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Series PSALMS with Pastor Mark Finley  |
Lesson 10.Lessons of the Past  |
Looking Back and Gaining Insight: Lessons from the Past
Lesson 10 takes us through a profound reflection on the past and invites us to learn from the lessons of history. Through a series of Psalms – Psalm 78, 105, 106, 80, and 135 – we explore God’s unwavering faithfulness to His people, despite their disobedience and failures. These Psalms remind us of the importance of remembering God’s deeds in the past, praising Him, and turning away from our sins. They also illustrate God’s unparalleled sovereignty in history and invite us to remain faithful to Him and worship Him alone. This lesson encourages us to maintain confidence in God’s actions amidst the tumult of history.
Memory Text: Psalm 78:3.4 – “Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.”
Content:
10.1 The Lord’s Unstoppable Faithfulness

God’s Steadfast Hand Through the Ages
God’s unwavering faithfulness, as described in Psalm 78, reminds us of the central role God plays in the history of His people. The Psalm highlights three crucial historical epochs: the Exodus from Egypt, the settlement of Canaan, and the time of David. Through these retrospects, God’s tireless faithfulness is revealed despite His people’s constant unfaithfulness. The repeated lessons Asaph draws from each period emphasize the importance of trusting in God and remaining faithful to His covenant. The Psalm admonishes us to recognize the mistakes of the past and not to repeat them but to trust in God’s faithfulness and grace. Ultimately, the Psalm teaches us the limitations of human endeavors without the foundation of trust in God’s faithfulness.
10.2 Remembering History and the Praise of God
The Narrative of Faithfulness: God’s Hand in Israel’s History
Psalm 105 recalls the significant historical events that have shaped the relationship between God and His people Israel. The focus is on God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants, as well as the ways in which God has fulfilled His promises. Unlike Psalm 78, this Psalm does not emphasize the faults of the people but narrates the story to underscore God’s faithfulness and guidance. Through the history of the patriarchs, God’s patience and the reward for their faith are highlighted, encouraging us to follow their example. Psalm 105 shows that knowing about God’s actions in the past helps us praise Him and trust that He will remain faithful in the future.
10.3 Remembering History and Repentance
Reflecting on the Past, Shaping the Future: Lessons from Psalm 106
Psalm 106 reminds us of the significant events in Israel’s history and emphasizes God’s unwavering faithfulness to His people despite their sins. It shows the consequences of the rebellion and disobedience of Israel’s forefathers, which ultimately led to exile. The Psalm was most likely written when the people were in Babylon or after their return, and it calls the people to learn from history and turn to God in repentance. Despite human failure, God’s love and grace ultimately triumph over their sins. This Psalm reminds us that personal experience of God’s grace enables us to change our own story and turn to Him.
10.4 The Parable of the Lord’s Vine
Returning to the Origin: A Spiritual Journey through Psalm 80
Psalm 80 portrays Israel as a vineyard that God liberated from the oppression of Egypt and led into the promised land. Despite its election, Israel suffers under God’s wrath as the vineyard is corrupted. The Psalmist expresses astonishment at God’s restraint and pleads for the restoration of His people. The repeated blessing from Numbers 6:22–27 is used to emphasize hope in God’s grace and salvation when the people turn from their ways and return to Him. This Psalm encourages us to turn away from our sin and return to God to experience His restoration and blessing.
10.5 The Lord’s Supremacy in History
The Unshakable Rule of God: A Reflection on Psalm 135
Psalm 135 reminds God’s people of God’s unparalleled supremacy in history. It emphasizes God’s acts of creation, the redemption of Israel from Egypt, and the conquest of the Promised Land. Israel’s election by God is based on His sovereign will and should lead to humility. The Psalmist calls for recognizing God as the sole Savior and Creator and not relying on idols. Psalm 135 reminds us that our worship belongs solely to God, the sovereign Lord over history and creation.
10.6 Summary
The Lessons of the Past: An Invitation to Faithfulness and Worship
The lessons from the past, as depicted in Psalms 78, 105, 106, 80, and 135, highlight God’s unwavering faithfulness to His people despite their constant unfaithfulness. These Psalms remind us of the importance of remembering history and praising God for His faithfulness and guidance. They also show the need for repentance and turning back to God when we deviate from His ways. Despite human failure, God’s love and grace ultimately triumph over our sins. By remembering God’s deeds in the past and acknowledging His supremacy, we are encouraged to remain faithful to Him and worship Him alone.
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