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Bible Study Guide for Sunday, July 11, 2021

July 11, 2021
  • 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19
  • Ephesians 1:3-14
  • Mark 6:14-29
  • Psalm 24

            I simply love the psalm appointed for today. The language is not grandiose or over-the-top, but it creates magnificent images of the founding of the world, the depths of the oceans, and mighty city gates, perhaps those of Heaven itself. It seems to me that verses 7 through 10 were meant to be chanted back and forth in refrain between groups, almost like a call and response hymn – maybe in a joyful procession like that of the Ark of God entering the City of David. In between these grand images the focus shifts to the question of who is worthy to enter the “everlasting doors.” The answer is familiar to us: honesty, good intentions, and persistently seeking after God is what gets you there.

            We also know that humans frequently fall short of these standards. We’ve been hearing the beginning of the story of King David in the Old Testament readings of the past few weeks. There’s already been a lot of drama and there’s plenty more in store. (We are currently in a part of his story where he’s still doing pretty well.) Although it’s a bit dubious whether David himself wrote the Book of Psalms, there is certainly some tension between the standard of “clean hands and a pure heart” and David’s later actions.

            We are lucky to have grace from the Holy Spirit while we work to ascend the holy hill. When times are toughest and I struggle to find joy or purpose, I sometimes find a little spark of beauty pops out at me where I wasn’t expecting it. Reading this beautiful psalm makes me think of the joy we have waiting for us in Heaven, and it reminds me of the immense joy we already have on earth through Jesus and the church.

  • Do you have a favorite psalm? What do you get out of reading the psalms?
  • In the first reading, we have an image of what Biblical kingship or leadership could look like. What aspect of this image catches your attention? What might you take away from it?

Author:  – Lindy Noecker


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