Lesson 3: Danger Zone (Audio Message Included)Related Media
The audio for this series is a 3-part lecture series delivered by Gwynne Johnson at the Women’s Retreat of Northwest Bible Church ( Dallas, TX), April 20-21, 2007.
Lecture #2: Psalms for “The Danger Zone” (Saturday morning)
Psalms for “The Danger Zone” protect our hearts when we are under pressure. These psalms of lament help us deal with pain and hurt without sinning. They help us to remember that “life is tough, but God is good.” The lament psalms proceed from plea to praise, directing our hearts to God in the midst of pain. They protect us from such dangers as denial (Ps. 142, 13); isolation, opposition, and confusion (Ps. 42, 43); wrong words (Ps. 141); personal sin (Ps. 51, 32); and grudges.
Lovingkindness [Heb hesed— steadfast love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, goodness, devotion; used 240 times in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms] communicates the interaction of 1) strength and power, 2) steadfastness and faithfulness, and 3) love, grace, and mercy. Lovingkindness expresses obligation, steadfast loyalty and commitment in covenant relationships, between God and man (used of God’s marriage relationship with Israel) and between individuals (David and Jonathan, David and Mephibosheth).
Lovingkindness is the cornerstone of God’s character and work in creation, redemption, and deliverance, will endure forever, and should be celebrated, emulated, and reflected by those who have received His grace.
Questions for Group Discussion
Reflection: What aspect or lesson from last week’s lesson or lecture most encouraged or challenged you? Why?
Danger Zone Psalms include Psalms that illustrate the human struggle to understand the goodness of God amidst the heartaches of life. The Psalms put words around our legitimate sorrow and confusion and direct our minds toward God’s unchanging character.
1. Read Psalm 13.
A. What words express how the psalmist is feeling emotionally? How might this help you in prayer to God during times of difficulty?
B. How are you encouraged by the honesty and faith of the psalmist?
2. Read Psalm 42.
A. Describe in your own words how the psalmist is feeling as he begins this Psalm. How is he feeling at the conclusion?
B. What lessons might you draw from the psalmist’s thoughts in these verses?
3. Read Psalm 44.
A. Why do you think it was important to recount God’s faithfulness to Israel? What does this teach about the importance of remembering God’s faithfulness in the past?
B. What additional insights do you gain from the cross references on the lovingkindness of the LORD in the Optional Studies for Personal Enrichment?
C. List several incidents in your own life where you have sensed God’s love and protection. Have you thanked Him for this recently?
4. Read Psalm 17.
A. What do you learn from this Psalm about the importance of our words? What warning might you glean from this?
B. List several descriptive words about the psalmist’s enemies. When have you ever felt like this?
C. What phrases comfort you from this Psalm?
D. What petition expresses your present heart’s desire?
E. Why do you think it is helpful to hear the psalmist’s emotions during difficult times?
5. Write a Psalm of Lament or Petition to the Lord following the pattern of expressing honest emotion, thankful recollections, and a determination to trust in the character and goodness of the Lord.
6. What one insight or lesson do you want to remember from this week’s lesson? Note it below and on the journal page entitled “Songs for My Soul” at the back of the workbook.
Choose one verse from this week’s lesson to memorize. Write it here and meditate on it. Review this week by taking your verse cards with you in your purse or car, or displaying them on your bathroom mirror or on your refrigerator.
Optional Studies for Personal Enrichment
Psalms: Songs for the Soul - Danger Zone
Lovingkindness demonstrates the steadfast covenant love of God in the Old Testament, much as agape characterizes the unconditional gracious love of God in the New Testament. List the insights you learn about the lovingkindness of the LORD as revealed in the related scriptural cross references. True love demonstrates character in action. Which aspect of God’s lovingkindness most encourages you?
How can you share His lovingkindness with others?