THE OTHER GUYS: HABAKKUK

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

SNAPSHOT OF HABAKKUK

  • Date: 609–598 BC (Assyrian Empire/Babylonian Empire)
  • Theme: Why doesn’t God punish the wicked?
  • Key Verse(s): Habakkuk 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor on those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?
  • YouTube: For a brief video synopsis, visit fellowshipcleveland.com/the-other-guys and click on “The Bible Project Synopsis” for Habakkuk.

GROUP QUESTIONS

What is the most unfair thing that happened to you?

Read Habakkuk 1:1-11. What was Habakkuk’s complaint to God? How did God answer Him?

What was Habakkuk’s response (1:12-2:1) and God’s next answer (2:2-20)?

Do you think it was wrong for Habakkuk to question God so directly? Why or why not? Have you questioned God’s fairness (justice) in an honest discussion with Him?

As God begins His answer, He says that “the righteous person will live by his faithfulness”. What do you think this means?

Read the following verses in Habakkuk 2. What is the warning (woe)? How do you see some of the same practices in our culture today?

  • 2:6-8
  • 2:9-11
  • 2:12-14
  • 2:15-17
  • 2:18-20

Read Habakkuk 3. How has Habakkuk’s attitude changed? How can his new attitude be an example to you in your relationship with God?

The Book of Habakkuk begins with frustration over God’s seeming lack of justice, and ends with a change of attitude to joy because of God’s faithfulness. How is it that Habakkuk can rejoice when he knows what is coming? Have you experienced joy even though your circumstances seemed hopeless?

APPLICATION

Following Habakkuk’s example in chapter 1, take time this week to make a list of your “complaints” (concerns). Be specific about injustices in your world. What do you think would be God’s response to your complaints? Considering your list and God’s character, write a response to God following Habakkuk’s example in chapter 3.

Follow the reading plan for the Book of Zephaniah for August 12 (Baptism Party on August 5!)

  • Monday 8/6           1
  • Tuesday 8/7           2
  • Wednesday 8/8     3
  • Thursday 8/9         1-2
  • Friday 8/10            3

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Common themes of the minor prophets include the sinfulness of the people, God’s judgment to come, God’s love for His people, God’s redemptive plan, and of the hope of the coming Savior. Review the prophet’s we’ve already covered; what patterns do you see thus far in our sermon series?

  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk

There are several incidences in the Bible where “bad things happen to good people” – circumstances that could cause believers to question God. Look up the following passages and list the “unjust” treatment and the “just” outcome. What do you learn from these stories about God’s sovereignty?

PASSAGE

UNJUST TREATMENT PASSAGE

JUST OUTCOME

 

Genesis 37:18-28

 

   

Genesis 45:3-8

 
 

Daniel 6:1-24

 

   

Daniel 6:25-28

 
 

Acts 16:16-24; 37

 

   

Acts 16:25-34

 

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THE OTHER GUYS: NAHUM

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

SNAPSHOT OF NAHUM

  • Date: 663-654 BC (Assyrian Empire)
  • Theme: God is slow to anger, but will punish evildoers.
  • Key Verse(s): Nahum 1:7-8 The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make a complete end of its site, and will pursue His enemies into darkness.
  • YouTube: For a brief video synopsis, visit fellowshipcleveland.com/the-other-guys and click on “The Bible Project Synopsis” for Nahum.

GROUP QUESTIONS

What attribute of God is your favorite (see partial list on back)?

It’s not likely that anyone named God’s wrath as their favorite attribute. But the Book of Nahum chronicles God’s wrath against a nation and city. Read Nahum 1:1-6. What description of God stuck out to you?

How can you reconcile Nahum 1:7 with the previous verses?

What does Nahum’s name mean?* Why is the meaning of his name appropriate, despite the seeming doom and gloom of his message?

To Nahum (and Jonah before him), the city of Nineveh and the country of Assyria were the embodiment of evil. Is there anyone you believe embodies evil? As a Christ-follower, how do you balance mercy with a desire for justice?

Following Jonah’s message, the repentance of the city of Nineveh (Jonah 3), though remarkable, did not last. Read Nahum 3:1-3. How is Nineveh described? Discuss God’s patience in giving them ~100 years after their repentance to “get it right”. What does this reveal about Nineveh and what does it reveal about God?

Read Nahum 2:13. How would you feel if you heard those words directed to you?

