Gratitude — Planted by Water: the Psalms, Part 5

Sameer Vasta
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Thanksgiving is recognizing what God has done. Will God continue to bless people who don’t give thanks? If he will, why should we bother to do so? Is there a reason? Pastor Luke teaches from Psalm 40:1–10 in “Gratitude,” part 5 of his 6-part series “Planted by Water (The Psalms).”


OPEN 1. Do you have a supply of “thank you notes” in your house? What is
the best gift you’ve received? (Excluding “religious” answers.)

UNPACK 2. Review Psalm 69: 1–3 from our previous study. How does it compare with Psalm 40: 1–2? If you could write a subtitle for each passage, what
would you say?

3. Compare Psalm 40: 1–10 with 11–17. How does the tone change between the two parts of the psalm? What subtitle would you write for each passage?

4. What does the Psalmist mean when he says (v. 3) that God “put a new song in my mouth”? What is the immediate result of the song (v. 3) and what happens as because of it (v. 4)?

5. In verse 6, the Psalmist says that God is not interested in sacrifices. What does God want? (Consider Romans 6: 1–4.)

6. Historically, Protestants have seen obedience to God’s Law as an act of gratitude for what God has already done. (See, e.g., Q. 86 of the Heidelberg Catechism.) What support for that understanding do you find in this Psalm?

7. In light of question 6, why does the Psalmist say he will tell about God’s deliverance? Why not simply lead a life of obedience (v. 8) and let people connect the dots?

APPLY 8. What is an area in which you have trouble obeying God? How can you, like in vv. 6-8, recast that problem area so your obedience is a response to something God has already done for you?

9. How does your congregation provide opportunities for people to hear others telling “glad news of deliverance” (vv 9-10)? What are some examples you can remember hearing? What is something you could say from your own experience?