|Church School Lesson: More Than Good|
"More Than Good"
May 27, 2018
Background: Leviticus 16; Psalm 34; Hebrew 2:5-18;
Print: Psalm 34:1-10; Hebrews 2:17-18;
Key Verse: Psalm 34:8; Devotional: Hebrews: 7:20-28
Psalm 34:1-10 (NKJV)
1 I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
9 Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.
Hebrews 2:17-18 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Psalm 34 / Hebrews 2 (Commentary)
34:1ff: God promises great blessings to his people, but many of these blessings require active participation. He will set us free from our fears (34:4, 6), guard and defend us (34:7), show us goodness (34:8), supply our needs (34:9), listen when we call to him (34:15), and redeem us (34:22), but we must do our part. We can appropriate his blessings when we trust him (34:4,10); cry out to him (34:6,17); take refuge in him (34:8); fear him (34:9); refrain from lying (34:13); turn from evil, do good, and search for peace (34:14); are brokenhearted (34:18); and serve him (34:22).
34:8: "Taste and see" does not mean, "Check out God's credentials." Instead, it is a warm invitation: "Try this; I know you'll like it." When we take that first step of obedience in following God, we will discover that he is good and kind. When we begin the Christian life, our knowledge of God is partial and incomplete. As we trust him daily, we experience how good he is.
34:9: You say you belong to the Lord, but do you fear him? To fear the Lord means to show him deep respect, reverence, and honor. We demonstrate this attitude by humility and genuine worship. Abraham (Genesis 17:2-4), Moses (Exodus 3:5, 6), and the Israelites (Exodus 19:16-24) showed this kind of fear of the Lord.
34:9,10: At first we may question David's statement because we seem to lack many good things. This is not a blanket promise that all Christians will have everything they want. Instead, this is David's praise for God's goodness--all those who call upon God in their need will be answered, sometimes in unexpected ways.
Remember, God knows what we need, and our deepest needs are spiritual. Even though many Christians face unbearable poverty and hardship, they still have enough spiritual nourishment to live for God. David was saying that if you have God, you have all you really need. God is enough.
If you feel you don't have everything you need, ask: (1) Is this really a need? (2) Is this really good for me? (3) Is this the best time for me to have what I desire? Even if you answer yes to all three questions, God may allow you to go without to help you grow more dependent on him. He may want you to learn that you need him more than having your immediate desires met.
2:16, 17: In the Old Testament, the high priest was the mediator between God and his people. His job was to regularly offer animal sacrifices according to the law and to intercede with God for forgiveness of the people's sins. Jesus Christ is now our High Priest. He came to earth as a human being; therefore, he understands our weaknesses and shows mercy to us. He has once and for all paid the penalty for our sins by his own sacrificial death (atonement), and he can be depended on to restore our broken relationship with God. We are released from sin's domination over us when we commit ourselves fully to Christ, trusting completely in what he has done for us (see the note on 4:14 for more about Jesus as the great High Priest).
2:18: Knowing that Christ suffered pain and faced temptation helps us face our trials. Jesus understands our struggles because he faced them as a human being. We can trust Christ to help us survive suffering and overcome temptation. When you face trials, go to Jesus for strength and patience. He understands your needs and is able to help (see 4:14-16).