God's People Lament
Passage: Nehemiah 1:1–1:11
As the book of Nehemiah opens, it does so with great pain and suffering. The report is heard that the beloved city of Jerusalem is once again forced to open shame, tarnishing the glory of God—Nehemiah's sole prize. Despite being a go-getter, he responds in lament. He's determined to do something about this tragedy, and his lament reminds him of who God is. Lament always leads to trust, and Nehemiah's resolve to trust God is only strengthened as he plans his response to the news he's just absorbed.
Monday: Nehemiah 1 & 2
Tuesday: Nehemiah 3 & 4
Wednesday: Nehemiah 5 & 6
Thursday: Nehemiah 7 & 8
Friday: Nehemiah 9 & 10
Saturday: Nehemiah 11 & 12
Sunday: Nehemiah 13
- ICE BREAKER: Where were you on September 11, 2001?
- In your mind, what's the difference between a good crying session and biblical lament?
- Why do you think Nehemiah was so stirred by Hanani's report (1:1-3)?
- When we encounter someone suffering, why is the "hallmark response" so damaging? What's a better response?
- Our prayers need perspective. What does that mean and how might we obtain that perspective?
- Nehemiah's prayer (1:5-11) was saturated in the Torah (OT Law). Why do you think it would be good to adopt Nehemiah's practice of praying the scriptures?
- What kind of action does true, biblical lament lead Christians to?
- Our 3 missionary families feel the need to lament quite often. They're continually reminded of what they are missing out on back home. They often remember how inadequate they are for the task. Take time as a group to pray for them. Ask the Lord to give them a proper perspective in prayer that would lead to a resolve to trust him all the more.