Explore The Bible Study: Thankful

11:05 AM

Imagine sitting down with others and sharing everything you have learned and experienced about God. If you are like me, you might begin by describing His work of salvation in your heart; then you might move to sharing about times in your life when God became very real to you because of how He worked in your life. Your story reaches a crescendo and excitement swells within you as you share, and you feel as if you could do the impossible because of God's greatness. This is the story of King David in our passages this week from the Explore The Bible Study: Thankful. He could not contain his praise or his thanksgiving for all God did and all God is. He had to say "thank you," and he wanted everyone to know about it!

As you lead the group to focus on David's thankfulness during the session consider the following:

Compare 2 Samuel 22:26-28 with the following paraphrases in order to lead the group to learn how to communicate God's responses to our virtues and vices.

Copy, cut, and distribute these verses to individuals in the group to read.
The Message (2 Samuel 22:26-28)

26You stick by people who stick with you, you're straight with people who're straight with you,
27You're good to good people, you shrewdly work around the bad ones.
28You take the side of the down-and-out, but the stuck-up you takes down a peg.

The New Living Translation (2 Samuel 22:26-28)

26“To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity.
27To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
28You rescue the humble, but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them.
Guide the group to identify the descriptions of God David includes in 2 Samuel 22:29-36 as he praises God for who He is and what He has done. 

Below is the list that is included in the downloadable teaching ideas along with some discussion suggestions. The descriptions should cause all of us to say "thank you" and express our praise to God!
  • He is a Lamp (v. 29) – “David told God that He was his lamp, the means by which he navigated trough the darkness of life.” (Daily Discipleship Guide, p.105). How is God your lamp in this dark world?
  • He is a powerful God! (v. 30) – Did David really believe he could do what he describes, or he is saying, “because of You, I feel as if I could attack a barricade and leap over a wall”? (David's faith was so strong that he felt as if God could enable him to do anything! This is how we should all feel about God when we realize who He is! It means that with the courage God gives him, he is willing to assault a stronghold.)
  • His way is perfect (v. 31)
  • His word is pure (v. 31)
  • He is a shield (v. 31) – When you read that God is a shield, what comes to mind? How has God shielded or protected you?
  • He is the only God (v. 32)
  • He is a rock (v. 32)
  • He is my strong refuge (v. 33) – Describe a time when you have sought refuge in God.
  • He makes my way perfect (v. 33)
  • He makes my feet like the feet of a deer (v. 34) –Who could describe the way a deer runs through the woods? (Deer are sure-footed on uneven terrain, can leap seemingly without effort and take high ground, can escape danger with great speed, and move with beautiful grace. By analogy, David meant that, with God, he could face obstacles and dangers without being in a stumbling panic.)
  • He sets me securely on the heights (v. 34) – Imagine standing securely on the top of a mountain plateau. How does this help you understand David’s description of God?
  • He trains my hands for war (v. 35) – How does this apply to believers today? – see Ephesians 6:12. (David is so excited because of what he knows about God, he believes he could bend a bow of bronze!)
  • He gives us the shield of salvation (v. 36) – This is probably the source for Paul’s metaphor of Christian armor in Ephesians 6:11-17, although Paul spoke of a “shield of faith” and a “helmet of salvation.” For Paul, armor is a vivid illustration of spiritual conflict; it is waged with prayer and is fought against Satan. David had more literal combat in mind.
  • He exalts me (v. 36) – What does Matthew 23:12 say needs to take place in order for God to exalt us? (We must be humble). David knew this first-hand because he had been humbled many times. David was not bragging about being exalted. He was praising God for doing what only God could have done in his life.
Challenge your group at the end to compile their own thank you note to Christ for all he has done and all they have experienced of His grace and power. 
  • The Downloadable teaching ideas provide more information.
  • Consider the following video as a way to close out your session. Enjoy praising God as you listen!


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