Introduction: Are you fearful about the future? Are you
anxious? Does what you read in the news today cause you to
worry? This week I read yet another article reporting that
worry and anxiety are at record levels. Suicide rates are
high. In that context, think about how you approach the
difficult tasks in your life. If you have done it before,
you likely encourage yourself by saying, “I’ve done this
before, and I can do it again.” Apply that mind set to what
God has done for you and for His people in the past.
Reliance on God’s past good works is a theme in the Psalms.
Let’s jump into our study of Psalms and learn more!

I. Dark Teachings for Today

A. Read Psalm 78:1-3. Is the psalmist talking about
historical truths? (Yes, “sayings from of old.”)

1. What does that suggest about the application
of these sayings of old to current news? To
problems that involve Israel today?

2. If ancient history is good and helpful to us
today, why does the psalmist call them “dark
sayings?” (The point is that they may be
difficult to correctly understand. This is not
a negative comment about the morality of
ancient sayings.)

3. Think about some of the lessons from the Old
Testament. Are they all easy to understand?
For example, read Deuteronomy 20:16-18 and
then read 1 Samuel 15:3. What is the lesson to
be learned in these texts? Are these lessons

a. Notice the reasoning found in
Deuteronomy 20:18. Why this destruction? (The
Canaanites will teach God’s people to
sin. They are engaged in “abominable

B. Read Genesis 15:16-18. What is meant by the term
“the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet
complete?” (God tells Abram that He will use
Abram’s descendants in the future in connection
with the sins of the Amorites.)

1. Note the size of the land Abram’s descendants
are given by God. Is that larger than the
nation of Israel today? (Yes! This is a huge
area. The Nile is west of the Red Sea. This
includes Lebanon, a large part of Saudi
Arabia, almost half of Iraq, most of Syria,
and even reaches into Turkey. Of course, it
includes modern Israel.)

C. Read Judges 1:28-36. Did God’s people obey God
with regard to the conquest and destruction? (No.
It turns out that Abram’s descendants did not
completely obey God and some Canaanites remained.
Notice the specific reference to the Amorites.)

1. Consider today’s news events and then factor
in the “dark sayings.” Would Israel face a
different situation today if it had cleared
Canaan of all its enemies?

D. Read Psalm 83:2-4. Does this sound like
today’s news? (Yes. This shows that the failure to
follow God’s directions on judgment against the
Canaanites has created a persistent problem.)

E. Let’s get back to Psalm 78. Read Psalm 78:4. Have
you shared with your children and grandchildren
what “glorious deeds” God has done for you?

1. Have you shared with your children how the
“dark sayings” impact the events of today?

F. Read Psalm 78:5-7. What is the positive reason for
teaching the next generations to remember God and
keep His commandments? (It gives them hope! Hope
combats anxiety.)

G. Read Psalm 78:8-11. What is the negative reason
for teaching the next generations to remember God
and keep His commandments? (This is what we were
discussing earlier. God’s people turned back from
battle because they did not trust Him. They did
not trust Him because they did not recall His
mighty works in the past.)

1. These verses suggest that being unfaithful to
God frustrated completing His instructions.
Recall that God’s plan has to do with judgment
on the Canaanites. Is Israel today faithful to

a. Does faithfulness matter if God made a
promise to Abraham?

H. In the last part of Genesis 18 we find Abram
negotiating with God about the destruction of
Sodom. God said He would not destroy Sodom if ten
righteous people were there. Do you find a lesson
in that story about destruction that applies to
Israel today? (Not everyone needs to be on board
with God in modern Israel for God to protect

II. Teachings for a Thousand Generations

A. Read Psalm 105:6-11. We often read that in 1948
Israel proclaimed that it was a nation, and the
United States, Britain, and the United Nations
agreed. Is 1948 the birth year for Israel? (The
better date comes from Psalm 105:8-11 when God
confirmed the existing covenant with the
descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that for a
“thousand generations” Canaan was their

1. One commentator said that the people living in
the area in 1948 did not appreciate others
being given their land and the resentment we
see today among the modern Canaanites is to be
expected. Is this a failure to communicate
“dark sayings?”

B. Read Psalm 105:41-45. What is the timing of this
Canaanite “possession?” (After God’s people left

1. What do these texts say about existing people
in that area? (God’s people “took possession”
of the “fruit of the peoples’ toil.” They
benefitted from those who previously lived

C. Look again at Psalm 105:44-45. We previously
discussed judgment against the inhabitants of
Canaan. What is the reason do we find here for
displacing and destroying the Canaanites? (God
explicitly says that He is fulfilling His promise
to Abraham and his descendants “that they might
keep His statues and observe His laws.” God gives
the land to those who recognize Him as the true

1. I recently heard yet another university
apologize for “stealing” its land from
whatever was the local native American tribe.
I’m sure that the university (and every
similar university) purchased the land from
someone. But the point is that at some time
the land may have been forcibly taken from the
natives. Does anything that we have been
studying teach us valid lessons about this
dispute? (What gods did the natives serve?)

a. You may say, “Wait a minute! That is not
fair. How were the Native Americans to
know the true God? Just because you know
the true God you get to steal land? (The
Bible teaches us that all current people
descended from Noah. That means the
ancestors of everyone knew the true God.
The lessons of Canaan are that God, at
some point, executes judgment on those
who reject Him and promote false gods.)

III. Teaching Justice

A. Read Psalm 106:1-3. Does God wants us to be just
and righteous according to these verses? (Yes. I
have no doubt the discussion we just had may cause
some to dispute the justice of God.)

B. Read Psalm 106:4. Is God just when He favors His
people? Isn’t that at bottom, the issue we have
been discussing?(Are you being unjust when you
promote a system that gives humans the opportunity
to move from eternal death to eternal life, and
frustrates the approach that brings eternal

C. Read Psalm 106:6-8. What other consideration
regarding justice do we find in these verses?
(God’s name.)

1. Let’s explore this. The psalmist tells us that
God’s people rebelled against Him and failed
to remember what God had done for them in the
past. Does that mean God should now punish
them like He punished the Canaanites?(God
saved His people despite their sin, iniquity,
and wickedness (see verse six) because of His
reputation. He showed them mercy to show the
world His power.)

a. Does that seem just to you? (I say,
“Yes.” God and Satan are not equivalent
values. God is the author of good and
Satan is the author of evil. Preserving
God’s reputation is important.)

D. Read Psalms 106:9-11. Pharaoh rebelled against God
and so did God’s people at the Red Sea. One group
was saved and the other drowned. Is this just?

E. Read Psalms 106:12. What purpose did the arguably
unequal justice at the Red Sea serve? (God’s
people believed Him. Pharaoh was never going to
convert to serve the true God. Pharaoh promoted

F. We started off talking about anxiety, fear and
today’s events. Then we discussed judgment and
justice. What lessons have we learned that help
us avoid being anxious? (First, God favors His
people. He favors what advances His cause and His
good name. Second, problems arise when we fall
away from God. The ultimate lesson is to choose
God and choose obedience. Even if we slip God
understands that we are on His side.)

G. Friend, will you choose God today?

IV. Next week: Longing For God in Zion.

Copr. 2024, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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Holy Spirit as you study.