• Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 22nd, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 148-150

    Bible Study: Psalms 148-150

    Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Psalm one hundred and forty-eight as we continue our journey through the Bible. The Psalms are devoted to a great part to praising the Lord. They are songs of praise. The Psalms of course were the Hebrew hymnal. These were written to be sung. These are the lyrics of the songs. We don’t know the melodies. But they were written to be sung. A great part of them are devoted to praising God. And many of them are devoted to exhorting people to praise God. And it is, I guess, quite fitting that the last of the Psalms, beginning with one hundred and forty-six, all begin and end with the Hebrew word, hallelujah, which means, “Praise the Lord”. These are Psalms in which we are exhorted to man’s highest capacity and that is that capacity to praise the Lord. Man comes to the ultimate of his life experiences when he devotes himself to praise unto God. And thus the exhortations here at the end of the Psalms. So these last Psalms are really devoted to the exhorting of the people to praise the Lord.

    Now in Psalm 148, Praise ye the Lord. (The beginning with a hallelujah. And then) Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: So the Psalmist, first of all, he’s going to call, really, pretty much the whole universe into praise. And he begins with the highest order of created beings, the angels. Those in the heavens.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 21st, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 145-147

    Bible Study: Psalms 145-147

    Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Psalm 145, as we continue our study through the Bible. It seems that in compiling the Psalms, that as they came to the end of the Psalms, they sort of grouped together, Psalms of praise. Now all the way through the Psalms, there is praise. All the way through there are exhortations to praise, but in the end of the Psalms here, there seems just to be a grouping of praise Psalms. In fact, from Psalm 146 on to the end, they begin with the Hebrew word, Hallelujah, which means praise to Jehovah. And so they are the Hallelujah Psalms, 146 to the end.

    Psalm 145 is entitled, David’s Psalm of praise.

    He begins it by declaring, I will extol thee, my God, O king; As we mentioned this morning, the kingdom of God means the kingdom where God reigns. And all those who have submitted their lives to be reigned over by God, have entered the kingdom of God. We make a mistake when we think of the Kingdom of God when we think of the Kingdom of God as something that is future, something that I will enter into when I die or something that God is going to establish upon the earth in time to come. Now there is in a sense a truth to that. We pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. But God’s kingdom exists now. It has always existed. And the moment I surrender myself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, to be ruled over by Him, I have entered into the kingdom, and thus I begin to enjoy the benefit of the kingdom of God—and there are many. So I will extol thee, my God, O king;

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 20th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 142-144

    Bible Study: Psalms 142-144

    As we look at the 142nd Psalm, this was again one of those times in David’s life when he was facing great distress. His life was on the line. Saul was pursuing him, bent upon killing him. And David was fleeing for his life. And there were those who were against David, Doeg, who informed Saul of how the priest had helped David when he was in need. The Ziphites came to Saul and said, well, David is down here in the wilderness. Thus David was faced with those enemies who were informing Saul of his moves. And David really was despairing of his life. He said, I know one day, Saul is going to kill me! He had really just figured he had run as far as he could, but ultimately, you can’t escape forever, was David’s feeling. And I know one day he is going to get me. He is going to kill me. But as he was fleeing from Saul, he would hide in the caves that were in that wilderness area.

    When you go down into that area of the Dead Sea, all along the Dead Sea, there are high cliffs. And there are multitudes of caves in these cliffs. As you are driving along the shoreline of the Dead Sea, looking up, you can see so many caves, up there in the cliffs. And thus they were a place of shelter. And also they were a place in which one could hide. And so David hid in the cave. And it is thought that this was the cave of Adullam, that you’ll read about as David was fleeing from Saul and hiding in the cave.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 19th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 139-141

    Bible Study: Psalms 139-141

    O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off (139:1-2). The psalmist is aware of how completely and thoroughly God knows him and knows all about him even as God knows you and knows all about you. The Bible said, “Everything is open and naked before him with whom we have to do. That is, you don’t hide anything from God.

