Youth/Parent Bible Chat

"Only keep yourself and keep your soul very carefully, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. But make them known to your sons and to your grandsons."


Deuteronomy 4:9, CSB

Praying in Enemy Territory

Introduction

Psalm 56 is a Maskil Psalm that teaches wisdom about life following God. Its historical heading records that it was composed during David's retreat to the Philistine city of Gath (described in 1 Samuel 21:10-14). When Saul was chasing David, he was in such danger that he briefly fled to Goliath's hometown for safety.


Big Idea

Imprecatory psalms call for God's wrath to fall on God's enemies. Because of this, it takes careful consideration to properly apply them for use in the church.


In the Old Testament, God's enemies were groups who opposed Israel such as the Philistines, the Amalekites, and the Jebusites. In the New Testament, Jesus called God's enemies "the world". He taught that the world, deceived and led by Satan, hates Christ's followers because it hates Christ himself (John 15:18-19). This Psalm gives us a model for how to respond to the world's hatred.


Read the Psalm


Questions to Discuss

1. Do you think Christians in America experience persecution? Explain your reasoning.


2. Based on verses 1-2 and 5-7 what do you imagine David's daily experience in Gath was like?


3. Have you ever been oppressed or treated with suspicion because of your faith in Christ? If so, describe what happened.


4. Rather than fight back or flee to another city, how does David's respond to opposition in verses 3-4?


5. In verse 7, David prays, "God, bring down the nations in wrath." Why do you think it was ok for David to pray that way? Jesus teaches us to pray for our enemies and to do good to those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). Is it possible to do this and also pray like David does here?


6. Find the two verses which are repeated in this Psalm. What can we learn from this about enduring oppression?


7. In the final two verses, David says, "You have delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living." How can this be true if he is still uncertain about whether he will survive in Gath?


8. What Biblical verses give you assurance when others may dislike, suspect, or attack you?

The joy of Forgiveness

Psalm 32 is called a "Maskil". There are twelve other Maskil Psalms: 4244—4552—55747888—89, and 142We don't know what a Maskil is, but some suggest it's a "memory passage" or a "wisdom song". 


Let's find some wisdom in this Maskil Psalm.


Big Idea

This Psalm is about the result of confession of sin and forgiveness: joy.


Read the Psalm together.


Opening Question for the Parent

What was a time when you apologized and experienced genuine forgiveness from someone else? Describe your feelings before and after.


For Both

1. Sometimes we don't want to recognize sin and apologize, to God or to others. What kind of thoughts or attitudes keep us from confessing our sin?


2. What reward for dealing with our sin does God promise us in the first two verses?


3. What consequence does God promise us for not dealing with sin in verses 3-4?


4. Verse 6 is interesting "Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him." Do you think this might be alluding to the Flood? If so, how does the story of the Flood teach us to deal with sin "immediately"?


5. Verse 7 is such a contrast with verse 6. In verse 6, people are threatened with judgment for not confessing sin quickly. But when we confess our sin, what does God promise us in verse 7? 


6. Verses 8-9 sound similar to many Proverbs. What wisdom is being taught in verse 9? How does it apply to confessing sin?


7. Verses 10 and 11 contrast the benefits of confessing sin with the dangers of not confessing it. What are they?


8. As I think and write about this Psalm, I have had many sins come to mind. It caused me to end this with very personal question: what kind of sins are hardest for you to recognize and confess? 


Whatever your answer is, if you are willing to deal with that sin quickly and sincerely, God will fill your life with greater joy as you experience his forgiveness and protection. 

PRiorities

There's just one verse this week:


Complete your outdoor work, and prepare your field; afterward, build your house.


Proverbs 24:27


The first line is one idea stated two ways: outdoor work and preparing your field. It refers to field preparation so that crops can be grown. But the second line is different: building a house.


What does that teach us about this man? He doesn't have a house! So if you don't have a field or a house (but you do have land for both) which should you prepare first?


Big idea

This is about prioritizing first things first. 


Parent

When you had children, your life changed dramatically. Think of the way you used to live before kids; and think of how you lived after. Tell your child any specifics you can think of about how your time management and/or priorities shifted.


Youth

1. Summer break is a great opportunity to do things you want to do. How do you spend your time differently during summer vacation versus your time during the school year?


2. What does a person's field give them? (Hint: this guy is a farmer)


3. What does your house give you?


Both

This proverb had to be written because people don't naturally prioritize correctly. So imagine you have to take a wild field and turn it into a field that you can grow and harvest crops on. 


1. What work do you have to do to get that field ready for growing crops?

Hint: have you ever had a garden? The preparation issues are similar, but for acres rather than square feet.


2. What work do you have to do to build a house?


3. Take a guess on this one: why would someone rather build a house than prepare a field?


Final Question

Try to think of something you put off, procrastinate, or ignore, but you know (either from life experience or God's word) that it is more important than you have made it. How can you prioritize it more effectively?

The Slacker

Wisdom is learned by experience; it can be ours or someone else's. In this passage, Solomon tells what he learned from someone else's failure:


I went by the field of a slacker

and by the vineyard of one lacking sense. 

Thistles had come up everywhere,

weeds covered the ground,

and the stone wall was ruined.

I saw, and took it to heart;

I looked, and received instruction: 

a little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the arms to rest,

and your poverty will come like a robber,

and your need, like a bandit.


Proverbs 24:30-34


Big Idea

Solomon is warning us about the long-term consequences of a lazy lifestyle.


Both

We all have unique preferences for down-time which can change throughout our lives.

Currently, what's one of your favorite ways to relax?

What's the difference between healthy down-time and sinful laziness?


Parents

1. Try to think of a time when you procrastinated on an important task or over-indulged in recreation. Describe what happened. 


2. Look at the last two lines: what does the Bible say laziness leads to? Have you personally witnessed an example of this for yourself or someone else? Tell the story if you can.


Both

3. Solomon never actually sees the slacker; he sees his work. Look carefully at the passage and find a) what his crop is and b) what is threatening a good harvest.


Youth

4. The fifth line indicates his "wall was ruined". Do an internet search to find out what was the benefit of a stone wall for a vineyard. Any results?


5. Lines 8 and 9 describe classic lazy behaviors. What are they? Which one is your favorite?


6. As you take a break from school, try think of three summer goals you can enjoy:


a) for your mind - what's something you'd like to learn more about this Summer? 

b) for your body - what's a way you want to stay active? 

c) for your heart - what's a way you want to become more mature as a Christian?