Glorify The Sovereign King. AG Sunday School Adult Manual.

 

Memory Verse: Psalm 147:1

 

_Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake_ (KJV).

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*Central Truth*
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_Glorify the living God, who is sovereignly active in the affairs of humankind._
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*The Lesson Outline*
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*1. Glorify the Living God*
A. Our Loving God
*Psalm 115:1-2*
B. The Futility of ldols
*Psalm 115:3-8*
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2. Glorify the Mindful Master
A. God Our Helper and Shield

*Psalm 115:911*
B. God Blesses Those Who Fear Him
*Psalm 115:12-18*
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*3. Glorify the Awesome Provider*
A. God Provides for
Our Spiritual Needs
*Psalm 65:1-8*
B. God Provides for
Our Physical Needs
*Psalm 65:9-13*
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*Learning Objectives*
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At the end of this lesson, students will
be able to:

1. Contemplate God’s active concern for us and appreciate how thorough the care is that He provides.

2. Identify the ultimate superiority of God over any idols or competing
beliefs or world pursuits.

3. Thank God accordingly and, in so doing, build the believer’s faith and confidence in God.
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*Introducing the Lesson*
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Psalms 65 and 115 describe two different aspects of life. In Psalm 65, David rejoiced in God for answering
prayer and forgiving sins, He praised God for His great power and
blessings. Psalm 115, on the other hand, describes those who are going
through adversity. They know God is sovereign and resides in heaven, but the physical evidence is not there.
The Psalmist provided hope in adversity. The people needed to trust
God and praise Him because of who He is even in difficult circumstances. Both psalms remind us that we are to glorify God, our Sovereign King, in all
circumstances.
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*The Holy Scriptures*
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*Psalm 115:1*. “`Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.

2. Wherefore should the heathen say, where is now their God?

3. But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

4. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.

5. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:

6. They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:

7. They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.

8. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

9. O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is thair help and their shield.

10. O house of Aaron, trust in the, LORD: he is their help and their shield.

11. Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.

12. The LORD hath been mindfuf of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of lsrae; he will bless the house ofAaron.

13. He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.

15. Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.

65:1. Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion:
and unto thee shall the vow be
performed.

2. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee
shall all flesh come.

3. Iniquities prevail against me: as for our
transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.

9. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it:
thou greatly enrichest it with the river of
God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided
for it.

10. Thou waterest the ridges thereof
abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers:
thou blessest the springing thereof.“`
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*Commentary and Application*
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*1. Glorify the Living God*
A. Our Loving God
*Psalm 115:1-2*

The people of Israel were
experiencing adversity. The Psalmist does not tell us what that adversity was, but the people recognised that ít
somehow reflected on God’s ability to protect and provide for His people. Thus, they prayed, “Not to us, O
Lord, not to us” (Psalm 115:1). They were not asking God to deliver them from their adversity for their sake to
relieve their distress. They were calling on God to do something to
restore honour and glory to His
name. God had promised Moses of His “unfailing love and faithfulness
Exodus 34:6). It did not seem that God was fulfilling His commitment toward His people.

lsrael’s adversity and God’s seeming inability o or lack of desire to
help His people brought a sarcastic response from the nations around
Israel (Psalm 115:2). These nations knew of God’s great power. They had heard how God had delivered the Israelites from Egypt (see Joshua
3:9-11; 6:1; 5:1). Perhaps some of these nations had experienced
defeat at the hands of the Israelites.
The nations’ taunting remark in Psalm 115:2 reflected not only on

God’s people and their relationship with Him, but on His abilty to help
and defend His people.
God’s people were asking God, “Why are you letting these rnations dishonor you?” They Could not
understand why God would not respond to the taunt of these ungodly
people and defend himself.

When we are experiencing
adversity, we may wonder, Where is
God in our adversity? Those who know we believe in God’s power to
save and deliver may question God’s
integrity and ability to help.
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*Questions for Application*
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_What examples can you give that demonstrate the loving and kind nature of God, either from your life personally or from what you have seen God do in someone else’s life?_

_Why is it good for us that God does what He pleases?_

_Why is it important that God’s throne is not on the Earth, but in the heavens?_
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B. The Futility of ldols
*Psalm 115:3-8*
Psalm 115:3-8 presents a great contrast between the God of Israel
and the idols of the heathens. The heathens could see their idols; they could not see Israel’s God. The Psalmist thundered back in defence by proclaiming the sovereignty of God. God is not an unmovable, impersonal God. He has a heart of love that is moved to action on behalf of His children. The unseen God is all-powerful. He is in heaven and “he does as he wishes” (verse 3, NLT). He cannot be manipulated. Even if ít
seems He is withholding help from His people He is not powerless to help.

