Lesson Two
In a Dry and Weary Land

 

   

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you.
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1


u  The Conception

 

Conception occurs the moment the man’s sperm unites with the woman’s egg.

 

How would you describe your relationship with the mother of the aborted child?

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Were you single or married at the time of conception?___________________________________________

 

What was your understanding, if any, about God’s Word concerning sexual morality?

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Was the possibility of pregnancy ever discussed with the mother of the aborted child?  If yes, what was her understanding?  What was yours?

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u  Making the Decision (for men who knew about the pregnancy prior to the abortion)

 

How did you feel when you first learned about the pregnancy?

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Did you share your thoughts with anyone?  What was their response?  Their advice?

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Was there anyone that you made a point not to tell?  If yes, why?

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Did you receive any counseling or advice about the abortion?  If yes, what was it?

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Did you believe that when a woman is pregnant she carries an unborn child in her womb?  Why or why not?

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What were your concerns associated with the pregnancy?

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Did you feel pressured to make a quick decision about the pregnancy?  If yes, what were the reasons?

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Ultimately, what were your motivations regarding your decision about the pregnancy?

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Did you favor abortion or having the woman carry the unborn child to term?

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Did you have any doubts about your decision?

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What would you do today if you were faced with the same decision?

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Were you a Christian at the time?  If yes, did your fellowship with Jesus change?  In what ways?

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If you weren’t a Christian, did you have any opinion as to how God viewed your part in the abortion decision?  If yes, what was it?  What is it now?

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u  After the Fact (for men who learned about the pregnancy after the abortion)

 

How did you learn about the abortion?

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How did you feel when you first learned about the abortion?

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Did you share your thoughts with anyone?  What was their response? 

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Was there anyone that you made a point not to tell?  If yes, why?

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Did you believe that when a woman is pregnant she carries an unborn child in her womb?  Why or why not?

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What were your concerns when you learned about the abortion?

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Would you have asked the woman to carry the unborn child to term?  Why or why not?

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Read 2 Samuel 11:1-27 and then take a few moments to think about each individual mentioned in this passage and the circumstances that surrounded them.

 

What have you learned about each of them?  What stands out most clearly to you?

 

David

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Bathsheba

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Joab

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Uriah

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Of the four, with whom can you most identify?  Why?

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Now that you’ve reflected on your experiences, it may seem that you are standing in the midst of a whirlwind of emotions.

 

Read Psalm 107:26-31.

 

In your trouble, what can you do?___________________________________________________________

 

What will our Lord do for you?_____________________________________________________________

 

Where is your desired haven?______________________________________________________________

 

 

How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 36:7

 


What, then, ultimately happened to David?  He turned his heart to God and repented of his sin.  David was a man after God’s own heart, and enjoyed His great grace, mercy, and lovingkindness.  God was with David and for him . . . in the same way, He is with and for each of us.

 

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, o people; pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.  Selah.
Psalm 62:5-8

 

 

 

u  The Promised Benefits

 

During our lives we have trials and tribulations.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to think that we always handle them with great wisdom?  The truth is, however, that we do not.  For when we focus only on our circumstances or on our personal wants, unwise decisions surely follow.

 

Read Genesis 3:1-13.

 

Eve reasoned to herself that the fruit was good and desirable.  By eating the fruit, what benefits did she expect to gain?

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What benefits might a person expect to gain by aborting an unborn child?

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Do any of the above benefits pertain to you?

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In verse 8, what did Adam and Eve do when they thought the Lord was near?

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Why do you think they did this?

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Have you ever tried to hide an abortion from our Lord?  If yes, how?

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Read verse 21.  Why do you think God did this?  What does this reveal to you about His heart toward His children?

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Do you believe God has this same heart toward you?  Why or why not?

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If we were to devote every second of every day pondering the love of Jesus, at the end of each day, we would have to conclude that it is patient, kind, and enduring.

 

The richness of God’s glorious grace abounds to us.  To know that each time we stumble, there Jesus is . . . close-by.  His untiring hand outstretched to pick us up.

 

 

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.  Selah.
Psalm 68:19

 

 

In Genesis 3:11, why do you think God is asking Adam questions to which He already knew the answers?

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Did Adam and Eve repent of their sin?

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What did they do instead?

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Take time:  God will meet you where you are.  Just as you are.  No matter how unclean you think you are.  Take refuge in the shelter of His wings.  What is on your heart right now?  Share your thoughts with Him.



u
  Temporary Relief

 

Shortly after an abortion is over, many people feel relieved.  Some of us expect delivery on the promises we heard.

 

Place a check next to the statements listed below that best relate to you:

ÿ  Abortion will end the turmoil.

ÿ  Abortion will give me the freedom I need.

ÿ  Abortion will make me feel better.

ÿ Abortion will make my girlfriend happy.

ÿ  Abortion will make my wife happy.

ÿ  Abortion will make my father or mother happy.

ÿ  Abortion will make ______________ happy.

ÿ  Abortion will do away with my fears and worries.

ÿ Abortion will allow me to continue my education.

ÿ  Abortion will keep _____________ from knowing I had an affair.

ÿ  Abortion will let me get on with my life.

ÿ  Abortion will let me escape the responsibility of fatherhood.

 

And some of us are relieved:

ÿ  Simply because it’s over.

 

 

What other anxieties did you expect to be relieved?

