Psalms - Weekly Lesson

2024 Quarter 1 Lesson 09 - Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord

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Jan · Feb · Mar 2024
Quarter 1 Lesson 09 Q1 Lesson 09
Mar 24 - Mar 01

Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord

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Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study

Psalm 23, John 10:11–15, Psalm 22, Ps. 89:27–32, Col. 1:16, Psalm 2, Heb. 7:20–28.

Memory Text:

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:22, 23, NKJV).

The Psalms testify about Christ’s person and ministry. Almost all aspects of His work in the plan of salvation are seen in the Psalms. In various ways, Christ’s life and work are prefigured and predicted in them, often with remarkable accuracy.

The topics revealed in the Psalms include Christ’s deity, His Sonship, His obedience, His zeal for God’s temple, His identity as the Good Shepherd, His betrayal, His suffering, His bones not being broken, His death, resurrection, ascension, priesthood, and kingship. It’s all there, as predicted many centuries before Jesus came in the flesh.

No wonder, for example, when talking about His ministry, Jesus pointed back to the Psalms when speaking to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:44). He wanted them to find in the Psalms evidence for who He was.

Some of the psalms that have a typological fulfillment in Christ include Psalms 24, 45, 72, and 101 (the ideal King and Judge), as well as Psalms 88 and 102 (prayers of the suffering servant of God).

In all the Psalms, through the psalmists’ laments, thanksgivings, praises, and cries for justice and deliverance, we can hear the echoes of Christ’s prayer for the salvation of the world.

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, March 2.

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25th of March

Divine Self-Sacrificing Shepherd

Read Psalm 23; Psalm 28:9; Psalm 80:1; Psalm 78:52, 53; Psalm 79:13; and Psalm 100:3. How is the relationship between the Lord and His people portrayed in these texts?

The image of the Lord as Shepherd and God’s people as the sheep of His pasture highlights God’s guidance and sustaining care of His people and the people’s dependence on God to meet all their needs. The image conveys the notion of closeness between God and His people because shepherds lived with their flocks and cared for each sheep individually. The pastoral imagery also underlines God’s ownership of His flock, guaranteed by two strong bonds: creation (Ps. 95:6, 7; Ps. 100:3) and covenant (Ps. 28:9, Heb. 13:20).

The image of the divine Shepherd who leads Joseph like a flock (Ps. 80:1) perhaps alludes to Jacob’s benediction of Joseph, which pictures God as the Shepherd of Israel, and so, appeals to this great promise and blessing (Gen. 49:24).

Kings were considered shepherds of their people (2 Sam. 5:2). Yet, only God truly deserves this title because most human kings did not live up to such a calling. Only Jesus did, which is why He is called the Good Shepherd.

Read John 10:11–15. What does Jesus say about Himself as the Good Shepherd?

The intimate bond between the divine Shepherd and His flock is seen in the flock’s unmistakably knowing the Shepherd’s voice (John 10:4, 27). To the current day, Middle Eastern shepherds can divide their flocks that have mingled simply by calling their sheep, who recognize and follow their shepherd’s voice.

At times, God’s flock suffers various afflictions that the people understand as the sign of God’s discontent and abandonment. Yet, the Good Shepherd never forsakes His strayed sheep but searches to save them. This is a powerful image of God’s relationship with His people. He is willing to die for His sheep (John 10:11, 15) and paradoxically become a sacrificial lamb on their behalf (John 1:29). Also, Jesus confirmed that He would call His sheep in other folds and unite them into one flock (John 10:16).

What are ways that you can on a daily and practical level take advantage of what is promised to us in having Jesus as our Good Shepherd?

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26th of March

The Suffering Messiah

Read Psalm 22 and Psalm 118:22. How was the Messiah treated by those He had come to save?

Many psalms express the agonizing feelings of utmost forsakenness of the suffering Messiah (e.g. Psalm 42, Psalm 88, and Psalm 102). Psalm 22 is a direct Messianic prophecy because many details in this psalm cannot be historically connected to King David but perfectly fit the circumstances of Christ’s death. Jesus prayed with the words of Psalm 22:1 on the cross (Matt. 27:46).

