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Community Group Questions | Psalm 44 | July 9, 2017

Psalm 44, "Uncensored Hearts" Rev. Blake Altman, Lead Pastor

God intends to change you by His Word. How is He at work in you to do that?

Read Psalm 44 and consider these questions.

TO THE CHOIRMASTER. A MASKIL OF THE SONS OF KORAH

1 O God, we have heard with our ears,

our fathers have told us,

what deeds you performed in their days,

in the days of old:

2 you with your own hand drove out the nations,

but them you planted;

you afflicted the peoples,

but them you set free;

3 for not by their own sword did they win the land,

nor did their own arm save them,

but your right hand and your arm,

and the light of your face,

for you delighted in them.

 

4 You are my King, O God;

ordain salvation for Jacob!

5 Through you we push down our foes;

through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.

6 For not in my bow do I trust,

nor can my sword save me.

7 But you have saved us from our foes

and have put to shame those who hate us.

8 In God we have boasted continually,

and we will give thanks to your name forever.  Selah

 

9 But you have rejected us and disgraced us

and have not gone out with our armies.

10 You have made us turn back from the foe,

and those who hate us have gotten spoil.

11 You have made us like sheep for slaughter

and have scattered us among the nations.

12 You have sold your people for a trifle,

demanding no high price for them.

13 You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,

the derision and scorn of those around us.

 

14 You have made us a byword among the nations,

a laughingstock among the peoples.

15 All day long my disgrace is before me,

and shame has covered my face

16 at the sound of the taunter and reviler,

at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.

17 All this has come upon us,

though we have not forgotten you,

and we have not been false to your covenant.

18 Our heart has not turned back,

nor have our steps departed from your way;

19 yet you have broken us in the place of jackals

and covered us with the shadow of death.

20 If we had forgotten the name of our God

or spread out our hands to a foreign god,

21 would not God discover this?

For he knows the secrets of the heart.

22 Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.

 

23 Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?

Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!

24 Why do you hide your face?

Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?

25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust;

our belly clings to the ground.

26 Rise up; come to our help!

Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!

 

SERMON OUTLINE AND REVIEW:

Point: Pray to God with uncensored hearts, for He knows our secrets, He delights in us, He has delivered us, He drives His promises deep.

I. Pray to God with uncensored hearts.

1. He knows our secrets.

2. He delights in His saints.

God’s saints are very dear to his heart. They are his jewels (Malachi 3:17). They are the apple of his eye (Zech 2:8). Their service is precious to him (Prov 15:8). Their voice is precious (Song of Solomon 2:14). Their tears are precious (Psalm 56:8; Luke 10:20). Their thoughts are precious (Mal 3:16). Their blood is precious (Psalm 116:15).

3. He has delivered us.

4. He drives His promises deep.

 

Group Instruction and Questions:

1. Psalm 44 is a Psalm of lament. The Psalmist begins by recounting the history of God’s faithfulness to our fathers (1-3) and then speaks of God’s faithfulness to the present covenant community (4-8). What are your “foes” or “those who rise up against us” that God has helped you push back? How would you briefly summarize His work in your life?

2. Memorize this Psalm 44:6-8. Turn it into a prayer each day this week:

[6] For not in my bow do I trust,

nor can my sword save me.

[7] But you have saved us from our foes

and have put to shame those who hate us.

[8] In God we have boasted continually,

and we will give thanks to your name forever.

 

3. The Psalmist isn’t afraid to speak his mind to God is he? In verse 9-16 the psalmist changes his tone with a contrast, “But…” and share his experience that seems to suggest God has abandoned them. In verse 23-26, He even calls God to wake up and save them! What boldness! What strikes you about these verses? What puzzles you? What confuses you? Are you able to pray like this? Why or why not?

4. How does the Psalm end? To what does the psalmist appeal when asking God to rise up and come to their help?

 

After studying or meditating on this Psalm, you may want to pray one of these prayers:

Prayer of Thanks: “O God our help in Ages Past — You are still with me now. I thank you that you are eternal, unchanging in your person, character, and attributes. Let me remember that with excited anticipation for the things you will be doing today through me. Amen.”

Prayer of Lament: “Lord, I praise you for being a God who invites us to give you a long list of complaints! How patient, loving, and caring you are to your children. Thank you for the invitation to unburden myself fully, without the need to say everything in the ‘right way.’ Amen.”

Prayer of Confession: “Lord Jesus, in the boat during the storm your disciples accused you of not caring—but you were never out of control and you saved them. I confess that to me also you seem to not care, to be doing nothing. That is wrong. The cross proves incontrovertibly, eternally, that you do care. I praise you and rest in you for that. Amen.”