NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: Psalm 130
- What situations might cause someone to say, “The bottom has fallen out of my life?”
- When have you most recently felt as if the bottom had fallen out of your life?
- When the bottom falls out of life, where can we find solid ground on which to stand? Be as specific as possible.
Food for thought:
What a year 2020 has been, and it’s not over yet! Who has ever seen the world shut down for weeks at a time? Some of us remember daily death counts from the Vietnam era or perhaps even from World War II. But who could have imagined such a thing when the calendar changed nearly nine months ago?
Some view COVID-related events as a hoax or conspiracy dominated by exaggeration and malice. Others trumpet the concern that people and policies are too cavalier during such danger. Regardless of where the truth stands, an untold number of people have struggled with hopeless feelings brought on by fear of the worst. In that sense, 2020 hasn’t been so different from any other year, which is why the Bible offers large doses of hope.
God knew the kind of despondencies His people would drift into along the river of life. One such dose of hope comes from Psalm 130, one of the psalms of ascent (Psalms 120-134). Each is named A Song of Ascent, likely because it was sung by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem and the tabernacle/temple for the great worship festivals.
Pastor, writer and college professor Eugene Peterson explores the psalms of ascent in his book, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction,” the basis for the first study of this issue of MasterWork. Of Psalm 130, Peterson points out two great realities seen in the psalm: the reality that suffering is real and the reality that God is real. Both appear in the psalmist’s plea. The psalmist said, “The bottom has fallen out of my life!” (MSG). Haven’t we all been there? Are you there now? We can each testify to the reality of suffering.
In the midst of his suffering, the psalmist called out, “Help, God.” In his real suffering, he turned to the God he knew to be real. Though relief did not come immediately, the psalmist continued to “wait and watch for God.” But even in the midst of “waiting and watching,” the psalmist remained confident: “No doubt about it, He’ll redeem Israel.” Have hope. He’ll redeem you, too!
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.lifeway.com/masterwork.