Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. If you had to choose between being (a) prosperous and wicked, or (b) poverty-stricken and pure in heart, what would you be? Why?
2. Asaph is credited with Psalms 50 and 73 – 83. He was most likely a poet associated with the Temple. What is his nagging doubt in this psalm (verses 2 and 3)?
3. What has he seen (verses 4 – 12)? What attitudes may be undermining his faith?
4. Do you think Asaph is objective in what he sees? Why or why not? What does he find both attractive and negative in the lifestyle, worldview and agnosticism of the rich?
5. What was he hoping his “pure heart” would get him (verses 13, 14)? What causes him to change his mind (verses 15 – 17)?
6. To what might the “sanctuary of God” refer? What new insight does Asaph gain? Why does he feel like God sleeps (verse 20; see also Psalm 35:23 and Psalm 44:23)?
7. What “glory” does Asaph have in mind (verses 24, 25; see also Psalm 16:9 – 11)? What path will he take toward it (verses 23 – 28)?
8. What constant hope literally surrounds Asaph’s envy and despair (verses 1 and 28)?
9. Imagine your life now is just a dream (or a nightmare), and when you awake, all will return to normal. What heavy burden, human ill or gross injustice would you like to wish away, as if it were but a dream?
10. Do you ever share Asaph’s envy? Does his insights satisfy you? Why or why not?
11. Name some rich and famous people who have committed suicide, gone through a string of unhappy relationships or lost fortunes to drugs and alcohol. What comes first: the problems or the money? What problems does money create? If you were suddenly rich and famous, would you be free of these problems?
12. When your feet have stumbled in this area, how have you recovered your balance?
13. Have you had a “sanctuary” experience? When? Where? What happened? What are you doing to keep that faith perspective alive?
14. How would you explain to a child why God does not knock down bullies and trouble-makers at school?