- Verses 1-20 the poet, speaking in the name of the community pours out his heart ‘like water before the presence of the Lord’ (2:19). Notice the change from the minor to the major key at verse 21.
What causes it? Do the Psalmists’ experiences in Ps. 42:1-5 and 73:16,17a provide a clue?
- Consider how remarkable is the appearance here, in verses 22-42, of such a noble expression of assurance concerning God’s mercies.
What aspects of God’s character are most emphasized in these verses, and what should be our attitude of mind and spirit in time of affliction or chastisement?
Cf. Joel 2:12-14. Why is it both foolish and wrong for a man to complain and murmur in time of chastisement (verses 37-39)? Cf. Jer. 5:19-24; Prov. 19:3.
- In verses 43-54 the poet, in the name of the people, again pours out his heart before the Lord and, having done so, is strengthen to pray again, and receives comfort. What is his prayer (verses 55-66)?
What factors in the Poet’s situation might lead us not to judge this prayer for requital too harshly?
- Verse 20. An alternative reading is, ‘thou wilt surely remember and bow down to me’.
- Verse 38. ‘Calamities’: Cf. Amos 3:6; Is. 45:7.
- Verse 63. Cf. Job 30:9.