Catch up on how things have been since the last time your Impact Group met. Allow anyone new to introduce themselves. Then ask group members:
Ask for a volunteer to read Psalm 46 to the group (or watch it read together), praying a short prayer that – however much they’ve come to know Jesus, they’d know him better as a result of your time together.
If you’re not gathered in person, the leader should project the video for the group through sharing their screen. If you’re using Zoom, make sure you have optimized your screen share for video.
Suggested questions to help your discussion.
King David made Jerusalem his capital. It was the final resting place of the tabernacle, the dwelling place of God. David’s son Solomon later built the temple there. For this reason, Jerusalem was known as ‘the city of the LORD’ (Psalm 135:21).
Psalm 46 remembers a time when Jerusalem was threatened by foreign enemies, probably Sennacharib’s Assyrian army during the reign of Hezekiah (see 2 Kings 18:17-19:37). With the Assyrian army approaching, Jerusalem looked doomed. Yet God spoke through Isaiah (Isaiah 31:4-5), promising to defend the city. Jerusalem didn’t itself have a water source, but God’s promises are pictured as being like a secret river within (verse 4).
Overnight, Sennacharib’s army was suddenly and mysteriously destroyed. Jerusalem was left unharmed. The LORD’s delivery on his promises probably inspired Psalm 46, which celebrates how God has made his city totally indestructible.
The writers of the Old Testament agreed that the LORD might be ‘in Jerusalem’ – but that this did not spare the city from divine judgement. God’s commitment to defend Jerusalem depended upon the people’s obedience to him. Eventually, after decades of disobedience, Jerusalem was destroyed in 587BC. Though it was rebuilt, the physical Jerusalem never got close to the promises associated with the city – and it was destroyed again in 70AD.
The New Testament associates the promises regarding Jerusalem to be fulfilled by Jesus, who keeps his people safe, and ultimately the new creation – where God’s people will be with him and kept safe by him eternally (Revelation 21:2).
Think back over the past few days and weeks, and discuss:
Ask for any requests for personal prayer. Pray especially that the Lord would help group members to ‘be still and know God’ in the midst of the pressures they face.
Here’s a short video Southampton CU released exploring peace in the middle of the pandemic (1 minute):
Pray for concrete plans you’ve made to share this peace with others, and pray for individuals by name. Share stories of how it’s gone on your WhatsApp group!
You may have people in your Impact Group who are new to reading the Bible, and who are already seeing how much emotional sense it makes of our lives:
Confirm the time that you’ll meet next week, and ask someone to close your time together in prayer.
Taking it further – links you might like to share with your Impact Group
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