Read Romans 8:31. What is the promise for believers in this verse?

The language that is used in Nahum 3:4-6 is graphic. How does the descriptive language give you a sense of the way God feels about sin?

Though the judgment of Nahum concerns the Assyrians, the book itself is addressed to the people of God. Aaron shared that the message is one of hope: no matter what, God is God, God is good, and God’s good is for YOU. Nahum himself says that God “cares for those who trust in Him” (1:7). Do you trust that God’s good is for you?

* Nahum means “comfort”

APPLICATION

Write down specific actions you will do to implement the message of hope in Nahum by choosing to trust and take refuge in God (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Follow the reading plan for the Book of Habakkuk this week:

  • Monday 7/23          1
  • Tuesday 7/24          2
  • Wednesday 7/25    3
  • Thursday 7/26        1-2
  • Friday 7/27             3

FOR FURTHER STUDY

A number of God’s attributes are on display in Nahum, including His justness, goodness, and wrath. Read through the verses below. Write down anything that strikes you in the verses describing His attributes, and meditate on them this week.

  • God is infinite. Romans 11:33
  • God is just. Psalm 75:1-7
  • God is holy. Revelation 4:8-11
  • God is merciful. Deuteronomy 4:29-31
  • God is omnipresent. Psalm 139:7-12
  • God is omniscient. Psalm 139:1-6
  • God is self-sufficient. Acts 17:24-28
  • God is omnipotent. Jeremiah 32:17-18, 26-27
  • God is good. Psalm 119:65-72
  • God is transcendent. Psalm 113:4-5
  • God is immutable. Psalm 102:25-28
  • God is love. 1 John 4:7-10
  • God is sovereign. 1 Chronicles 29:11-13
  • God is wrathful. Nahum 1:2-8
  • God is faithful. Psalm 89:1-8
  • God is wise. Proverbs 3:19-20

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THE OTHER GUYS: MICAH

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

SNAPSHOT OF MICAH

  • Date: 735-710 BC (Assyrian Empire)
  • Theme: God will punish His people for their injustice, then He will restore them.
  • Key Verse(s): Micah 7:9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, and I will see His righteousness.
  • YouTube: For a brief video synopsis, visit fellowshipcleveland.com/the-other-guys and click on “The Bible Project Synopsis” for Micah.

GROUP QUESTIONS

Share with your group a time that you deliberately disobeyed your parents. What were the consequences?

Read Micah 1:1-9. What do you think he means when he calls “Jacob’s transgression” “Samaria” and “Judah’s high place” “Jerusalem”?

Read Micah 1:7, 3:9-11, and 6:10-12. What specific sins does Micah mention? Read Micah 5:13, and 6:6-8. What is God’s remedy for these sins? What is His ultimate remedy (Micah 5:2)? Who was the fulfillment of this prophecy?

Read Micah 3:1-12. Who is being condemned and why? Does this situation seem similar to your culture? Why or why not?

Read 1 Timothy 6:10 in the Amplified and The Message versions. How does this verse expand your understanding of what God was condemning the leaders for in Micah 3:9-12?

Though the Israelites knew what God asked of them, they did not follow His commands, and Micah contains their judgment for their lack of obedience. Read Luke 6:46-49, John 14:15, and James 1:22-25. What do these verses have to say about your obedience to God?

Micah ends with a beautiful description of God. Read Micah 7:18-20 and list the characteristics attributed to God in this passage. How do these characteristics make God unique among other gods/religions?

Knowing that no one is like God, why do you at times follow the things of this world instead of worshipping God alone?

APPLICATION

Transformation isn’t in the information, it’s in the application” (Aaron DeLoach). This week, focus on listening to the Holy Spirit and DOING what God is calling you to do.

Follow the reading plan for the Book of Nahum this week:

  • Monday 7/16 1
  • Tuesday 7/17  2
  • Wednesday 7/18 3
  • Thursday 7/19  1-2
  • Friday 7/20 3

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Micah follows an interesting pattern of judgment and restoration. Read through the passages and note whether it describes judgment or restoration:

  • 1:2-2:11    ____ Judgment     ____ Restoration
  • 2:12-13    ____  Judgment     ____ Restoration
  • 3:1-12        ____ Judgment     ____ Restoration
  • 4:1-5:15    ____ Judgment    ____  Restoration
  • 6:1-7:6      ____ Judgment     ____ Restoration
  • 7:7-20      ____  Judgment     ____ Restoration

Micah is filled with the message of God’s forgiveness and restoration. Read the following verses and list the hope or promise:

  • Micah 2:12
  • Micah 4:1
  • Micah 4:3
  • Micah 4:5
  • Micah 5:2
  • Micah 7:18-19

Micah 4:3 contains a similarly-worded phrase used a couple of times in Scripture. What is the phrase? Read Micah 4:2, Isaiah 2:3-4, and Joel 3:10 and write in your own words what this phrase means.

