Where the world comes to study the Bible

Lesson 5: Danger Zone

Sin

Sin [Heb hatta’t—offense, sin; root chata—to miss; used 293 times in the Old Testament] is to miss the mark or standard established by God’s Word. It can be an offense against God or man, and was first used when God warned Cain that sin was crouching at the door desiring to master him (Gen 4:7). Transgression [Heb pasha— break away from authority, rebel, revolt; used 134 times in the Old Testament] is willful rebellion against and independence from God.

Sin

Sin [Heb hatta’t—offense, sin; root chata—to miss; used 293 times in the Old Testament] is to miss the mark or standard established by God’s Word. It can be an offense against God or man, and was first used when God warned Cain that sin was crouching at the door desiring to master him (Gen 4:7). Transgression [Heb pasha— break away from authority, rebel, revolt; used 134 times in the Old Testament] is willful rebellion against and independence from God. Iniquity [Heb avon— perversity; from root avah— to be bent, crooked, twisted, perverted] is a perversion or twisting into error, often expressing the twisted inner character and guilt of the sinner. All of creation groans under the effects of sin.

Sin should immediately be confessed (agree with God) and repented (turn away from sin to God). God promises to blot out (erase the records and debt), cleanse (from defilement and corruption), forgive (to remove a burden), and remove our sins as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12).

He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy

Questions for Group Discussion

Reflection: What aspect or lesson from last week’s lesson or lecture most encouraged or challenged you? Why?

The Danger Zone Psalms include Lament Psalms, expressing distress and petition from the external oppression of others (Lessons #3 and #4), as well as Penitential Psalms (Lesson #5), expressing confession and repentance from the internal oppression of personal sin and its inevitable consequences. As you study these Psalms, notice the impact of personal sin on the inner person as well as the joy of forgiveness.

    1. In last week’s lesson, David was fleeing Saul’s pursuit before he was crowned king of Israel. In this lesson Saul is dead and David is the prosperous king reigning over all Israel. Read 2 Samuel 11:1–4.

      A. What observations might you make about David and his state of mind from these verses?

      B. What warning might we glean from his actions?

    2. Read 2 Samuel 11:5-27.

      A. List the downward steps into sin that you observe in David and his relationship with Bathsheba.

      B. What does this passage illustrate about the complications and development of sinful choices?

      C. What period of time passes during this tragic episode in David’s life?

    3. Read 2 Samuel 12:1–24. What observations do you make about sin, its consequences, conviction, and confession from this narrative?

    4. Read Psalm 51. This Psalm is David’s confession after Nathan’s confrontation.

      A. List the words that reflect David’s conviction of his sin and his understanding of God’s character.

      B. What additional insights do you gain from the cross references on the ministries of the Holy Spirit, including conviction of sin and enablement for service, in the Optional Studies for Personal Enrichment?

    5. Reread Psalm 51:2–4.

      A. Why do you think David would see his sin only as against God? Were others harmed by his sin?

      B. What do you learn about how others suffer when we sin against God?

      C. Can you think of a contemporary example where others suffer for a sin against God?

    6. What do you learn about true confession from this Psalm?

    7. Read Psalm 32. This Psalm reflects David’s experience after his confession.

      A. How does he describe the experience of denial, or hiding, of his personal sin? (See vv. 3–4) How does that emphasize the importance of dealing with personal sin?

      B. What words best describe the joy of forgiveness and cleansing?

      C. What warning does he offer about future choices?

      D. What aspects of God’s character are emphasized in this Psalm?

      E. How does that encourage you this week?

    8. What insight do you gain from your reading of Psalms 51 and 32 regarding true repentance and confession?

    9. Is there any repentance needed this week in your personal life?

    10. 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 your memory verses from earlier lessons as well.

Optional Studies for Personal Enrichment

Psalms: Songs for the Soul - Danger Zone

The Holy Spirit’s activities include creation, conviction of sin, and equipping the saints for service. The Spirit temporarily came upon or filled selected individuals in the Old Testament, providing enablement for service; however, in the New Testament the Spirit permanently indwells all believers at salvation. List the insights you learn about the ministry of the Holy Spirit from the following scriptural cross references. How do these insights enhance your understanding of David’s concern in Ps 51:11?

Ministries of the Holy Spirit

Gen 1:1-2

Gen 6:3; Jn 16:7–11

Ex 31:2-5

Judges 14:6

1 Sam 16:1, 14

1 Sam 16:13

Isa 11:2

Ezek 36:26–27

Lk 1:35

Jn 14:15-17

Jn 14:26

Acts 5:1-3, 9; 7:51

Rom 8:26–27

1 Cor 12:11

Gal 5:22–23

Eph 1:13

Eph 4:30–32; Isa 63:10–11

Eph 5:18

1 Thess 5:19

2 Peter 1:20–21; 2 Sam 23:1–2

Which ministry of the Holy Spirit is most evident in your life? What can you do to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in your relationships this week?

Related Topics: Curriculum