TiO 15 – The Story – The Kingdoms’ Fall (Chapter 17)

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The Main Idea

Meanwhile, in Judah, the kings are bad. Hezekiah (the faithful king from chapter 16) had a son named Manasseh who was the worst of them all and, while it took 111 years in total, Manasseh sealed the fate of Judah. Judah was captured, Jerusalem (the capital city) was destroyed and so was the temple that Solomon had built. But, the prophets continued to declare both judgement and hope: one day the dead and dry bones of the people of God would be resurrected and they would experience God’s blessing again.

Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)

Q1: Can you think of a time when hope kept you going during a hard circumstance? Why was hope so powerful in that situation?

Q2: Is there a difference between “wishing for something” and “hoping for something”?

Q3: Were there questions or insights that came out of Mark’s message on the weekend that you’d like to discuss with your group?

It is often difficult to reconcile a God of infinite patience with a God of judgment. But in this chapter we see the effects, not of God’s lack of patience, but of his withdrawal of protection to let his people experience the natural consequences of their sin. And we experience the same thing in our lives: while God will always forgive us, there are often consequences of our sin that he will not simply wipe away.

Q1: Have you ever called on God to reverse the consequences of a situation you ended up in because of your sin or bad judgement? What was the result?

Q2: What would you say to a follower of Jesus who has committed a crime? How do you separate the spiritual consequences (or forgiveness) from the natural consequences?

A man came to his pastor and asked, “I am thinking of cheating on my wife. Does God have the grace to forgive me if I do such a thing?” The pastor paused and answered, “Yes, but it is likely that you will not ask him to forgive you.”

Q3: What are the dangers in knowingly choosing to sin? Does God forgive you if you “do evil in the eyes of the LORD”?

Q4: Restoration from sin is always possible but is most times difficult. If you are comfortable in sharing your story of forgiveness and restoration, do so.

God wants us to follow him, to be devoted to him. But even when we do not, he is always In the business of forgiveness and restoration. If you have specific needs in this area, have your group pray for you. You do not have to name your sin to the group but some find that this is helpful.

 

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