The heathens’ idols are man-made, unlike the invisible God who created the heavens and the Earth.
These idols are helpless. They have human characteristicS-mouths,
eyes, ears, hand, feet, and throats. But unlike their human counterparts, these parts have no ability to function in a meaningful way (verses 4-8; see
also Isaiah 44:9-20). The God of’heaven hèars, sees, and speaks
(Psalms 34:17; 33:13; 85:8). The enemies of God had ridiculed Him
and intimidated those who followed Him. Those who make and trust in idols are just like them and just as
foolish as their idols (Psalm 115:8). While the heathen insinuated that
Israel’s God was powerless or unwilling to help, they foolishly
believed that man-made idols could help them.

The apostle Paul explained the futility and ultimate demise of those who worship idols (Romans 1:22-32). Rejecting God leads one
further and further into sin. We live in a time when people often ridicule us for believing in God. They claim that
God is a crutch for the weak. The Bible, however, declares that God is the Creator of heaven and the Earth. He is the Sovereign God over all creation. As such we can trust Him, even in adversity.
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*Questions for Application*
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_What are some things people worship today that are as powerless and unable to respond as ancient idols?_

_How do these verses about God help yOu see Him in a personal way?_
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*2. Glorify the Mindful Master*
A. God Our Helper and Shield
*Psalm 115:9-11*
The Psalmist followed his description of the foolishness of idols
and those who worship them with a call to trust God (Psalm 115:9-11).
How different is the worship of God
from the worship of idols. The Psalmist’s call went out to three
groups:

(1) The whole nation was to trust God. God had called them to be
His special people (Deuteronomy 26:17-19). They were not to forsake Him.

(2) The prieststhe spiritual leaders–were to trust God. At times
the priests were unfaithful to their
calling and the nation suffered Ezekiel 22:26: Malachi 2:7-9).

(3) “All you who fear the Lord” (Psalm
115:11, NLT) —Which would even include those outside of the covenant
of Israelwere to trust God.

Three times the Psalmist
provided the reason people are to trust God: “He is your helper and your shield” (Psalm 115:9-11). The ídols
mentioned in Psalm 115:4-7 could
not help anyone. They were lifeless. But the living God will help all who put their trust in Him.

God would be their “shield” to protect them from their enemies. The
people of lsrael had faced the Red Sea when Pharaoh and his army
were advancing, but God did not forsake them. This was a constant
reminder to God’s people of His faithfulness. They could trust in Him.

God’s promise of help and protection is coupled with the command to trust Him. As believers,
we need to trust God when the way seems uncertain. We cannot trust in uncertain riches (Proverbs 11:28; 1 Timothy 6:17). We cannot trust in governments, We can only trust in the God who dwells in heaven.
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*Questions for Application*
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_Name one or two situations from your life where you can say that God has been your Helper and Shield._

_Discuss the role of trust in the believer’s life. How has your trust grown, or how does it need to grow?_
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B. God Blesses Those Who Fear Him
*Psalm 115:12–18*
The Psalmist began Psalm 115 with the lament that God had seemingly forsaken Israel. However, he concluded this psalm with words of encouragement. God has indeed remembered His people (verses 12-13). Just as the Psalmist named three groups of people in verses
(9-11, he named three groups here: “the people of Israel,” the priests,”
and “those who fear the Lord, both great and lowly.” God makes no
distinction among the laity, the priesthood, and the social outcasts.
All who place their trust in Him are His people and receive His blessings.

Even though God’s people may experience adversity, God does not
forget them, They are His covenant people and “He has remembered his
promise to love and be faithful to Israel” (Psalm 98:3, NLT). He promised to bless them through
delivering them from their aflictions and fulfilling His promises toward them.

Psalm 115:14–18 is a prayer for God’s blessing. God’s blessings are
for all generations (verse 14). As Creator, God has the power and
ability to bless His people. He sovereignly rules over everything He
created (verse 16). Even though God is in heaven (verse 3), He is still
concerned about people on the Earth. He has assigned humanity to
rule over and care for the Earth (see Genesis 1:28; 2:15). Everything we do is to serve and honour God.

In Psalm 115:14-18, the
Psalmist prays a blessing over God’s
people. In verses 17-18, the people have the opportunity and
responsibility to bless God through praise. Even in adversity the Psalmist taught that God is their Helper and Shield. Even if He has not yet delivered them, they can still praise Him.

