1. Has anything unexpected ever happened to you whereby you saw the reason or blessing only after words? What were your initial first responses to the circumstances?
2. In Luke 1:26-38, what “unexpected” things or challenges particularly stand out to you, or resonate with you? If everyone back then had had a better understanding of the Old Testament, should the circumstances of Jesus’ birth and the nature of his ministry really have been surprising?
3. How can our human wisdom and expectations hinder or blind us from seeing God at work or moving?
4. What do we require to submit to God’s purposes and plans? Why do we find this so difficult at times?
5. When the unexpected nature of Christ’s ministry to Israel came to an unexpected end, how were the apostles and disciples assured of who Jesus was and God’s purposes and plans? How do we have the same assurance?
1. Compare 2 Samuel 24:1 to 1 Chronicles 21:1. If God is holy, perfect and sinless, can God actually tempt people into committing sin? How do these passages compare to Adam and Eve in the garden?
2. It seems reasonable that any nation should know its resources and population. So how did David sin? (See also Exodus 30:11-16.) How did the idols of comfort, security and power factor into David’s decision? Why is idolatry such an affront to God?
3. Comparing this account to the account of David’s sin against Bathsheba and Uriah, what was the same? What was different? Were there any signs of David having spiritually matured?
4. What did the 3 choices of consequences offered to David say about trusting man versus trusting God? How did David’s choice and subsequent plea for “the sheep” attest to what he had learned?
5. Why was the location of the altar of sacrifice significant? Why did David not take up Araunah on his offer? How does this all point to Christ? What does this also say about our “sacrifices”?
6. Throughout 1 and 2 Samuel, we have seen that despite David’s failures and triumphs, his sin and devotion, his ups and downs, God remained faithful and kept his promises to David, and God called him, “….a man after his heart.” How does David’s story encourage you to persist in seeking God? What does it teach us about repentance? What does it teach us about God’s faithfulness and promises? What does it encourage you to pray?
1. Why do you think we are called to endure trial and tribulation? How can we persevere?
2. How does James describe the “riches” of this worldly life?
3. What do you think is meant by “the crown of life”? (See also 1 Cor 9:24-27.) What do you anticipate upon receiving this crown?
4. In Genesis 3:1-7, what did the serpent imply about God? What did the serpent promise?
Is our sin always the result of some external force?
5. What is the difference between testing and temptation? Why can it be said that God never tempts us?
6. As Christians, in Christ we are at peace with God yet at war with sin. (Though in Christ, a war that cannot be ultimately lost. See Romans 5:18-21.) What does James offer us in the remainder of Chapter 1 with respect to our struggle, or “mortification” of sin. From this reading, and your knowledge of other Bible passages, how does God’s word and the Holy Spirit help us put sin to death in our lives?
1. How did David sin? What were the circumstances? When do you feel most vulnerable to succumbing to sin? What does it take for the seed of sin to grow?
2. How did David attempt to cover up? Was his sin concealed? Does sin ever affect just the person committing the sin? Who suffered for David’s choices?
3. What was Nathan’s goal in approaching David? What was the tone and nature of Nathan’s approach? What were David’s reactions? How do you think Saul would have responded in this circumstance?
4. How and why did God extend grace to David? Was it because David earned it? Why do you think God still punished David?
5. Do we have Nathans in our life? Why do you think we may react angrily to exhortation or rebuke?
6. John Owen wrote that we must be mortifying sin or sin will be mortifying us. He based this on his exegesis of Romans 8:13. What does this mean? How did the sermon point out we could do this?
1. From Acts 26 and what you know of Paul’s life, describe how the process of Rebellion, Revelation, Repentance and Restoration worked out in Paul’s life? How does obedience fit in?
2. Is this a one time process? Is it continuous in the Christian life? What kind of life did Paul lead?
3. Do you think understanding and applying these four R’s can help you share the gospel? If we ever feel we may be at a loss for words or a convincing argument, how does Matthew 10:19-23 provide comfort and encouragement?
4. Here’s a theological type of question for you: When “justification” and “sanctification” are used in the Bible, what is meant by each one? How are they similar? How are they different? (Hint: See the question and commentary in the New City Catechism that we use here at Ness.)
5. What God-given gifts did Paul use to share the Gospel and support the church? Were the gifts given before or after his conversion? Why is it important for us to know and understand the Old Testament like Paul?
6. What gifts do you think God has given you to enrich the church? How have you used them? Where do you think will you continue to use them?
