Study Guide – Psalm 79:1-7


O God, pagan nations have conquered your land,
your special possession.
They have defiled your holy Temple
and made Jerusalem a heap of ruins.
They have left the bodies of your servants
as food for the birds of heaven.
The flesh of your godly ones
has become food for the wild animals.
Blood has flowed like water all around Jerusalem;
no one is left to bury the dead.
We are mocked by our neighbors,
an object of scorn and derision to those around us.

O Lord, how long will you be angry with us? Forever?
How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you—
on kingdoms that do not call upon your name.
For they have devoured your people Israel,
making the land a desolate wilderness. NLT


Background: This psalm was written during a time when outside nations had conquered the kings of Israel and led people off into Exile. This psalm is known as a “communal lament”, a song that communicates the deepest sadness in the life of faith and the sense of being lost from home.


Read verses 1-4. Describe the sad situation the people are experiencing during the time this psalm was written.


What is the concern of faith mentioned in verse 5?


Have circumstances in your life ever led you to pray like this? Explain.


In what direction does the prayer turn in verses 6-7? In your opinion, why or why wouldn’t this be an appropriate prayer?



Whether in consideration of world events or in terms of your own walk of faith, take a moment to respond to these verses in prayer as your heart is led.

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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