Our House, His House: On Intimacy & Knowing God
Let’s start with a time of worship.
We serve an awesome God whose faithfulness reaches unto the skies (Psalm 36:5). As we worship Him in song, remember every time He has come through for you and your loved ones, and let your joy and gratitude come into your worship.
Ask each person in the group:
At least one thing they’re thankful for this week.
At least one thing they’re praying for, that we can include in our own prayers.
How they’ve done with last month’s “I will” statement
Word Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. - Psalm 36:5-6
The prophet Samuel describes King David in 1 Samuel 13:14 as “a man after (God’s) own heart.” This is no small compliment; in a time when God spoke to His people primarily through prophets, for a person to have such a direct relationship with God meant that there was an intimacy to God and David that was unheard of in those times.
Psalm 36 shows us exactly how intimate King David was with God. In the first four verses, David writes:
I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes.
In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin. The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they fail to act wisely or do good.
Even on their beds they plot evil; they commit themselves to a sinful course and do not reject what is wrong.
David writes about the sinfulness of the wicked, saying they did not fear God (verse 1), then fact-checking them on their wicked behavior, including pride (v2), deceit (v3), the inability to act wisely or do good deeds (v3), and their insistence to do evil deeds (v4). But in the next two verses, he identifies a few characteristics of God that show how well the king knew God.
God is loving and faithful. Even from his youth, David knew God was a loving God, but he experienced God’s faithfulness first-hand when he was running away from King Saul, who was unjustly pursuing him. God also showed extraordinary love in forgiving David for the latter’s sins of adultery and murder.
God is righteous and just. When David declares that God is righteous, he is underscoring the fact that God can be trusted to do what is right. Even as God is loving, he is also just. David may have been forgiven for his adultery, but he was also punished, and his baby was taken away from him.
God is a saving God. David says that God preserves both people and animals because he experienced it when he was delivered from the hand of King Saul. Despite David’s despair, he found consolation in God’s protection and provision. From the story of Noah to Jesus’ own words on how God takes care of the lilies in the field and the birds in the air, the Bible is full of stories about how God protects and preserves His creations.
When David describes God’s love and faithfulness as reaching to the heavens, or His righteous like the great mountains, or His justice like the great deep, he is using the greatest examples from nature to show how great and massive God is in these attributes. But at the same time, it speaks to how well He knows God, to be able to confidently use these descriptions.
If you stood on a seaside cliff in the middle of a storm, you’d witness for yourself the power of the ocean waves. And yet, even in the silence of your room, as you cry out to God, you can also feel His love. There is a beauty in the intimacy of David’s relationship with God; may it inspire us to strive for that kind of closeness with Him as well.
• Which of God’s attributes in Psalm 36:5-6 can you relate to most and why?
• What can we say about man’s character based on Psalm 36:5-6?
• What is one thing I appreciate about God in this season?
Make an "I will" statement in response to the Word.
This example may help: "Because I am <state a personal characteristic that you would like to improve with God's help>, I WILL commit to <state an action that you will commit to, with God's help> because I know God is worthy of my devotion."
"Because I am prone to anger, I WILL try to be more conscious of moments when I am angry, and to righteously and honestly repent of it, and to apologise to those I hurt as a result, because I know God is a just and forgiving God."