1. Have you ever been homeless? Evacuated from your home? In isolation away from your home? How did you feel or how did it affect you?
2. How have “dwell” or “dwelling,” “tent” or “tabernacle “ been used in the Bible? Can you link those observations to the various Biblical covenants?
3. Why do think David and Nathan thought it was a good idea to build a temple for God? How did this idea compare to the religious practices of the nations around Israel at the time?
4. How did God respond? What did this response reveal about incarnation and grace?
5. 2 Samuel 7:4-17 is often referred to as the Davidic Covenant. What does this covenant have to say about God’s initiative and His kingdom? What does it say about time, sin, peace and rest? How does this passage anticipate Jesus?
6. How did David respond? How do you respond to God’s grace and provision in your life? How does this passage encourage you to persevere in trial and affliction?
7. What does the Kingdom of God entail for our worship, obedience and service? How can reflecting on our time and money, our dreams or emotions show we may be worshiping or serving something other than God?
1. How does the Ark of the Covenant point to God’s character? What attributes of His character stand out for you? How does the Ark point to Jesus?
2. What were the specific directions God gave as to how the Ark was to be treated and transported? (See Exodus 25:10-22; Deuteronomy 10:8-10; Hebrews 9:1-10.) Do you think these instructions show God’s holiness and mercy? How? Why do you think Israel transported the Ark the way they did at first?
3. Do you think God was too harsh in striking Uzzah down? How did David react? Why do you think David and his entourage were not struck down? Are there times when you think God is being too harsh with you or others around you?
4. What was the fruit of reverence toward God in the house of Obed-edom? How did this change David? How did David’s worship change? What did David see about God in bringing the Ark to Jerusalem?
5. Read John 4:21-24; Romans 12:1-3; and 1 Peter 2:4-5. With these readings and what we learned from 2 Samuel 6, how would you describe true worship? What does it mean to be a living sacrifice?
6. What was Michal’s reaction to David’s worship coming into Jerusalem with the procession accompanying the Ark? Do you think she valued the Ark and it’s arrival at Jerusalem?
7. How has God’s word this week illuminated your own attitude and approach towards worshipping Him? Why should true worship, joy, adoration and obedience be appropriate responses to the Gospel?
1. What does the term “anointed” mean and imply when used in the Bible? What does “fool” mean and imply in the Bible?
2. In your own words, define forgiveness. Is forgiveness costly? How? Who bears the pain of forgiving? What is the cost for us of not forgiving?
3. David was anointed by God to be King over Israel. Why do you think God took awhile to execute judgement and remove Saul? What effect do you think this had on David?
4. How did David show mercy and forgiveness towards Saul? How did he show wisdom and caution at the same time? What was the result? What do you think would have happened to David if he did not show restraint?
5. If God is perfect, his timing, mercy and judgements are perfect. How would you describe the world’s timing, mercy and judgement? How would you describe your own?
6. In your own words, what is the Gospel? What does the Gospel have to say about humility and forgiveness? Why do you know for certain you are accepted and forgiven by God?
7. Do you struggle with forgiveness? Have you ever thought you are more deserving of forgiveness than someone else? (See Matt 18:23-35 and 22:37-40) What are some causes of an unforgiving heart? What kind of heart and attitude does the world affirm? In Psalm 51:14-17, what kind of heart and attitude does God affirm?
8. Read Matt 6:9-14; Luke 17:7-10; Romans 12:3; and Gal:1-5. What do these passages say about haughtiness and forgiveness?
9. If humility and being able to forgive come from God, how would daily time in God’s word, prayer and introspection help you?
1. Can you describe a time when a friend came through for you? What were you struck by or what stood out about it.
2. Can you recall a time when you came through for a friend? What were the circumstances?
3. Have you ever felt that you let a friend down? How did you cope or deal with that?
4. What were the 3 characteristics of friendship that were discussed in the sermon and why are they crucial to friendship?
5. Truth, duty, honour, loyalty, integrity, dignity and sacrifice are sometimes seen as old fashioned. Are these qualities important in friendships? How do they tie into the 3 characteristics of friendship described in the sermon? How can these qualities be used negatively or in a manipulative fashion?
6. What is our source of strength for true friendship?
7. What was the cost of Jonathan’s friendship to David? What did he sacrifice?
8. How does Jesus prove to be our friend?
9. How will you view your friendships now? What will you do?
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