    In the New Testament the book of Acts chapter five, in the early church they were having this move of the spirit. People were selling their property and they were creating sort of a communal life within the early church. One of the couples Ananias and Sapphira had sold their property. They brought a portion of the money and laid it at the feet of Peter. First of all Ananias came in and Peter said, “Ananias, why is it that you have conspired in your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? Is this what you sold the house for?” and he says, “Ya”. He rebuked him and he said, “You haven’t really lied to man, you’ve lied to God. The idea that a person can deceive God, can hide from God issues of his life, you just don’t understand God.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 18th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 136-138

    Bible Study: Psalms 136-138

    Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Psalm one hundred and thirty-six. This psalm is one of those, which are known as an antiphonal psalm that is it was to be sung back and forth. The priests, it was thought, took the first part and then the congregation would answer the second part; that is “for his mercy endureth forever”. It would go in a sort of a rhythmic kind of a way in which in their gathering, in their worship to God, it would be back and forth. Let’s give it a shot tonight before we analyze the psalm let’s go ahead and read it through and I’ll act like I am the priest. I’ll read the first part and you answer in unison “for his mercy endureth forever”. You’ll get then the idea of how this was used in the worship by the Hebrews.

    Now what truth do you suppose was impressed in their heart by the time they finished that psalm? Yet, what truth of scripture are we more prone to doubt? How many times has Satan come to you declaring that you’ve gone too far, that you went over the boundary, that God isn’t interested in trying to help you anymore, that God’s given up on you, that you expended the mercy of God and that God’s mercy is no longer available for you? Yet the truth that God wants to implant deep and indelibly within our hearts is that “his mercy endureth forever”. All you have to do is call upon the Lord. His mercy is available for you. It really doesn’t matter what the sin may be, how serious your refraction or how great your rebellion. If you will turn to God and ask his forgiveness you will discover that his mercy endureth forever.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 17th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 131-135

    Bible Study: Psalms 131-135

    We are still in what are known as the psalms of ascents, those songs that were traditionally sung by the pilgrims as they came to Jerusalem for the holy feast days to worship the Lord. Thus the worship of God, the temple of God, Jerusalem is always more or less the center of the psalms. They are focusing in on the worship of God in Jerusalem at the temple or during the feast days so that becomes the focus of these psalms. David, that king who inspired so many of the songs and wrote so many of these songs, comes into play in the singing of these songs also. Psalm one hundred and thirty-one happens to be one of those psalms of David.

    The worship of God should always bring us into the consciousness of God and the overriding providence of God. Coming into the consciousness of God and the reign and the rule of God should then in turn bring me into a proper perspective as I look at the situations of life. Our problem is that we so often lose the true perspective. Losing sight of God our problems and the world problems loom so big that they become insurmountable. I become stressed and frustrated because the problems are so great and I don’t see any solutions or answers. Thus as I come to worship God it should always bring life into perspective, my problems into perspective.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 16th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 125-130

    Bible Study: Psalms 125-130

    Shall we turn now in our Bibles to the 125th Psalm. These series of psalms had been called the psalms of degrees or also translated ascents. They are psalms that have to do with the pilgrims coming to Jerusalem to worship the Lord on the feast days. And it is thought that as the pilgrims were on the path coming to Jerusalem that they would break forth in these psalms, in the singing of these psalms of ascent. They are psalms that are in anticipation of being in Jerusalem, the surroundings of Jerusalem, worshipping God there in Jerusalem. They have a lot to do with the locale surrounding Jerusalem and this, of course, in Psalm 125 is one of those that speaks of the surroundings of the city.