Praise is an important part of our walk with Christ. We need to learn to Pralse God even during the difficult
times. Even when we do not see Him at work, He is still God. For this He
deserves our praise.
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*Questions for Application*
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_How does the blessing of the Lord impact the lives of our children and their children? What is our responsibility in teaching future generations to fear the Lord, whetheror not we have children?_

_How does “fear of the Lord” differ from fear of illness or injury?_
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*3. Glorify the Awesome Provider*
A. God Provides for Our Spiritual Needs
*Psalm 65:1-8*
The people of Israel had come to Jerusalem (Zion) to worship God in
His temple (Psalm 65:1). God had answered their prayers and they
committed to fulfilling their “vows. Their “vows” were their promises to
worship God because of who He is and for His provision (see Psalm
56:12; 61:8; 66:13-15). While God’s people recognise God’s majesty and power, the scope of worship extends
beyond the nation. “All of us” (Psalm 65:2, NLT) or “all flesh” (KJV) refers
to “all humanity.”

One of the reasons the Israelites came to Jerusalem was to offer
sacrifices for forgiveness. They had
experienced the overwhelming guilt
of sin (verse 3; see 32:1-7). God is faithful to forgive, in spite of their sin. Because they found forgiveness,
they could worship with joy as they “dwell in his holy courts” (Psalm 65:4,
KJV). In the same way, when we dwell in God’s forgiveness and
presence, we will experience His joy
and worship Him.

God also provides security and salvation (verses 5-8). God ís our
“Savior.” God has displayed His majestic power through “awesome deeds.” We can see God’s mighty
power through creation (verse 6).
The “raging oceans” posed no threat
because God had created them
(verse 7). Israel’s history is full of accounts where God delivered His
people from their enemies, adversity,
and provided for thenm in times of famine. God “silenced the shouting
of the nations” (verse 7, NLT).

Yet God’s mighty power was not for Israel alone; it was for the other
nations as well (verse 8). Israel was to be a testimony of God’s
faithfulness and proclaim His faith-
fulness to other nations so they too could experience God’s salvation and provision.

For Israel, God was “the hope of everyone on earth” (verse 5, NLT). In
the same way, Jesus is the hope of our world. Through Him we find
forgiveness of sin and stand in awe of His mighty power on our behalf. Like the Psalmist, with joy we praise
Him and proclaim His name to all nations.
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*Questions for Application*
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_How does it build your faith to know God answers prayer? Share some answers to prayer with your class to help build the faith of others._

_Why is it important that God forgives sin?_
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B. God Provides for
Our Physical Needs

*Psalm 65:9-13*
Ancient Israel was largely an agricultural society. They learned to
trust God for His care of them by His care of the land (Psalm 65:9).
Everything we read in this psalm describes God’s abundance. The
streams are full of water. He makes the ground “rich and fertile” (verse 9, NLT). While they prepared the fields, they could depend on God to supply the water to grow their crops. Thus
He drenches “the plowed ground with rain” (verse 10, NLT). The early
rain gave cropsa good start and the latter rain helped the crops mature
and produce abundant harvests (verse 11). In an arid land where grass was often scarce, the rain transformed the wilderness into “lush
pasture” (verse 12, NLT) to supply food for their sheep (verse 13). The
Psalmist depicted the e Earth as rejoicing at God’s abundant blessing on it.

The abundant outpouring of God’s care and provision is a sign of
His gracious mercy through the forgiveness of sin. While lsrael were
God’s special people who were chosen to receive His blessing, the
appeal of this psalm reaches far beyond lsraeldesires that a
beyond Israel to everyone in the world (verse 2). God desires that “all fiesh” (KJV) experience His saving
grace through Christ. He wants to restore all humanity to His original
purpose for which He created this world. Our responsibility is to tell
about God’s saving grace, the forgiveness of sins, and the blessings God desires to pour out on those who serve Him (Matthew 28:19-20).
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*Questions for Application*
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_In what ways is God’s provision of something as commonplace as water essential as a blessing?_

_The blessings mentioned in this psalm end in joyful shouting and singing. What contemporary worship song, or traditional hymn, also reminds you of the blessing of the basic provisions of God?_
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*Call to Discipleship*
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Unlike the gods of the world, our God is alive and active in our lives. He is aware of us, is Master of all, and cares for us. He provides for our spiritual needs and our physical needs, and He desires that we walk in relationship with Him.
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*Ministry in Action*
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Look for ways you can refocus your thoughts away from things that could become idols to you and turn your thoughts toward God.
Keep a daily gratitude journal, noting at least three blessings or
provisions from God that you are thankful for.
Find ways to be generous to three people you don’t know to celebrate God’s generosity to yau. (Buy them a gif, give them money, etc

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