Introduction: Two stories frame our study this week. The one
involved a church member who was certain that God would heal
her of cancer. At some point she was shocked to realize that
she was going to die. I could see the great disappointment
in her eyes. It has been decades, but I still recall her
reaction before she died. The other story comes from a
famous preacher. I heard him say that he prays for a good
parking space – and he gets a good space. Why would one
faithful lady die while another is rewarded with good
parking – a trifling matter? Let’s plunge into our study of
Psalms and learn more!

I. He Sees and Hears

A. Read Psalms 139:1-5. Do you think this close
connection is only because King David is such an
important person?

1. Does God help important people with parking
spots and the little people die of cancer?

B. Read Psalms 139:6. What foundational point is
David making that answers the questions I have
been asking? (David is writing about God’s
extraordinary powers. God knows everything about
him. God knows what David is thinking and what he
is about to say. Grasping this knowledge of an
all-powerful God is “high.” Like David we have
trouble reaching up to understand it!)

1. Is there any reason God would do this for King
David and not for you? (This highlights the
weakness in human thinking: that God has
limited powers. If God’s powers are unlimited
then He does not need to ration His help. He
does not need to make a decision on who to
help because He cannot help everyone at once.
This is what David calls “Knowledge [that] is
too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot
attain it.”)

C. Read Psalms 139:7-12. Would you want to flee from
the sight of God?

1. Why would a person answer, “Yes?” (The only
reason would be if they were involved in
activities of which God does not approve.)

a. What important point flows logically from
this? (God’s awareness of our situation
does not turn on whether we are obedient.
We cannot run away from Him even if we
were in hell.)

2. Let’s go back to my church member who was
shocked to realize that God was not going to
help her. What do you think were her thoughts
about God’s reasons? (It would logically be
that she was unworthy. She had disobeyed in
some way.)

3. If our level of obedience does not affect
God’s knowledge of our situation, what is the
remaining conclusion as to why God did not
heal the church member who believed that God
would heal her? (God made an executive
decision not to heal her then. God would allow
her to die and then heal her at the Second
Coming of Jesus.)

D. Read Psalms 139:13-16. How involved was God with
you before you were born?

1. What did God know about your lifespan before
you were born? (God has written in His book
the number of days that David would live even
before he had his first day!)

2. What does that say about God and the church
member who was sure she would be healed? (God
made the decision on this before she was

3. How should we react to this – when it is our
life that hangs in the balance? (We simply
need to trust God. There is no negligence on
His part. He has made a wise decision knowing
all of the facts.)

a. How does Satan’s war on us impact this

E. Read Psalms 139:17-19. Does King David have a path
that he wants God to take? (Yes. He wants the
wicked killed so they will leave him alone. At the
same time David realizes that God’s thoughts are
vast. They are beyond David’s grasp.)

1. Can God find you a parking spot? (Why not? It
is no strain on God’s capacity. He knows
everything about you. He can help you find
your car keys.)

F. Read Psalms 121:6-8. How should the church member
who was dying of cancer understand these verses?
Cancer was an evil that was taking her life! (Read
Psalms 121:2-4. The decision to allow her to die
from cancer was not because God lacked the power
to heal or because He was not paying attention.
God will give the woman eternal life instead of a
temporary extension now.)

II. Confidence

A. Read Psalms 17:6. David states that God “will
answer me.” If you review Psalms 17:1-5 you will
see that David argues what a great and obedient
man he has been. Must we obey to have God hear us?
(That is what we have just discussed. I don’t
think that we need to obey for God to hear.)

1. If that is true, what is David talking about?
(David believes that when God makes an
executive decision on helping, part of the
decision turns on whether we have been

B. Read Deuteronomy 28:1 and Deuteronomy 28:15. Do
you think this is part of David’s thinking? (The
Old Testament is clear that the general rule is
that obedience results in blessings and
disobedience results in curses. No doubt that
shaped David’s thinking.)

1. In that context, how do you explain Job and
Jonah? (If you know these Bible stories, you
know that God listened and answered the prayer
of Jonah after his rebellion put his life in
danger. Job suffered terrible things even
though he was faithful. I think the lesson is
that God always listens. What He answers may
turn in part on our obedience.)

2. The caption of this section is “Confidence.”
After this discussion, on what can you be
confident? (God always loves us and listens to
us. That does not mean that He will do what we
want. Nevertheless, we need to trust His

III. Not Willing

A. Read Matthew 23:37-38. We just finished discussing
whether God’s help turns on our obedience. What
does Jesus teach us about God’s willingness and
our willingness when it comes to blessings? (God
listens and God is willing to bless. We are the
ones who reject God. We are those who are not
willing to be gathered safely under God’s wings.)

1. Were the people who rejected God’s protection
and blessings religious?

a. How do we who are religious avoid falling
into that same problem? (The text
suggests they were rebels. The stoned and
killed the prophets. They wanted their
own religion rather than God’s religion.)

b. How tolerant is God about our rebellion?
(You and I would stop helping after one
killing! Why help people like that? But
Jesus came to His people even though they
killed Him, too! God is much more
tolerant than we are.)

B. Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. What spiritual
advantages does this group have?

C. Read 1 Corinthians 10:5-6. What is the reason for
the failure of these people? (They desired evil.)

D. Read 1 Corinthians 10:7-10. How is evil described?
(It mentions four things: idolatry (quoting Exodus
32:6 about the golden calf), sexual immorality
(referring to Numbers 25:1-9), putting Jesus to
the test (likely referring to Numbers 21:5-9), and

E. Read 1 Corinthians 10:11-13. Is the message of
those who died in the wilderness for us? (Yes!
This is what we need to avoid. We should not
assume that we are fine.)

1. What is the promise made to encourage us? (God
will not give us a temptation that is too
great. He will make a way of escape.)

F. Friend, do you see God’s two-tier program to
deliver you? First, we see that God listens and
helps. The exception being for those who are not
willing to be in a relationship with Him. But
even for those, God has a next step, He will make
sure that you are able to be in a relationship
with Him. Nothing can prevent you from choosing
God, other than your own free will. Will you
choose, right now, to come within the circle of
God’s protection and wisdom?

IV. Next week: Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land.

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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