NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow (Sun., Feb. 5). This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon that morning from Psalm 69. This is the fourth sermon in a series entitled The Christ in the Psalms and the Psalms in the Christ. You’ll find these LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title LIFE group guides.
To remind us of just how completely Jesus understands our heartaches in trying to be his.
Save me, God, because the waters have reached my neck!
I have sunk into deep mud. … I am tired of crying. … My eyes are exhausted with waiting for my God. More numerous than the hairs on my head are those who hate me for no reason. [John 15:25] … God, you know my foolishness; my wrongdoings aren’t hidden from you.
LORD God of heavenly forces!—don’t let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me. God of Israel!—don’t let those who seek you be disgraced because of me.
I am insulted because of you. … I have become a stranger to my own brothers … Because passion for your house has consumed me, the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me! [John 2:17; Rom. 15:3] I wept while I fasted—even for that I was insulted. … Those who sit at the city gate muttered things about me; drunkards made up rude songs.
But me? My prayer reaches you, LORD, at just the right time. God, in your great and faithful love, answer me with your certain salvation! … Don’t let me drown! Let me be saved from those who hate me and from these watery depths! … Don’t let the abyss swallow me up! … Answer me, LORD, for your faithful love is good! … Don’t hide your face from me, your servant, because I’m in deep trouble. Answer me quickly! Come close to me! Redeem me! …
You know full well the insults I’ve received; you know my shame and my disgrace. … Insults have broken my heart. … I hoped for sympathy, but there wasn’t any … To quench my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. [Matt. 27:48; Mk. 15:36; Jn. 19:28-29]
Let the table before them become a trap, their offerings a snare. Let their eyes grow too dim to see; make their insides tremble constantly. [Rom. 11:9-10] Pour out your anger on them … Let their camp be devastated; let no one dwell in their tents. [Acts 1:20a] … they talk about the pain of those you’ve already pierced. … Don’t let them come into your righteousness! Let them be wiped out of the scroll of life! Let them not be recorded along with the righteous!
And me? I’m afflicted. I’m full of pain.
Let your salvation keep me safe, God!
I will praise God’s name with song … with thanks because that is more pleasing to the LORD than … a young bull with full horns and hooves. Let the afflicted see it and be glad! You who seek God—let your hearts beat strong again because the LORD listens to the needy … Let heaven and earth praise God … God will most certainly save Zion and will rebuild Judah’s cities… those who love God’s name will dwell there. (excerpts of Psalm 69 CEB)
Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Discuss the following to discuss as a group.
1. What is a taunt you recall having suffered from classmates as a child?
2. Complete this sentence: when I get truly down and depressed I tend to ______________.
These questions are intended to help us grapple with Scripture related to the morning’s sermon.
2. Look up the NT references in brackets in the text above. How does the NT use this psalm?
These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us through his word.
1. What is one of the biggest things you’ve ever called on God to do for you? What happened?
2. Which is most difficult for you: (a) waiting on God to do something (vs. 3), (b) trying to live with people who hate you for no discernible reason (vs. 4), or (c) the shame of your own sins (vs. 5)?
3. How does the cry for vengeance (vs.22-28) strike you? Are Christians today to pray this way? Explain.
4. What does this psalm say to you about Jesus Christ, the man of sorrows?
5. How can empathizing with this psalmist’s difficult experiences equip you for tough times?