Week 2 Psalms of trust in a sinful and/or violent world

Small Group Material: 
Week Commencing: 
26 Apr 2010
Bible Base: 

Psalm 37
1)      What sort of situation is being addressed in this Psalm? In what ways have we faced similar experiences?
2)      What does it mean to ‘fret yourself’?
3)      What does the Psalmist say we should do instead of ‘fretting ourselves’? There are several things suggested throughout the Psalm. You could divide into groups and ask each group to look at part of the Psalm eg verses 1-13; verses 14-26; verses 27-40.
4)      Why should not we ‘fret ourselves’? What brings lasting blessing? Again you could divide into 3 groups as in question 3.
5)      Is the optimism of this Psalm always right, generally right, seldom right or never right? Where does Jesus teach something similar? How does this Psalm help us when it doesn’t seem to be working out?
Psalm 46
1)      A bit of fun (I have a strange sense of humour!). If anyone has an Authorised (King James) Version trying counting 46 words from the start of the Psalm, and 46 words from the end of
the Psalm (excluding the ‘Selah’). What do you get? You can now write your Dan Brown novel about who translated this Psalm in the late 16th century.....
2)      What different sorts of violent events are being suggested in this Psalm? What sort of violent events impact upon us?
3)      What sort of response to violent events does this Psalm suggest?
4)      Verse 10 is a much loved verse – but what is its context here? Can you think of examples of where you have put it into practice?
5)      John Goldingay writes of this Psalm that it “makes clear that the city of God is not a mere heavenly community ...but an earthly reality. But in this city, it is not for us to fix things. It is for us to expect God to fix things.”[1] Discuss.
6)      How does this Psalm connect with Psalm 37?
At the end of this session it would be good to spend time in prayer.
We will look at some more Psalms in the next couple of weeks. At the end of this series, it would be good for each member of the group to bring their favourite Psalm and say something about what it means to them.)

[1] John Goldingay Psalms: Volume 2 (Baker Academic 2007) p 73.