The torment of Christ’s separation from His Father, caused by Christ carry­ing the entire world’s sins, can be measured only by the extent of their closeness, namely, their unparalleled oneness (John 1:1, 2; John 10:30). Yet, even the depths of inexplicable suffering could not break the unity between the Father and the Son. In His utter forsakenness, Christ unconditionally entrusts Himself to the Father, despite the utter depths of despair He faced.

“Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible mani­festation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 753.

The threatening animal imagery of strong bulls, roaring lions, and dogs highlights the people’s cruelty and animosity that Christ, who is compared to a harmless and helpless worm, met in His final hours. With amazing accuracy, Psalm 22 conveys the venomous remarks of the crowd that mocked Jesus with His own words to the Father (Ps. 22:1, 8; Matt. 27:43) and the soldiers dividing Jesus’ garments (Ps. 22:18, Matt. 27:35). Little did the people understand then that the “worm” they sought to crush would become the chief “cornerstone” of the Temple and secure its foundation (Ps. 118:22).

However, the rejected Messiah became the Source of salvation for God’s people after His resurrection from the dead (Matt. 21:42, Acts 4:10–12). Christ suffered the rejection of humanity, but God glorified His Son by making Him the living “chief cornerstone” of God’s spiritual Temple (Eph. 2:20−22, 1 Pet. 2:4−8). For those who reject this Stone, namely, God’s means of salvation, it will become the agent of judgment (Isa. 8:14, Matt. 21:44).

Jesus on the cross paid in Himself the penalty for every sin you have ever committed. How should the fact that He suffered on your behalf impact how you live now, that is, why you should find sin so abhorrent?

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27th of March

Forever Faithful to His Covenant

Read Psalm 89:27–32, 38–46 and Psalm 132:10–12. What is the Davidic covenant about? What seems to have endangered it?

The Davidic covenant contains God’s promise of everlasting support of David’s line and prosperity of God’s people (1 Sam. 7:5–16; Ps. 89:1–4, 19–37; Ps. 132:12–18). The permanence of the covenant was established on God’s solemn oath and the king’s faithfulness to God. However, even the devoted kings, such as King David, were not always faithful to the Lord. Psalm 89 laments over the harsh reality that seems to indicate that the glorious promises of the Davidic covenant have been lost. Is Israel hopelessly deserted by God? The answer, of course, is—no!

God’s wrath is, yes, an expression of divine judgment (Ps. 38:1, Ps. 74:1). Yet, it does not last forever because God’s everlasting love forgives people’s sins when people repent. However, while it lasts, God’s discontent with His erring people is serious. The people feel the bitter consequences of their disobedience and realize the gravity of their sins (Ps. 89:38–46). Yet, they ask, “How long?” appealing to the passing character of God’s wrath (Ps. 89:46). Renewed hope springs from new assurance in God’s faithfulness to “remember” His grace (Ps. 89:47, 50).

In short, although the human component of the covenant failed, the people could rest in the promise of God’s unchanging purposes through the Messiah, who embodies all righteousness and salvation of Israel and of the whole world. That is, in the end, God will prevail, and His eternal kingdom will be established forever—but only because of Jesus and not because of God’s people.

Jesus Christ is the Son of David and the Messiah (Matt. 1:1, Heb. 1:8). He is called “the firstborn over all creation” (Col. 1:15, NKJV), alluding to Psalm 89:27, which calls David, who was a type of Christ, God’s firstborn. “Also I will make him My firstborn, / The highest of the kings of the earth” (NKJV).

Clearly the title “firstborn” does not express David’s biological status, because David was the eighth child of his parents (1 Sam. 16:10, 11). It’s the same with Jesus. This title signifies His special honor and authority (Col. 1:16, 20−22). God made Jesus the supreme King over the whole world when He raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:30, 31).

Read Colossians 1:16, 20–22. What do these verses teach us about who Jesus was and what He has done for us? What promise can you take away from this for yourself?

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28th of March

Eternal King of Unrivaled Power

Read Psalm 2; Psalm 110:1–3; Psalm 89:4, 13–17; and Psalm 110:5, 6. What do these texts teach us about Christ as King?

