Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
Many of the sentiments expressed by Job are the same feelings contained within a number of psalms written about the people of Israel in exile. Like Job, the people have fallen from prosperity into shame and ridicule. Their prayers in the midst of captivity and exile reveal a people reflecting seriously upon their predicament and the sins which brought about it. The 10 psalms we will study next expose the agonizing loneliness of not only these captives but anyone who has ever awakened to the harsh realization that he or she is in spiritual exile.
1. What does it take to rouse you from sleep?
- noisy termites?
- noisy neighbors?
- a train going through your living room?
2. This might be a prayer of a Judean king. What about God does he recall in verses 1 – 8? What does this king realize about his own limitations?
3. What problem is the king facing (verses 9 – 16)? How does he see God related to this problem?
4. Beyond the physical pain, the social stigma and the emotional turmoil lies the real problem bothering the psalmist (verses 17 – 22): What is it?
5. Compare verse 22 with Romans 8:31 – 39. Might the apostle Paul see the sufferings of the king as a battle scar resulting from loyalty? A punishment for sin? Why?
6. What is one “bad thing” that has happened to you recently that you didn’t deserve?
7. This king felt like God was sleeping on the job, as did Jesus’ disciples (Mark 4:35 – 38). Have you felt like this? What does God’s apparent neglect of your situation do to your faith in God’s justice and love?