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Yes, there is a sense of relief after abortion.  And we may rest in a feeling of security for a while, but God’s eyes are on our ways.  Thankfully, our Lord doesn’t allow a false peace to rob us of the privilege of knowing Him and His righteousness.

 

Read Matthew 26:31-74.

 

What do you know about Peter?

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What pressures surrounded him?

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What three decisions did he make to ease the tensions?

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After the first denial of knowing Christ, do you think Peter experienced a sense of relief?

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After the second denial?

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After the third denial, what happened?

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In Matthew 26:75, what did Peter do?

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After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples (yes, even to a repentant Peter!) and offered this assurance:

 

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

 

 

(Your Name)______________, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

 

 

All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.
Psalm 38:9


u  Our Imaginary Defenses

 

Oh how we clothe our deeds
    With pretty words and logical excuses.
We recline for a time
    So comfortably dressed.
        We taught ourselves well!
Great are our ways, we proved ourselves right.

 

But our God is faithful
    To teach us wisdom in the inmost place.

That we might walk
    Sincerely dressed
        With trust in Jesus.
Great are His ways, forever our light.

 

 

Following are statements that we commonly make in attempts to defend the rightness of the abortion decision.  Place a check next to the statements that best relate to you.  How does God’s Word refute these statements?

 

ÿ  “I didn’t kill a child, abortion just terminated the pregnancy.”
Psalm 139:13-16_____________________________________________

 

ÿ  “The pregnancy wasn’t planned.  Besides, she was just a few weeks along, it wasn’t anything yet.”
Jeremiah 1:4-5_______________________________________________

 

ÿ  “By the time I learned about the impending abortion, there was nothing I could do.”

Ezekiel 3:16-19_______________________________________________

 

ÿ  “I learned about the abortion after the fact.  What’s done is done.  It’s no big deal.”

Romans 1:29-32______________________________________________

 

ÿ  “I couldn’t afford to father a child.”

Matthew 6:25-27_____________________________________________

 

ÿ  “I wasn’t ready to be a father.”

Psalm 127:3_________________________________________________

 

ÿ  “But it was going to be deformed.”

Isaiah 45:9-10________________________________________________

 

ÿ  “It’s not like the abortion killed a real person.”

Luke 1:41-44________________________________________________

Note:  The Greek word brephos used for the unborn babe in verse 44 is the same word that denotes a baby in Luke 2:12 & 2:16; an infant in Luke 18:15; and a child in 2 Timothy 3:15.

 

ÿ  “God understands what had to be done.”

Proverbs 6:16-17_____________________________________________

 

ÿ  “She just exercised her legal rights.”

Exodus 20:13________________________________________________ 

ÿ
ÿ
  “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Proverbs 30:20 ______________________________________________

 

ÿ  “It was the best decision at the time.”

1 Corinthians 3:18-20__________________________________________

 

ÿ   “The abortion wasn’t my fault.  She should have taken precautions not to become pregnant.”

Genesis 3:12-13______________________________________________

 

ÿ  “Everyone said it was the right thing to do.”

Galatians 1:10________________________________________________

 

ÿ “The abortion was so long ago, it doesn’t seem real any more.”

Psalm 44:21________________________________________________

 

 

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Psalm 51:6

 

 

Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.
Deuteronomy 10:16

 

 

As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
Hebrews 3:15

 

 

 

Take time:  Don’t be quick to excuse or punish yourself.  Rather, ask our Lord to show you which statements, if any, truly apply to you.  Be sure to welcome the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

 

 

List the abortion(s) in which you have been involved.  What was your specific involvement in each?

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Are there any other assurances that you have given yourself to justify your actions?  If yes, what are they?

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How would you define the word “abortion”?

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What biblical truths stand out most clearly to you?  Why?

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You’re not alone.  We’ve all had several helpings of “humble pie.”  How precious to know, though, that Jesus will not smear our faces in the shame of our ways.  And isn’t it so true?  Our ways are not His ways.

 

As the heavens are bigger than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9

 

 

Seek the Lord while be may be found; call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the Lord, and be will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Isaiah 55:6-7

 

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

 

 

 

u  A Glimpse of His Work

 

Read John 15:1-4.

Note:  the Greek word for “prune” also means to cleanse.

 

In going through this lesson, in what areas of your life have you noticed that your Gardener has already pruned and trimmed you?

 
I USED TO                                                TODAY I


Say:     _____________________________________________________

Think:  _____________________________________________________

Do:      _______________________________________________            

 
Isn’t it wonderful to see the glorious work of God’s hand in your life?


u  Jesus-Bound Eyes

 

Read Matthew 14:25-33.

 

What do you see in your own life that resembles Peter’s attempt to walk on water?

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What difference do you see in a difficult situation when your eyes are on Jesus versus when they are on the waves?

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Where is God inviting you to “get out of the boat” right now? *

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*Serendipity House, see Acknowledgements

 

 

Meditations

 

 

Read and meditate on the following verses and questions until you’re ready for the next lesson or until your group meets again.

 

Read John 11:17-44.

 

Why were Mary, Martha, and the others grieved?

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As followers of Jesus, who did they run to for help?

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How did they express their sorrow?

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In a dictionary, look up the word “weep.”  What does it mean?

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Why do you think Jesus wept?

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In what three (or more) ways are you like Mary, Martha, and the others?

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What do these Scriptures reveal to you about Jesus’ compassion?

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Turn to Jesus.  He loves you.




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