The portrayal of God as the Messiah’s Father points to the coronation of the king when the king was adopted into God’s covenant (Ps. 2:7, Ps. 89:26–28). Psalm 2:7 foresees Christ’s resurrection and exaltation as the dawn of the new everlasting covenant and Christ’s royal priesthood (Acts 13:33–39, Heb. 1:5, Heb. 5:5). The Messiah sits at God’s right hand as Someone who has unprecedented honor and authority (Ps. 110:1; Acts 7:55, 56). “Moreover, the interplay between the Lord and the ‘anointed’ (Messiah) even suggests an intention to identify this Davidic Messiah with the Lord Himself. . . . If the one who sits at the right is the Lord, then, the Lord is the Messiah, since the latter is also seen at the right [see Ps. 110:1, 5]._”—Jacques Doukhan, _On the Way to Emmaus (Clarksville, MD: Lederer Books, 2012), pp. 26, 27.

In the end, Christ will have absolute victory over His enemies. To make the enemies a “footstool” is an image that reflects the custom of the ancient Near Eastern kings to place their feet on the necks of their defeated enemies to demonstrate total dominance over them. Yet, Christ’s rod here is not a tool of terror (Ps. 2:9, Ps. 110:2).

The rod (“staff”) was originally held by tribal leaders as the symbol of the tribe (Num. 17:2−10). Christ’s rod comes from Zion because He represents the people of Zion. His rod is a symbol of divine judgment, which ends the rule of evil and depicts Christ’s unrivaled reign (Rev. 2:27, Rev. 12:5). Even the wicked kings are given a chance to repent and submit to the Messiah (Ps. 2:10–12).

One graphic depiction of Christ’s ultimate victory is found in the pre-Advent scene in Daniel 7, which shows that, after judgment is given “ ‘in favor of the saints of the Most High’ ” (Dan. 7:22, NKJV), His kingdom is established, and “ ‘His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom’ ” (Dan. 7:27, NKJV). Because of the Cross, the promise of the kingdom is assured.

A blessing is promised to all who trust in the King, and the people rejoice in the Messiah’s sovereign and righteous reign (Ps. 2:12, Ps. 89:15–17).

How nice it is to know that, yes, in the end, good will triumph over evil, justice will be done, and pain and suffering will forever be vanquished. How should this truth give us comfort now when, from a human perspective, evil seems to prosper?

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29th of March

Eternal Priest in the Order of Melchizedek

Read Psalm 110:4–7. How is Christ’s priesthood unique, and what great hope can we find in Christ’s heavenly priesthood?

God endows the Messiah with an everlasting kingship (Ps. 110:1–3) and a priesthood of a superior rank, the order of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4–7). The Lord seals His word with a solemn promise (Heb. 6:18). God’s oath not to relent from giving us a perfect Priest is a sign of His grace. People’s sins and open rebellions constantly provoke God to abandon His people, but God’s oath is unchangeable and guarantees God’s grace in revoking His judgment over the repentant people (Exod. 32:14, Ps. 106:45).

The divine oath introduces a novel element to the Davidic covenant by declaring that the Messiah King is also a Priest (Ps. 110:4). Israel’s kings could never function as Levitical priests (Num. 8:19, 2 Chron. 26:16−21). When Scripture mentions kings or people offering sacrifices, it implies their bringing sacrifices to the priests, who actually offered them. Psalm 110 sets the Messiah King apart from Israel’s other kings and priests. Christ’s eternal priesthood derives from Melchizedek, who was both the king of Salem (Jerusalem) and the priest of “the most high God” (Gen. 14:18−20). The Old Testament never speaks of King David or any other Israelite king as possessing the priesthood in the order of Melchizedek, except for Psalm 110. Clearly, the psalm speaks about a distinctive king-priest in Israel’s history.

Read Hebrews 7:20–28. What are some of the implications of Christ’s superior priesthood?

Being both Divine King and everlasting Priest, Christ has unprecedented superiority over human priests and kings; so, we may take hope. Christ upholds a superior covenant that is based on God’s oath, not human promises. He serves in the heavenly sanctuary. His priesthood is not affected by sin or death, like that of human priests, and thus, He can intercede for and save His people forever. The reconciling work of Christ as the perfect and compassionate Priest gives His people a lasting assurance of abiding in God’s very presence (Heb. 6:19, 20). Christ’s royal priesthood will abolish the rule of evil, not only in people’s hearts but also in the world. He will keep the promise of Psalm 2 that every nation and ruler will be subject to the royal judgment of Christ Jesus (Ps. 2:6–9; Ps. 110:1, 2, 5, 6). Jesus’ wonderful royal priesthood makes an absolute claim on our obedience and trust.

