Lord is clothed with honor, majesty, and strength (Psalms 93:1; Psalms 104:1). He is surrounded with clouds and darkness (Psalms 97:2) but also covers Himself “with light as with a garment” (Psalms 104:2). These metaphors exalt the King’s power and splendor and are carefully chosen to express God’s unique greatness, which is beyond human comprehension.

Read Psalms 97:1-12. What characterizes the Lord’s reign? (Psalms 97:2; Psalms 97:10). What is the domain of His reign? (Psalms 97:1; Psalms 97:5; Psalms 97:9).

The Lord’s rule is demonstrated in His works of creation (Psalms 96:5), salvation (Psalms 98:2), and judgment (Psalms 96:10). The Lord establishes His kingship over the whole world (Psalms 47:6-9). God’s kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, unparalleled in power and majesty (Psalms 45:6; Psalms 93:1-2; Psalms 103:19). The Lord’s reign is established on mercy, justice, and righteousness, and it brings order and stability to the created world (Psalms 98:3; Psalms 99:4). God’s reign unites both heavenly and earthly worshipers in the praise of God (Psalms 103:20-22; Psalms 148:1-14). Many psalms envision all humanity acknowledging God’s sovereign rule (Psalms 96:10; Psalms 97:1; Psalms 99:1; Psalms 145:11-13).

But not all people, or even earthly rulers, do, at least for now. The Lord’s reign is constantly defied by the wicked, who deny and mock the Lord and oppress His people (Psalms 14:1; Psalms 74:3-22). Though challenged by the prosperity of some wicked people and troubled by God’s forbearance, the psalmist trusts in God’s sovereign rule and continues to flourish in the assurance of God’s righteous judgments (Psalms 68:21; Psalms 73:17-20). By faith God’s people rejoice in the inauguration of God’s kingdom through Christ’s redeeming ministry and wait for the consummation of the kingdom at Christ’s second coming (Matthew 12:26-28; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

“You who love the Lord, hate evil!” (Psalms 97:10). Why should our love for God cause us to hate evil? How are these two concepts related?

Richard Myers:
Tuesday  January 16
God Is the Judge

Read Psalms 75:1-10. Why is the boasting of the wicked in vain?

As the Sovereign King, the Lord is also a Lawgiver (Psalms 99:7) and a Judge (Psalms 98:9; Psalms 97:2). The wicked constantly threaten the just order that God established in the world, but the Lord will judge the world and bring the rule of evil to its end (Psalms 75:8-10; Psalms 96:13).

In Psalms 75:1-10, several images depict the irrevocable destruction of the wicked. The image of a cup with red wine (Psalms 75:8) conveys the intensity of God’s fury (Jeremiah 25:15; ). Cutting off the horns of the wicked depicts the end of their power and dominion, while the horns of the righteous shall be exalted (Psalms 75:10). God chooses a “proper time” (Psalms 75:2) or “appointed time” (NIV) for His judgment. This executive judgment clearly will take place at the end of time (Psalms 96:13; 1 Corinthians 15:23-26).

The Lord probes people’s hearts as part of His judgment. Read Psalms 14:2. It is reminiscent of Genesis 6:5; Genesis 6:8. Both texts show that the execution of God’s judgment of the world is preceded by God’s examination of the people’s lives and seeking whomever He can save. This judgment is sometimes called “the investigative judgment,” when God defends the righteous and decides the fate of the wicked.

How does it work?

First, God delivers His people from the wicked (Psalms 97:10; Psalms 146:9) and crowns the humble with salvation (Psalms 149:4). Second, the unrepentant wicked are destroyed forever (Psalms 97:3). Some psalms poetically describe the uselessness of human weapons against the Divine Judge (Psalms 76:3-6). The Lord is also a forgiving God, although He punishes people’s misdeeds (Psalms 99:8). God’s people, not only the wicked, shall give an account to God (Psalms 50:4; Psalms 135:14).

The Psalms convey the same notion that is expressed in other biblical texts, that God’s judgment begins with God’s people and is extended to the whole earth (Deuteronomy 32:36; 1 Peter 4:17). The psalmist cries to God to judge him but relies on God’s righteousness to defend him (Psalms 7:8-11; Psalms 139:23-24).

The Psalms call us to rejoice in anticipation of God’s judgments (Psalms 67:4; Psalms 96:10-13; Psalms 98:4-9). How is God’s judgment good news for those covered by the blood of Christ?


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