    They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever (125:1). Mount Zion, the mount upon which the city of David was built. A tremendous place of defense. It was almost God designed it to be easily defended. The mount Zion standing there. A reminder to the people. If they will put their trust in the Lord, they will be as mount Zion. They won’t be removed but will stand steadfast. And how important it is to put our trust in the Lord. The strength that comes, stability that comes.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 15th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 120-124

    Bible Study: Psalms 120-124

    Psalm 120. According to the Jewish law, they were to have three major feasts in the year. These feasts lasted for seven days. They were feasts that were called Memorial feast for they were reminders to the people of God’s work in the history of the nation. How that God was there at the founding of the nation. How that God was there to preserve that nation that He founded. And so in order to keep the consciousness of God’s place in the national life, it was required by their law that every adult male gather from the areas where they lived three times a year to Jerusalem to stand there before the Lord at the holy place. Of course, during the reign of David the tabernacle that he had built in Jerusalem, and of course, later under Solomon the temple. And so it was a requirement that the adult males come. Now often, of course, when they would come they would bring their families with them. And they had these pilgrimages to Jerusalem three times a year.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 14th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalm 119 Verses 129-176

    Bible Study: Psalm 119 Verses 129-176

    If I should testify to you tonight of all that the Lord has done in my life, of the way God has worked, the way God has revealed himself and the way God has helped me I would be giving to you a testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness. In the Old Testament we have the testimonies of the Lord, how God worked in his people, by his people and for his people. Thus in Psalm one hundred and nineteen when we talk about the testimonies of the Lord we are talking about the word of God that tells us of God’s faithfulness, God’s goodness, God’s blessing and God’s watchful care. It is testifying really of the character and the nature of God as it is manifested in the life of his people.

    Thy testimonies are wonderful: (119:129). When the psalmist says “Thy testimonies are wonderful” (119:129) he’s talking about all of these witnesses who have related how God has worked in their lives, in their problems, in the circumstances that they were facing and it’s just dealing with the faithfulness of God, the goodness of God and the blessings of God.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 13th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 119 Verses 81-128

    Bible Study: Psalms 119 Verses 81-128

    Psalm one hundred and nineteen beginning with verse eighty-one. What was the word that you found that could sort of express the theme do you think of these eight verses beginning with verse eighty-one? My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? (119:81-82).

    That should give you a clue I think. I see in this the patience of my soul waiting for God, for the word of God to be accomplished and my soul fainting for thy salvation, I’m waiting to see God work. Thou my soul is fainting my hope is still in the word of God and my eyes fail for thy word. That is almost weary, giving up in seeing the fulfillment of your word. Then we have the question of “When will you Lord comfort me?” (119:82).

    For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; (119:83).The word bottle in the Hebrew is a wine skin. Of course they had leather wineskins that they would smoke and in the smoking process it would cause them to sort of shrivel up and become hard. So I am becoming shriveled and hard.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 12th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 119 Verses 49-80

    Bible Study: Psalms 119 Verses 49-80

    One of the sad and tragic things of the world in which we live today is the lack of hope. There is a legislator now who is introducing legislation to legalize coke, heroin, marijuana, and the amphetamines so that anybody can buy them anywhere. His rational is that we cannot win the war against drugs and since we cannot win the war, it was the same rational they used in abolishing prohibition, we are only creating a criminal element we can get rid of the criminal element by legalizing all of the drugs. Then there will be a proliferation of drugs, they will be easy to get and the price will go down thus these people won’t be able to make so much money off of drugs because they can buy them in a drugstore or a grocery store or wherever. Behind this legislation he is introducing is a lost hope in the war against drugs.

