SECTION A: Observing a Verse (Psalm 93:1)
- What would you say is the main theme of the verse?
In my opinion, the main theme of this verse is God’s strength, and how the world is controlled by such strength.
- Forget about religious language for a moment. What comes to your mind when you think about a “lord”?
A lord, to me, is somebody mighty and powerful. A lord is a person that is capable of commanding the armies and the nations. He is a powerful figure with limitless authority, some kind of king perhaps.
- What words or phrases are repeated? Why do you suppose they are so emphasized?
The words “the lord” are repeated. It is noteworthy to mention that the word “lord” is consistently preceded by the article “the”. This indicates that the lord being talked about in this verse is one of a kind, and that He is not comparable to any other. The main reason why these words are emphasized is because they are the core of the theme of this verse.
- God is described by the terms “majesty” and “strength”. What connection if any do these terms have? (Does anyone necessarily suggest the other?)
The terms majesty and strength are no doubt connected in an exceptional manner. This is because the state of being majesty calls for unmatched strength. It, therefore, follows that strength suggests majestic powers.
- Why did the author move from describing “the lord” to writing about the world?
- We all know that the world is turning on its axis. So what does it mean that the “world will not be moved”?
- Does the verse evoke any positive feelings in you?
The verse does evoke powerful positive feelings in me. Precisely, it reassures me that the world is established in and by the almighty. It reassures me that we are guarded by his unmatched power. It gives me hope that we will see Him one day.
- Might the verse cause less positive feelings for other people? (Fear, anxiety, etc)?
The verse might cause quite a great deal of negative feelings, especially to those people that do not believe that the world is established in the lord. This means that they may develop anxiety and fear because they realize that they are on the wrong path.
- What other observation can you make from this single verse?
Another observation that I can make from this verse is the actuality that God is the Supreme Being because the powers and strengths in this verse originate from within him, and not from any outside source.
SECTION C: Reading Prayerfully (Jonah 2)
- What do you find significant about this prayer based on the context of where it is taking place?
Undoubtedly, the most significant thing about this prayer is that it illustrates the power of prayer in as far as handling difficult situations is concerned. Jonah is praying from the stomach of the whale that had swallowed him. At the end of the prayer, God orders the whale to vomit Jonah at the shores. This shows the power of prayer as the most potent tool of communicating with God.
- What can you discover about prayer based on Jonah’s setting? His honesty? His state of the mind? His willingness to learn from experience and change?
Prayer is the most effectual way of communicating with God. It can get us out of trouble. Jonah decides to be honest once the predicament befalls him. His honesty prior to the incident was on the balances. Jonah’s state of mind during this prayer can be summarized as – fear and despair. Such fear pushes him to seek refuge in the all powerful – God. It is clear from his words that Jonah is willing to change for the better because he vows to sacrifice to the lord.
- What does the prayer tell you about Jonah? What does it tell you about God?
The prayer tells a lot about Jonah. Notably, it tells us of Jonah’s willingness to change and the fact that Jonah was a man of God who had just strayed from his path. The prayer tells us that Jonah was God’s chosen person for the purposes of spreading the gospel. The prayer tells us about God’s forgiving nature, and his willingness to welcome back to his kingdom, all that stray.
- How do you think Jonah’s life might have been different if he had stopped to pray before finding himself in this predicament?
Had Jonah stopped to pray before finding himself in this difficult situation, he would have received God’s guidance. Even so, the predicament worked for the betterment of Jonah because it strengthened his faith in God.