Christ in the Psalms: passion for your house has consumed me

 

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.

Aim

To remind us of just how completely Jesus understands our heartaches in trying to be his.

Word

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)

Open

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 ______________.

Dig

These questions are intended to help us grapple with Scripture related to the morning’s sermon.

1. This psalm is a combo of (a) prayer, (b) lament (vs.2-5,7-12,19-21,29a), (c) a cry for vengeance (vs. 22-28) and (d) praise (vs.30-36). Underline the prayer verses. What do they ask?

2. Look up the NT references in brackets in the text above. How does the NT use this psalm?

Reflect

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?

this went thru my mind

 

Accountability: Why I Don’t Believe in Christian Accountability | A Response by Mike Breen

“God is constantly speaking to us and is inviting us to himself and his unfolding Kingdom. His desire is that the words he speaks deep into us will change the way we see the world around us (Repentance) and result in us living differently (Belief).”

Bible interpretation & science: Misreading the Bible’s “Scientific Accuracy”

“The point is whether God guided the Biblical authors to write in such a way that they spoke better than they knew about future scientific findings.”

Charles Siburt: For Charlie by Dan Bouchelle

“Like the rest, I am deeply conflicted at the news that Charlie’s battle with cancer is drawing to a close and Charlie is in his final days with us on this side of Jesus’ appearing to set all things right. I’m thrilled Charlie will soon be with his Lord. I grieve over the hole his departure will leave behind.”

Christian conservatism: Christian Conservatives Seldom Conserve the Real Tradition by Richard Rohr

” To be fair, many progressives and liberals are just as bad.”

Church potluck meals: Food, Glorious…Potlucks?

“If food is relational, what are we saying to our friends and neighbors when we invite them to church and offer them overdone Mostacholi à la bland with a side of 15 layer Jell-o dessert?”

Cremation: Cremation: Is It Okay? by Edward Fudge

“Our confidence finally rests not in a scientific explanation, or in metaphysical theories about immortal souls, but in the personal faithfulness of the living God who made us in the first place and in whose keeping we safely sleep until he raises us on the Last Day …”

Defining Christ’s mission: What Was the Mission of Christ? David Lipscomb Answers by John Mark Hicks

“I am often amazed at how some contemporary writers–missional and emergent–seem to believe that they have embraced a new vision for the mission of God. It also amazes me that some more traditional writers–some Evangelicals and some New Calvinists–regard the missional emphasis as a new understanding of the gospel. David Lipscomb (1831-1917) reminds us that such emphases are not new.”

Difficult people: How to Deal with Difficult People and Have Constructive Conflict by Joe Wilner

“When we encounter these extreme personalities it can feel like they are trying to make our life miserable, but more often than not, it’s simply learning about these peoples’ tendencies and how to interact in a more tactful way. Some conflicts are unavoidable and shouldn’t be smoothed over or suppressed, though it’s learning to deal with our differences, and how to understand, resolve, and learn from these interactions that’s important.”

Discipleship: Favorite Quotes: James A. Harding by John Mark Hicks

“Our greatest trouble now is, it seems to me, a vast unconverted membership. A very large percent of the church members among us seem to have very poor conceptions of what a Christian ought to be. They are brought into the church during these high-pressure protracted meetings, and they prove to be a curse instead of a blessing. They neglect prayer, the reading of the Bible, and the Lord’s day meetings, and, of course, they fail to do good day by day as they should. Twelve years of continuous travel among the churches have forced me to the sad conclusion that a very small number of the nominal Christians are worthy of the name.” (Feb. 1887)

Food5 Myths Haunting Your Healthy Foods by Jonathan Bechtel

“The bottom line in all these myths is that people mistakenly assume various certifications as proxies for nutritional quality, but their presence bears no meaning to the quality of food you eat when you hold other things equal. The best way to ensure you’re eating right is to consistently consume a diet of fresh foods with minimally processed ingredients, and spare yourself the confusion of deciphering the legitimacy of the latest fads of the health food industry.”

Form & function: Form Versus Function by Timothy Archer

“How do we know when fulfilling the function is enough and when to insist on the exact form?”

Google Reader: Make Google Reader Pretty with Reeder for Chrome by Bobby Travis

“Google Reader is the best RSS subscription collector out there — but only as a base. In practice it has one of the ugliest user interfaces I’ve ever come across. … Thankfully, some enterprising folks have used browser technology to re-skin Reader into something that actually makes content easy to consume. One of the best is Reeder for Chrome.”

Grief: Good Grief – the E-Book by Ben Witherington

“Mark Galli, senior editor at CT liked the Good Grief articles so well, that Christianity Today is turning them, plus another 35 pages of my reflections that don’t turn up on this blog, into an e-book which you can read on Kindle, and see the pictures in color on Kindle Fire. In addition, there will be a sample in the April print issue of Christianity Today. Finally, all profits from this book are going to be donated to a worthy charitable cause Christy would have supported.”

Leadership: Leading the Leaders (Someone Has to Steer) by Tim Woodroof

“When leadership of the elder group is passed (sequentially and regularly) to different men—with different personalities and preferences … with varying levels of leadership skills and experiences … influenced by diverse constituencies and sensibilities … with assorted understandings of and commitments to the stated goals and directions of the church—the result can be nothing other than confusion and ambiguity and ineffectiveness.”

“Masculine Christianity“: Call No Man on Earth Father: A Comment on “Masculine Christianity” by Richard Beck

“I particularly learned a lot from J.R. Daniel Kirk’s response (who knew the translation of El Shaddai had anything to do with mammary glands?).”

New creation theology/renewed earth theology: From Lipscomb to Wallace on “New Creation” Theology by John Mark Hicks

“My interest in this post is new creation theology, that is, the belief that God will renew this earth, unite heaven and earth, and dwell with his people upon that renewed earth for eternity. This was a rather commonly held view among 19th century Stone-Campbell folk though, of course, not the only perspective. It was certainly the understanding of the theological trajectory connected with the Nashville Bible School, particularly in the thinking of David Lipscomb and James A. Harding. By the end of WWII, however, renewed earth theology had all but disappeared. What happened?”

Small groups: Four Practical Reasons for Small Groups by Rick Warren

“We may attract attenders through preaching, but disciples are made in small groups.”

To-do lists: Using Your To-Do List as a Second Brain by Nate Klemp

“How do you break out of the must-remember-mind? How can you draw your attention away from endless mental to-dos to the experience of this moment? The answer is – you need a second brain, a brain dedicated to holding on to all those emails, tasks, and calls you can’t stop thinking about. Enter the to-do list.”

Work: When You Feel Overwhelmed by Your Workload by Michael Hyatt

“Here are six things you can do to cope. … Acknowledge you can’t do it all. … Accept the fact some things won’t get done at all. … Practice workload triage. … Categorize your tasks by priority. … Practice intentional neglect. … Do the next most important thing next.”