A highlight from Finding Victory in Spiritual Warfare: Devotional Bible Study of Psalm 149


Rachel Grohl. Today is our second to last day of the Psalm series that we've been going through, and we're talking about Psalm 149 today. As we've been going through the Psalms, one of the things that we continue to hone in on is the worship and the praise that's in the Psalms. As a reminder, the reason why we decided to study the Psalms was to have this really good foundation because we know that the Psalms was the hymn book and the prayer book of both Jesus and the disciples. If we are seeking after to know the heart of God, to know and hear Jesus's voice more clearly, to me it made really good sense to understand what he himself referred to as his prayer book and his song book and how he praised God. We have to recognize that Jesus and the disciples not only knew the Torah, but they knew the Psalms intimately. I think that's what we accomplished through this season. We're going to finish strong. We're going through Psalm 149 today. I just want to let you know before we dive in that next week, starting on Monday, we're going to be going through the She Hears Bible study content together, which is a six -week study looking through the lens of women in the life of Jesus. We start with his mother. Some of these women that we're studying in scripture, we're going to study them probably in a different way than you have studied them in the past. There's different women that have different focuses for each week, but along with those focuses, I take the history, the culture, the background information and help you have a really good picture of what was going on. Then also, I teach the color method of Bible study, which is a very simple inductive Bible study method that will give you the tools you need to study the scriptures long after that Bible study is over. If you want to pick up a copy of that, you can go to shehears .org and you can follow along on the podcast with your own copy. Then once a week on Thursdays, we're going to have a live in the Facebook group where I answer any questions you have about that particular week. Praying for you, even right now, if you're deciding to join us, I pray that that will be a blessing for you. As we go through the Psalms, just a reminder that in the show notes of every episode, there's also a journaling prompt, because journaling is an excellent way to get this information from your head into your heart. If you would like all of those together, I can send those to you on Mondays in the newsletter where you get that recap and all of those journaling prompts together. Or if you'd like previous episodes, you can go to the resources section, go to shehears .org slash resources and look for the guided Psalms journals. Again, just more things to bless you and help you grow in your walk with the Lord. So today we're going through Psalm 149 and I'm reading from the NIV starting at verse one. Praise the Lord, sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people. Let Israel rejoice in their maker. Let the people of Zion be glad in their king. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people. He crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double -edged sword in their hands to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the Lord. What you'll notice about this Psalm, as well as all of the Psalms that we're setting this week, is, of course, the opening of the hallelujah, the call to praise the Lord both in the beginning and in the end. In your English Bible, in the NIV, it's going to say praise the Lord, but in the original language, it actually said that word hallelujah. We're going through day by day of these final five Psalms, this final doxology, and we're looking at this idea of beginning and ending with the hallelujah. That is the setting for each of these Psalms. Today's Psalm is interesting because it is within the context of warfare. Today's Psalm is a victory song, and the psalmist is looking at this idea of being ready and being ready for God to execute judgment on those that are wicked, whether it's the various rulers or the surrounding nations. I love that perspective because it takes our responsibility out of it. Not to say that we don't have a responsibility to stand up as believers within a dark world. That's not what I'm saying, but so often I think we can walk away feeling powerless against some of the darkness of this world. This psalm reminds us to step back and trust God within spiritual warfare, within physical warfare, within emotional warfare, that God is the one that's in control and God is the one that executes judgment. That's his responsibility. As we start with this opening call to praise, this hallelujah, the psalmist then goes on to urge the congregation of God's people. Remember when it says the assembly of his faithful people, he's talking to Israel, but for modern readers, that would refer to Christians. We could consider ourselves in that same camp. The psalmist is reminding them and us to sing a new song to God. Some of that verbiage may sound familiar to you because a lot of modern -day praise and worship songs integrate some of this language. In fact, they integrate a lot of the psalm language, but specifically that new song is what I'm referring to. That idea of the new song, it happens other places in the psalm, specifically Psalm 33, 40, 96, 98, 144. Then we also see it in Isaiah chapter 42 and then even in the book of Revelation chapters 5 and also chapters 14. In those contexts, the idea of singing the new song is connected to warfare. So a new song is a hymn of victory that is sung after God has made all things new by his defeat of the forces of evil. So the new song, that victory song, is something that is sung after the battle has been won. In verses 2 through 5, we see this idea of Israel praising God. And most of this section is, again, a call for God's people to join together in worship. I believe that this is especially important in the setting of warfare because we know that God inhabits the praises of his people. And some of these battles that we fight are not fought in the physical, they're fought in the posture of praise that invites God to inhabit our praises. And so what we see here is the psalmist is talking about how God deserves their praise because he's not only their maker, but he's their king. And so in response to that, their praise should not be dull or an afterthought, but it should be done with enthusiasm and they should be participating in it and they should be dancing and playing instruments and singing. It is a celebration of God's role as king in their life. King over circumstances. King over the warfare that they're in. King over whatever situation they're facing. And the key is that they're to praise God continually, even when they're in their beds ready to go to sleep. And why should they be praising them? Because he is the one that gives them victory. There's some power in that, friends. In the middle of your war, we praise God because he is the one that gives us the victory. Verses 6 through 9 go on to talk about praising God in the midst of the battle. And if there was any doubt in our minds that this is a psalm where the original setting was warfare, we no longer doubt that when we get to this section because the people are to praise God with their mouths, but also while holding this double

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