Discussion questions: Psalms of Justice and Imprecation

Discussion questions: Psalms of Justice and Imprecation

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Read Psalm 58.

Discussion

  1. Let’s first define justice.  What is it?
  2. In vs. 1-2, who is David praying about?  What have they done?  How is the intensity of David’s prayer affected by the behavior of these people?
  3. In vs. 6-9, David prays for God to punish these wrongdoers.  Does his strong language surprise you?  Explain.
  4. In vs. 10-11, the righteous rejoice at God’s justice.  Why?  Read Psalm 99:4-5 and Psalm 98:7-8. 
  5. The gospel of Christ is profoundly marked by grace (e.g., Ephesians 2:4-6).  Let’s define grace:  what is it?  And what is mercy?  How do these compare or contrast with justice?  Can we have grace and mercy without having justice?  Explain.
  6. How does the gospel help us to remain humble even as we yearn for justice in this world?
  7. What is the difference between praying for justice and having a posture of forgiveness and mercy?  Can we have both?  Explain.

When Jesus prayed on the cross for mercy (i.e., “Father, forgive them…”), was justice being done or ignored in some way or something else?   Explain. 

Application

  1. Give two or three ways you can pray for justice in your life or in society as a whole.
  2. What are a few ways you can grow in loving justice more as you imitate the God of justice?
  3. Considering all the evil and injustices in this world, what will help you to have a patient and merciful heart as you wait for the Lord to sort all things out in his coming kingdom?