    In the world in which we live there is cause really to lose hope in the fight against evil. It seems like the forces and the power of evil are so strong. One of the most despairing things is to be without hope. It is interesting that Francis Shaffer in his book “The End of Reason” declared that one of the sad and tragic byproducts of the existential philosophy, the prevailing philosophy of our age, is that it brings man to the point of despair or hopelessness. Even the philosophers recognize that man cannot exist, cannot go on in a hopeless state. The existential philosophers say that “Because reason brings you to despair, reality is so despairing, you’ve got to take a leap of faith into unreality”.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 11th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 119 Verses 1-48

    Bible Study: Psalms 119 Verses 1-48

    Let’s turn now in our Bibles to the one hundred and nineteenth psalm. This of course is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is in an essence the ABC’s of, you might say, the word of God. It is divided into twenty-two sections of eight verses each and at the heading of each section there is a Hebrew letter beginning with their A and going through the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse of the first eight verses of the Aleph begins with the Hebrew letter Aleph. Verses nine through sixteen begin with the Hebrew letter Beth and so on through the Hebrew alphabet. It is interesting that it goes in eight’s and in each group of eight it begins with the successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

    It is said that the Hebrews taught the children the Hebrew alphabet by having them memorize this psalm. You never had it so good, “A is for apple, B is for banana”. The impact, of course, of that would be a thorough appreciation for the word of God. In all but three verses the word of God is mentioned as far as the statutes, the law, the commandments, the precepts, the ways and in the different forms the word of God is mentioned in all the three verses in the hundred and nineteenth psalm.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 10th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 116-118

    Bible Study: Psalms 116-118

    Psalm one hundred and sixteen, in an overall sense there is one interpretation of this psalm that interprets it as a psalm that deals with the suffering of Christ. It would make Christ the principle speaker in the psalm. “That precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints” would make Christ the speaker; that’s one interpretation. Another interpretation of the psalm says it is the Nation of Israel who went through this period of death so to speak. The nation was scattered throughout the world and they cried to the Lord and the Lord heard and delivered them and walked before the Lord in the land of the living. They see it as the nation Israel. Those are the interpretations.

    In just reading the psalm as it is and it’s valuable to see it as it is, there is possibility and credibility with the interpretations but you know my style isn’t to try to interpret the scripture. My style is to just to take it at face value and read it for what it says rather than read into it. There are values and you can look at it that way. Looking at the psalm just from a plain looking at it, the psalmist himself. It would seem that the psalmist is talking about an experience that he had where he almost died and thought he was going to die. He was given up for dead and he figured this was it, he’s not going to get well and he’s going to die. He cried unto the Lord and the Lord healed him or raised him up Thus the psalm is written on the basis of man thinking he was going to die.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 9th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 112-115

    Bible Study: Psalms 112-115

    Shall we turn to psalm one hundred and twelve as we continue our study through the Bible? Psalm one hundred and twelve is a companion psalm to one hundred and eleven. Both of these psalms are known as acrostic psalms. That is, each phrase in each of the psalms begins with successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. If you were reading this in Hebrew each sentence begins with a successive letter. The first sentence begins with Aleph, the second with Beth and so on through the Hebrew alphabet. They would do that to aid in memorization. It’s like the streets in Corona Del Mar, they are named after flowers but they are in alphabetical order. It’s easier to remember the streets in Corona Del Mar because they are named after flowers in alphabetical order. So are these psalms, each sentence after a succeeding letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

    They are companion psalms. The one hundred and eleventh psalm, which we studied last Sunday night, is a psalm that extols the works of the Lord. He speaks of the works of the Lord are great, they are honorable and glorious, they are to be remembered and the works of his hands are verity and judgement. He ends the psalm by declaring “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:” (Psalm 111:10). So the reverence of the Lord and doing of his commandments is how the psalm one hundred and eleven ends.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 8th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 109-111

    Bible Study: Psalms 109-111

    The one hundred and ninth and tenth psalms are Messianic psalms. They are prophecies concerning Jesus Christ. Now you’ll have no problem with the hundred and tenth psalm in understanding and seeing how that is a prophecy of Jesus Christ. Psalm one hundred and nine trips up a lot of people because it is known as one of the imprecatory psalms. That is a psalm in which there is a prayer for judgement upon the enemies. The prayer for judgement does not sound like the image of Jesus Christ that we so often have in our minds. We think of Jesus on the cross saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” and we think of how Jesus taught us the importance of forgiveness. Yet in this psalm we find the prayer for judgement upon the enemies.

