Focus on Jesus Family Devo
Big Idea: We look to men for help for very real needs; how much more should we earnestly look to Jesus for our deliverance in the face of persecution (assuming that we are living a Godly life in Christ which results in persecution).
Ice Breaker: Get a volunteer to play their own dog. Ask another volunteer to be the owner/master. Set the clock to meal time for this dog. Put on your “director’s hat” and yell “Action!” Observe the “dog’s” intensity and perseverance for his master’s help. Discuss the dynamic as a group, assuring the group that this will actually have something to do with the text you’ll study today.
Read the Text: Psalm 123 (read this after the Ice Breaker)
Questions from the Passage:
- V. 1. What does it mean to “lift up my eyes” to the Lord? What makes it difficult to try to lift our eyes to a throne in heaven?
- V. 2. Why would a slave look to the hand of his master? And what would be the occasion for a maid to look to the hand of her mistress? How could you express this idea in modern terms with employees and employers? How do you –in effect – look toward the hand of your employer or clients? Refer back to the Ice Breaker and ask, “Do any others have a dog?” How does he look toward you? For how long will he look toward you? (Ask for more volunteers to quickly imitate their dogs on this matter.)
- V. 2b. “So our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.” Here is the heart of our lesson. What are the needs that a master, mistress, or employer satisfies for us? What are the needs that the Lord satisfies for us? Which needs are more important? Which needs are more urgent? Which needs are effectively more real to you? How exactly can we “look to the Lord our God”? Have you been doing that this week; why or why not? What gets in the way of looking to Jesus? How can you practically overcome those obstacles? What type of mercy do you need from the Lord? Have you persevered in seeking this mercy? Is this the mercy that the Psalmist has in view? [There’s a bit of “gotcha” coming here!]
- V. 3-4. The Psalmist needs mercy for a specific reason, what is it? What is happening to him? Why would be enduring this ordeal? [Answer: He’s being persecuted for taking a stand for the Lord our God!] Is this the same type of mercy you most require? Has your walk with Christ caused you to be held in contempt this week, last week? Why would you most likely receive contempt and ridicule from the proud and arrogant?
- Finally, what might be the reason that you are not in the difficult position of needing mercy from the Lord due to persecution? Is it possible to both walk with Jesus and to enjoy a life of ease? What decisions have you made based on our discussion of this Psalm?