Today we’re going to start observing. We’ll notice all kinds of new things over the next few days as we slow down to take a closer look at what is actually in the text. What can we learn about God? To what is He compared? What does God say He will do? What are we told to do? What words and ideas are repeated? These are the kinds of questions we will be asking ourselves as we continue to study.
To help us look closely at the text, we will be marking words as we read. Remember, if you don’t want to mark directly in your Bible, you need to print the text out on paper for today’s lessons. You’ll find links for five different translations of Psalm 91 in Day 1.
Assignment: Pray for a clear mind and an open heart as you begin your study today.
- Then read all of Psalm 91. As you read, highlight with a yellow pencil or pen every word that refers to God. This includes names given to God, such as Almighty and the Lord, and pronouns that refer to God. (Remember pronouns? They’re the little words like he, we, you, and I that stand in the place of nouns.)
Marking the pronouns in the psalm will help us pay closer attention to what is being said because the psalm changes viewpoints several times. We will have to read carefully to figure out which pronouns refer to God and which ones refer to someone else. Just this one simple exercise is going to help us slow down and better understand this psalm.
- Now, using an orange pen or pencil, circle every verb that describes what God does or will do. For example, verse 3 says He “will deliver you from the snare of the fowler.” Circle the word deliver in that verse. Verse 4 contains another verb that should be circled. Continue reading and marking, paying special to verses 14-16, where God is speaking. (You should be able to quickly zero in on God’s actions since you have already marked all the references to God in yellow.)
- Read Psalm 91 one more time, paying attention to your markings as you read. What consistent theme underlies all of God’s actions in this psalm? How would you describe God, based on this psalm?
For your children:
You will need paper and drawing tools for today’s lesson.
- Read Psalm 91 aloud together. Ask the children to listen for what the psalm says about God and to draw a picture that illustrates what they are hearing.
- When you have finished reading, and when the children have finished their drawings, have them share and explain what they have drawn.
- Discuss: What kind of God is being described in Psalm 91? Is He mean and distant, or does He listen to us? Does He create us and then ignore us, or does He care about us?