    God is gracious. In fact, we read in psalm one twelve that he “is gracious and full of compassion and righteous”. We know that God is gracious, we know that God is merciful and in God’s grace he has provided for our salvation, he has sent his only begotten son who suffered immensely in order that you might be saved. He suffered the shame of the cross, he suffered the cross itself and the abuse. He suffered all of this that you might be saved. I do not believe that we fully appreciate the tremendous price that was paid for our salvation. We always talk about the gospel being free, that’s free to us but it cost God immensely. God, having provided this salvation for us, has commanded that all men should repent and believe upon his son. This is the only way by which a person can be saved.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 7th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 107-108

    Bible Study: Psalms 107-108

    This begins what is called the fifth book of the psalms; they are divided into these books. This is called Deuteronomy. I suppose because it corresponds with the fifth book of the Torah. The psalmist begins this psalm as psalm one hundred and six with a call to give thanks.

    O GIVE thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever (107:1).

    The goodness of the Lord is going to be recounted to us throughout the chapter. The goodness of the Lord is his responding to the call of his people for help. In their distress they cried unto the Lord and the Lord heard and delivered. So God’s goodness in delivering his people from their distresses. The mercy of the Lord will be demonstrated through this psalm in the fact that he does get us out of our trouble, which, for the most part are our own faults.

    As we go through this psalm we will see how that our folly gets us into trouble, we are distressed, we cry to the Lord, he hears and he delivers. The goodness of God and the mercy of God will be declared to us through this psalm. So the encouragement of the people to give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and for his mercy that endures forever. Over and over again though we, by our own folly, get into trouble, we cry to God and he gets us out. His mercy endures forever.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 6th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 106

    Bible Study: Psalms 106

    There are many psalms that begin with the word “hallelujah” and they end with the word “hallelujah”. This is the first of those many psalms, it begins with the Hebrew word hallelujah and it ends with the Hebrew word hallelujah. Hallel in Hebrew is praise. Yah is the Hebrew contraction for Jehovah or YAWEH and it is translated as follows. PRAISE ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; (106:1).

    You are to give thanks to the Lord here for two reasons. for his good: for his mercy endureth for ever (106:1).The psalmist will first of all speak to us in this psalm of the goodness of God. Then the psalmist will go on to show us how that the mercy of God endures forever. So he sort of sets the tone in the first verse; give thanks to the Lord, praise the Lord because he is good and his mercy endureth forever. In speaking about the goodness of God the psalmist questions.

    Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise? (106:2). The works of God are so marvelous and so wonderful. We look around the universe, we look around the earth and we see the works of God. Who can declare that? They’re just marvelous.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 5th, 2012

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    Bible Study: Psalms 101-103

    Bible Study: Psalms 101-103

    Here is a psalm of David in which he describes the perfect king and the perfect kingdom. So he’s not talking about himself but of that one that will come from David who will reign upon the throne of David. It is a psalm really again that looks toward the reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. You surely could not say that this was true of David’s reign though indeed it was probably in the heart of David, it was a part of that desire that we have towards the ideal. I would like to be perfect. I’m not, I’m far from perfect but I’d like to be. David had that desire to be perfect; to be all that God would have him to be. He, with the rest of us, failed. Yet we all have and admire the ideal.

    God has put it in our hearts, that desire to be better, to be perfect and thank God, through the work of his spirit, day by day I am being conformed into the image of Christ. The spirit of God is working in me to that end and to that purpose to give me the strength, to give me the power to be what God wants me to be. He’s far from through and I don’t think I’ll live long enough for him to be through but thank God, as the fellow said, “Though I’m not yet what I’m going to be, I’m not what I was”. I’m on the way and I can see that progress of God’s work in my life as day by day he causes me to be more like Jesus Christ.

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