Week 24 The Word of God on the Wayside
“God’s Word is the living seed that brings new birth. It is the milk that nurtures the new life of a young Christian and the meat that builds the muscle of a mature believer.”
Colin S. Smith
4 Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men, Who have purposed to trip up my feet.
5 The proud have hidden a trap for me, and cords; They have spread a net by the wayside; They have set snares for me. Selah.
6 I said to the Lord, “Thou art my God; Give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplications.
7 “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
8 “Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; Do not promote his evil device, lest they be exalted. Selah.
(Psalm 140:4–8, NASB)
"spreading seed" by Gardening Solutions is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.
Quote-First Colin S. Smith (born April 27, 1958, in Edinburgh, Scotland) is a United States evangelical pastor and author. Smith is currently the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Illinois, where he has been since 1996. Smith was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, to George and Violet Smith. He attended the London School of Theology where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and a Master of Philosophy.
Smith met his wife, Karen, at the London School of Theology. They have two sons, Andrew and David. In addition to being the senior pastor of The Orchard, Smith is also a respected author and has a nationally broadcast radio program, Unlocking the Bible, which is produced by Moody Bible Institute. He is a council member of The Gospel Coalition and he has been a frequent speaker at Moody Bible for Founder's Week and has also made several appearances on the Total Living Network (TLN).
Passage-First The genre of Psalms is Songs and Poetry of all kinds. It is written by multiple authors; David wrote 73, Asaph wrote 12, the sons of Korah wrote 9, Solomon wrote 3, Ethan, and Moses each wrote one (Ps. 90), and 51 of the Psalms are anonymous. They were written over the span of approximately 900 years (Beginning at the time of Moses 1440 B.C. and through the captivity in 586 B.C.). The Psalms include praises of joy, laments, blessings, and thanksgivings. We read about the Psalmist’s emotions from one extreme to another, from praising, delighting in and worshiping God with fervor, to repentance and crying out to Him in despair.
We walk a path through Life. Sometimes that path moves through church and sometimes through the world around us. If we prayerfully ask God to help us discern His path and to put our foot squarely upon it, then we need to not just be listening for His Word but willing to obediently abide by it when we hear it.
Ask: Let’s break this down one passage at a time starting with verse four. What is being asked in verse four?
Point: We are asking God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to “keep us.”
Ask: What does that mean if God does what we ask?
Point: It means he encompasses us with the things He thinks are good.
Ask: What are we asking Him to keep us from?
Point: From people who are wicked and violent.
Ask: If we ask God to keep us from the wicked and violent things of the world and He says yes, what will He do if we consciously or unconsciously begin choosing things He doesn’t like?
Point: He will move us away from them if we don’t know any better, and discipline us if we do know but are trying to choose wicked ways anyway.
Re-read verse five from Today’s Passage
Ask: Based on verses four and five what three things are we asking God to keep us from?
Point: The wicked, violent, and proud.
Ask: Why is “proud” included in this list along with the wicked and violent?
Point: First Reading (Proverbs 16:18, NASB)
Ask: If God “keeps us” is He going to keep us from pride as well as the wicked and violent?
Point: We have free will. As fallen human beings we tend to choose things that are not good for us, like choosing ice cream when we’re on a diet.
Ask: When we have asked God to keep us but we continue to choose things He doesn’t like, like pride, what is He going to do?
Point: Second Reading (Hebrews 12:5–8, NASB)
SELAH (pause and contemplate)
Re-read verse six from Today’s Passage
Ask: What does it mean when it says, “give ear to the voice of my supplications?”
Point: Prayer, requests of God and to God.
Re-read verse seven of Today’s Passage
Ask: What is God doing when He “covered my head in the day of battle?”
Point: Protecting His children.
Ask: Who are we fighting in this battle?
Point: Third Reading (Ephesians 6:11–13, NASB)
Re-read verse eight of Today’s Passage
Ask: What does it mean to “exalt” someone and why is today’s passage asking God not to do that?
Point: The answer to this question is another question: What are you building up?
SELAH (pause and contemplate)
What are you building up? What are you exalting? What does all this have to do with the Word of God On the Wayside? That last question is something for each individual to ponder. This lesson has covered the idea of asking God to take us into His loving protection from evil and wicked outside forces that mean us harm. It has suggested God guides us when we don’t know any better, and actively disciplines us when we do but choose wickedness anyway. What does that have to do with God’s Word falling by the wayside? The questions for the week should help illuminate the answer to that question.
Questions for the Week
Question 1 Study the Parable of the Sower from Mark 4 (included in today’s lesson) focusing your attention on the “seeds” being sown/scattered as the Word of God.
Question 2 Write down all the places you encounter the Word of God both in church and out in daily life during the week.
Question 3 Consider those encounters with the Word of God as someone “sowing seeds” in your life and what you do with those “seeds” from each encounter.
Question 4 Compare your answers from Question 3 to your studies on the Parable of the Sower from Question 1.
Question 5 Write in your journal what, if any, steps you are considering in light of where the seeds of the word fall in your life.
18Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
(Proverbs 16:18, NASB)
5and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
(Hebrews 12:5–8, NASB)
11Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
(Ephesians 6:11–13, NASB)
Psalms 140:5 Psalms 141:9 , Amos 3:5 , the Hebrew word used, mokesh , means a noose or "snare," as it is elsewhere rendered ( Psalms 18:5 ; Proverbs 13:14 , etc.).
Job 18:9 , Isaiah 8:14 , Heb. pah, a plate or thin layer; and hence a net, a snare, trap, especially of a fowler ( Psalms 69: : 22 , "Let their table before them become a net;" Amos 3:5 , "Doth a bird fall into a net [pah] upon the ground where there is no trap-stick [mokesh] for her? doth the net [pah] spring up from the ground and take nothing at all?", Gesenius.)
[ suhp-li-key-shuhn ]
an act or instance of supplicating; humble prayer, entreaty, or petition.
adjective, wick·ed·er, wick·ed·est.
mischievous or playfully malicious: These wicked kittens upset everything.
distressingly severe, as a storm, wound, or cold: a wicked winter.
passing reasonable bounds; intolerably bad: wicked prices; a wicked exam.
extremely troublesome or dangerous: wicked roads.
Slang. wonderful; great; masterful; deeply satisfying: He blows a wicked trumpet.
[ see-luh, sel-uh ]
· an expression occurring frequently in the Psalms, thought to be a liturgical or musical direction, probably a direction by the leader to raise the voice or perhaps an indication of a pause.
[ ig-zawl-tid ]
· raised or elevated, as in rank or character; of high station: an exalted personage.
· noble or elevated; lofty: an exalted style of writing.
· rapturously excited.
The Parable of the Sower
1And He began to teach again by the sea. And such a very great multitude gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
2And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching,
3“Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow;
4and it came about that as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up.
5“And other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil.
6“And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7“And other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.
8“And other seeds fell into the good soil and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
9And He was saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
10 And as soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables.
11And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables,
12in order that while seeing, they may see and not perceive; and while hearing, they may hear and not understand lest they return and be forgiven.”
13And He *said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? And how will you understand all the parables?
14“The sower sows the word.
15“And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.
16“And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;
17and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.
18“And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word,
19and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
20“And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it, and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
(Mark 4:1–20, NASB)