Heartview Day 1: Choosing God's Viewpoint (Psalm 79)
Directions: The group leader will read the lesson aloud. The words in italics are directions for the leader, not to be read aloud. It's recommended that you click on the words in blue to make sure that the links open before the session starts.
Before we begin, let’s make sure everyone has all of their supplies ready:
Do all group members have a highlighting key in their phone or Bible? Click here to do that later.
If your highlighting key is in a paper Bible, do you have your colored pencils for highlighting?
Do all group members have a Neumastudy binder with blank lined and unlined paper in it?
Go ahead and get started, even if some supplies are missing. Help your group members to get any missing supplies before the next session.
Say a brief opening prayer for God to show you what he's thinking about.
Read Intro: Welcome to “The Heartview" study! We're going to be studying Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther over the next 5 weeks. As we begin, the Israelites are living in another country as captives. They are about to be released and sent back to Israel to rebuild the Jewish government and religion. It has been 70 years. Only the old people remember the great war that destroyed their home country. Turn to Psalm 79.
Do Highlights: Choose “heathen” in verse 1 or “prevent” in verse 8 and highlight it for your word study.
Word Study Activity: Do a word study. Here are the links for dictionaries and Strong's. (If this is your first time, you don't have to bother with Strong's. Just practice noting one or two definitions.) This definition explains that the old English word, "prevent," meant the exact opposite of what it means to us.
Play Audio Bible: (Children) Give a thumbs up every time you hear the word, “they.” (Teens & Adults) What is God’s jealousy compared to? (Play audio. Answer: fire, v5.)
Observations: We can see two different perspectives in this passage:  God’s anger at his people’s idolatry (in verse 5) and  his people’s desire for his revenge on the heathen (verse 10). You will notice something special about the way the Jews were thinking while they were captives. Their question “Shall thy jealousy burn like fire?” in verse 5 shows that God's people are thinking about things from his point of view. This was not so when they were idol-worshippers. Now, they are more interested in God’s feelings than the heathen’s idolatry. This will bring them out of their enemy’s control back into God's own territory.
Application: The viewpoint we believe shows us the direction our lives will go. When we became born again, we believed God’s view of ourselves and rejected all other viewpoints. Then we started a relationship with him by saying “yes” to his loving sacrifice of his son for our sins. His perspective of love began to replace our fears and we started wanting healthier relationships.
Q&A Activity: Slowly read only the first paragraph of this article aloud (you don’t need to read Philippians). Scroll to the bottom and discuss question 6, “How has this been so for you?” Pray together that each one will know God’s heartview better through this study.
Teens & Adults: Everyone take a photo of this assignment. Go by yourself and read Philippians 2:3-5. Are there any thoughts that you have been thinking lately that don't agree with God's viewpoint? Ask him. Then, ask him how he sees the people that you look down on. Ask him to give you the wisdom to esteem them better than yourself.