Last month we did a lesson by Paige Benton Brown on Why We Should Study the Bible.
Two particular comments convicted me so!
We don’t study it because we don’t love Jesus.
We don’t study the parts that aren’t about us.
One of the reasons it is good to pray the psalms is that it helps us pray with power, wisdom, and to move beyond our own needs to the needs of others.
Psalm 73 helps us pray our doubts when we don’t understand what God is doing. Our world is calling evil good and good evil, is in absolute turmoil, and many of our personal lives are also in turmoil. It isn’t wrong to pray for ourselves, for James tells us we have not because we ask not, but we must pray for what matters most in our lives and in the world. I’d like this week for us to especially pray for Israel, Ukraine, and those who are experiencing almost unimaginable sorrow.
The Jews have just suffered the greatest tragedy since the holocaust. My mother-in-law, who was Jewish, used to ask me why God allowed them to suffer so much. I told her it was prophesied they would, but it was also a mystery to me. I knew God loved them so, and had a plan, but I wasn’t sure what it was, except to accept Jesus as their Messiah. I don’t know if she ever did, but she may have in her last hours.
Here is a statue in remembrance of the suffering of the Jews:
The Gospel Coalition website compared the tactics of Hamas to those of the Amalekites who targeted the weak and helpless. When the psalmist of Psalm 73 saw this kind of suffering, he was tempted to back up from God, so we must pray for the true believers to be strong. Here’s the article: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/hamas-tactics-amalekites/ And we should pray for our own hearts as well when we face such turmoil.
1. Share a God “Sighting” from the last week and give thanks. Here are some ideas: Did a Scripture become radioactive? Did you have an answer to prayer? A blessing from a friend or His creation? Unexpected timing or circumstance?
2. What stands out to you from the above and why?
Monday: What’s Happening, Lord?
3. What are some of the signs of the end times according to Matthew 24:7-14 and what lesson are we to take from it?
I imagine you, like me, have wondered if, because the birth pangs seem to be increasing in both intensity and frequency, if, indeed, the time of Christ’s return could be near. I know we don’t know the time, but I also know Jesus tells us to pay attention to the signs and to be ready.
Alert: I haven’t gone off the deep end or become a big advocate of “End Times” specialists, but I thought in the context of this psalm we could have an optional discussion on the video below by Jonathan Cahn. Many believers I respect like him. There is nothing in this video that I disagree with, though I am cautious and I do havea different view of the Rapture, but know it is too mysterious to be dogmatic. I think Cahn helps to show how demonic the spirit of our age is, and that helps us to pray. But this is optional, so watch if you like, and share what you believe is right on and what might not be. Be like the Bereans.
Optional Exercise: With what do you agree — disagree? Why?
4. Read Psalm 73:1
What does it say?
What questions arise and what is your best guess at the answer?
Tuesday: Help Me Understand, Lord.
5. Read Psalm 73:1-16
How does the psalmist see the lives of the wicked?
What conclusion does he come to in verse 16? Have you ever felt like that?
What has helped you, if anything?
6. Read Psalm 73:17-28
What awaits the wicked?
What awaits the child of God?
Give thanks specifically for some of the promises here for you and your loved ones in Him.
Wednesday: Pray for Others
7. Think about a loved one in trying circumstances. Using Psalm 73, pray for him or her.
8. Pray for those suffering deeply in Israel, or held captive by Hamas, using Psalm 73.
Thursday/Friday: Keller (Optional)
Click below to listen:
9. Listen to Keller’s sermon on Psalm 73 and share:
What struck you and why?
Pray for yourself based on what you learned.
Pray for others based on what you learned.
10. What is your takeaway and why? Pray again based on your takeaway.