NBC Sunday School Manual For October 2,4 2021 : Topic – The Joy Of Worship
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
October 24, 2021
TOPIC: THE JOY OF WORSHIP
Background Scripture reading: Psalm 84
Lesson Scripture reading: Psalm 84
Golden Text: Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Psalm 84:4
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
Discuss the elements of true worship.
▪︎ Describe the experiences of a true worshipper in the presence of God.
▪︎ Verbalise their personal commitment to always worship God in His temple.
Somebody once said that human beings are born with an innate desire to connect to something or someone who understands them completely. He added that it began in the garden of Eden with the intimate relationship Adam and Eve had with God. But when this intimate connection with God was broken, the longing began. Before then, there was no such yearning to see God because God walked (fellowshipped) with Adam and Eve, in the cool of the evening. Even though humankind lost the opportunity, the desire to have fellowship with our Creator is still in humans. Perhaps, this same desire led the Korahite temple singers to express their longing for the house of God in this song.
The focal point of today’s lesson is the author’s longing for God’s temple. The law of Moses requires that people living outside of Jerusalem go to the temple for the three pilgrimage feasts: the Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Therefore, it was the desire of the psalmist as he wrote this psalm that this homecoming trip brings joy to those making it. Psalm 120-134 express similar joy about going to the temple, and are called Songs of Ascents. They were sung by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem for one of the annual festivals.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. Blessedness of Longing for God’s Temple Psalm 84:1-4
Psalm 84 is one of the eleven psalms credited to the Korahites, a family of one of the temple musicians. He was a descendant of the tribe of Levi, son of Jacob. The psalm is probably a song sung by pilgrims as they arrived Jerusalem for the celebration of one of the annual festivals. Verses l to 3 is an expression of his love for the temple and desire to be there. Every year, the Jews were required to travel to Jerusalem to worship God in the temple. The word ‘Soul’ (v. 2) is a Hebrew term for the innermost being. The psalmist, at the very depths of his being, his heart and his flesh, express his desire to spend time with God. He longs to be at the temple, but is not able to be there. Therefore, the psalmist’s total being (soul, heart, and flesh) are crying out to the living God expressing his desire join the worshippers at the temple. The Hebrew word for cry has the picture of on infant who cries out when it is hungry. An infant cries with the whole body. This is how we should cry out to God: with our whole beings. ln verse 3, the psalmist was jealous of the birds, and in verse 4, he is a bit envious of the priests and temple officials who spend d lot of time in the temple courts. His thought seems to be, If God allow a sparrow to dwell in His house, how much more His
servant? When he says, “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house”, he is thinking of the priests and temple officials.
This psalm is a reflection of a desire to be closer to God and for personal and corporate worship. Similarly, the genuine worshippers of God should long to spend time in the courts of the Lord. Though as New Testament worshippers, we need to know that God doesn’t dwell in church buildings, but rather in His people, who are now His temple, both individually and corporately (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19; Ephesians 2:21-22). However, the psalmist’s point here is that he longed to gather corporately with God’s people so that he could praise God with them and
experience God’s presence together.
Discussion Time 1
1. Discuss the blessings of corporate worship as it relates to the passage.
2. What can the church do to encourage believers, especially the younger ones to find pleasure in God’s presence?
B. The Blessedness of Travelling to Worship God Psalm 84:5-9
The psalmist realises that he is neither a bird nor a priest, and so as long as he is on this earth, it is not possible for him to spend as much time in the temple as he would like to. But he could at least get to go there occasionally. So, in verses 5-7, the psalmist’s heart is set on pilgrimage to Jerusalem to satisfy his longing for fellowship with God. Going to Jerusalem, there are some landmarks that show him he’s drawing closer to his destination. One of them is the Valley of Baca (v. 6). We are not exactly sure where it was located or what its significance is. However, the Valley of Baca was an area of refreshment and remembrance for all that God has done and all the ways He has blessed them. Going through the Valley of Baoa brings fresh outpouring of the Spirit. On their way to Jerusalem the pilgrims move from strength to strength, that is, from one point of refreshment to another. The psalmist asked God to be his shield, in order that he might arrive safely in Jerusalem to worship (W 8-9).
The psalmist experience should also be the same for all Christian. If we are not getting fulfilled by worshipping God, we will end up turning our attention to some other things, but they will never satisfy us. Charles Spurgeon said, “The blessedness of worship belongs not to the halfhearted, listless worshippers, but to those who throw all their energies into it. Neither proyer, nor praise, nor the hearing of the Word will be pleasant or profitable to persons who have left their hearts behind them.”
Discussion Time 2
l.What do you run after in
order to get satisfaction and fulfilment in life?
2. How can one seek God whole-heartedly?
C. The Blessedness of God’s Presence Psalm 84:10-12
The psalmist realises that even though his time is short, and he cannot remain in the temple for long, it is better to spend only one day in a lowly position in the temple than to spend a thousand days elsewhere.
One day in the worship of God is better than many days doing something else. He says, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. The word ‘Dwelling’ and the word ‘Tents’ both indicate a lavish, rich life of luxury and ease. Basically, the psalmist is comparing the lowest position in the temple, with the highest position in the world. And he prefers the lowest position in the temple. Jesus asked, “that good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36) Verse ll tells us why it is better to be the least in the Church than the greatest ‘ the world; because God is a sun and shield, that is, light and protection in a world full of darkness and insecurity. Furthermore, God gives grace and glory, or favour and honour. Grace gives the idea of God smiling upon us, ready to give us all the benefits of being His children. Glory is the ironic one. The world is seeking ofter glory dnd honour, but these things are only given to those who serve God. God will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly. There is great blessing in store for the person who trusts God (v. 12). We need to truly put our trust in the Lord and stop making excuses that we think can justify us before God.
Discussion Time 3
1. Discuss the importance of verse 10 to believers.
2. Let a member share how he was delivered from danger recently.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
▪︎ Encourage class members to write at least five (5) things they enjoy most during corporate worship and how they intend to sustain it.
▪︎ ldentify an aspect of the worship they miss most whenever they are not in church and why?
▪︎ No place can be compared with the presence of God.
▪︎ True worship attracts God’s blessings.
▪︎ Every programme in the church is worship.
▪︎ God expects us to worshi Him in Spirit and in truth.
▪︎ Christians should not undermine the importance of corporate worship.