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1st of March

Further Thought

Read Ellen G. White, “God With Us,” pp. 19–26, in The Desire of Ages.

Being both Christ’s prayers and prayers about Christ, the Psalms provide a unique revelation of Christ’s person and redeeming ministry as the One who is “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). Jesus is “God with us” in the battling prayers of forsakenness and suffering. He is “God with us” in the cries for justice and deliverance. Jesus is “God with us” by not abandoning us to our lostness and despair but showing us the way of faith victorious. He became for us the eternal Priest and King to save us from the everlasting doom of sin. In Christ, the perfect Davidic King, all God’s solemn promises of salvation find their fulfillment (2 Cor. 1:20).

Ellen G. White insightfully describes Christ’s unity with humanity: “By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey. It was Christ who from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses saying, ‘I AM THAT I AM. . . . Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.’ Ex. 3:14. This was the pledge of Israel’s deliverance. So when He came ‘in the likeness of men,’ He declared Himself the I AM. The Child of Bethlehem, the meek and lowly Saviour, is God ‘manifest in the flesh.’ 1 Tim. 3:16. And to us He says: ‘I AM the Good Shepherd.’ ‘I AM the living Bread.’ ‘I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’ ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.’ John 10:11; 6:51; 14:6; Matt. 28:18. I AM the assurance of every promise. I AM; be not afraid.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 24, 25.

Discussion Questions

  1. How has God demonstrated His unwavering faithfulness to His covenant despite the people’s unfaithfulness? What reassurance does that bring to God’s struggling children today?
  2. How does Christ’s unique and superior priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek strengthen the certainty of salvation for God’s people?
  3. The Gospels show that many Messianic promises in the Psalms were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. How does this demonstrate the veracity of God’s Word? Why must we resist any and every sentiment that tends to weaken our trust in God’s Word?
  4. What great consolation can we get from Christ’s words, “ ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth’ ” (Matt. 28:18)? How do we apply this promise to our own experience?
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Inside Story

Faithfulness Goes Far: Part 5

By Andrew McChesney

Inside Story Image


Inside Story Image


During his first few weeks in the military, Sekule was sent with a company of soldiers to work on a mountain in the former Yugoslavia. On a Friday afternoon, he received orders to shovel coal into the Sabbath hours.

“You have to shovel for 15 minutes, take a 10-minute rest, and then shovel again for 15 minutes,” the commanding officer said.

“I will shovel for 2.5 hours without stopping until the sun goes down, but then I will stop,” Sekule said.

“No one can shovel for two hours,” the officer said.

“I can,” Sekule said.

Sekule, who had learned to work hard while growing up in Montenegro, shoveled as quickly as he could. Other soldiers cautioned him to slow down.

“Why are you working so quickly?” they asked.

“I’m trying to do as much as I can to leave less work for the rest of you,” he replied. “I don’t care about myself. I just want to do the most that I can.”

His words built respect among the other soldiers. They saw that he wanted to help them. To everyone’s surprise, Sekule succeeded in shoveling the required amount of coal by sunset.

But the commanding officer didn’t seem to grasp his desire to keep the Sabbath. On another Sabbath, the officer read a list of duties to the soldiers and declared, “You will work today.”

Sekule stood tall. “Today is my Sabbath, and I can’t do any work,” he said. He knew that he might face prison if he said, “I won’t do any work,” so instead, he chose his words carefully and said, “I can’t do any work.”

“What do you mean ‘can’t’?” the officer asked.

“I’m a Seventh-day Adventist, and I can’t work on Sabbath,” Sekule said.

The officer stood tall and glared at Sekule. “Soldier, who will work in your place then?” he said.

All the other soldiers stood tall. “We will work in his place then,” they said in unison.

Sekule realized at that moment that it was important not only to be faithful to God but also to be faithful to people. Jesus said, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30, 31; NKJV). Sekule saw that if he treated others fairly, they also would treat him fairly.

Sekule Sekuli´c is an affluent entrepreneur and faithful Seventh-day Adventist in Montenegro. Read more of his story next week. Thank you for your Sabbath School mission offerings that help spread the good news of Jesus’ soon coming in Montenegro and around the world.

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