Phrase __________________________________________________________________________

Meaning __________________________________________________________________________

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THE OTHER GUYS: JONAH

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

SNAPSHOT OF JONAH

  • Date: 760 BC (Assyrian Empire)
  • Theme: God loves and cares about all nations, even when His people don’t.
  • Key Verse(s): Jonah 4:2-3 He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
  • YouTube: For a brief video synopsis, visit fellowshipcleveland.com/the-other-guys and click on “The Bible Project Synopsis” for Jonah.

GROUP QUESTIONS

What is the biggest fish you’ve ever caught?

Discuss with your group a summary of chapters 1-2.

Read Jonah 3 and 4 (they’re short chapters!). Jonah despised the Ninevites, and probably had good reason to do so. Read Nahum 3:1-4, which is a description of Nineveh. What were the charges against the city?

God gave Jonah a second chance to warn Nineveh of the coming judgment. How did Nineveh respond? What were the signs of their repentance? What was God’s response to their repentance?

Read Jonah 2:1-9 and 4:2-3. What is the difference in Jonah’s attitude in these two prayers? What does this reveal about Jonah’s heart?

Are you surprised at Jonah’s attitude? Why or why not?

Have you ever been angry because of God’s forgiveness toward someone else? If so, why?

What does Jonah 4:11 reveal about God’s compassion for the lost? How do you view the lost?

How do you feel about the fact that God loves your “enemies”, and desperately wants them to accept the same grace offered to you?

The book ends abruptly with God asking Jonah “Should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh.…?” What do you think Jonah did next?

APPLICATION

Is there something God has called you to that you are not doing? Or an attitude you have towards others that you know is not from God? Pray, asking Him to show you what needs to be changed. Ask the Spirit to give you the courage and desire to do what is necessary to have God’s heart for the lost.

Follow the reading plan for the Book of Micah this week:

  • Monday 7/9            1
  • Tuesday 7/10          2
  • Wednesday 7/11    3-4
  • Thursday 7/12        5-6
  • Friday 7/13              7

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Read Matthew 8:24-27. How is this story similar to Jonah’s in Jonah 1? How is it different?

Jesus mentions Jonah in Matthew 12:38-41 and Luke 11:29-32. List below the similarities and the differences between these two passages:

Who approached Jesus? What did they demand from Him? Why would this elicit the reaction it did from Jesus?

Why do you think Jesus used Jonah as an illustration?

What do you think He meant by “the sign of the prophet Jonah”?

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THE OTHER GUYS: OBADIAH

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

SNAPSHOT OF OBADIAH

  • Date: 835 BC (Assyrian Empire)
  • Theme:  Proud Edom is about to be punished.
  • Key Verse(s): Obadiah 1:3-4 The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in the loftiness of your dwelling place, who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’ Though you build high like the eagle, though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
  • YouTube: For a brief video synopsis, visit fellowshipcleveland.com/the-other-guys and click on “The Bible Project Synopsis” for Obadiah.

GROUP QUESTIONS

Share with your group your most embarrassing moment.

Read Obadiah 1:1-21. What indictments and accusations does God bring against Edom?

What is the definition of pride?

What were the sources of Edom’s pride? Do you have pride in any of these things?

Read the following passages and note the history between Israel and Edom. How does their shared history inform your understanding of the relationship between the nations, and of God’s judgment in Obadiah?

  • Genesis 25:21-26
  • Genesis 25:27-34
  • Genesis 27:30-36
  • Genesis 27:41
  • Genesis 36:1-8
  • Numbers 20:14-21
  • 1 Samuel 14:47
  • 2 Samuel 8:14

C.S. Lewis said “Pride is the worst sort of sin because we hate it in others while simultaneously being unconscious of it in ourselves. Others smell the odor of our pride and are repulsed by it, but so often we are oblivious to our own stench.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

How does pride affect your relationship with others? With God?

APPLICATION

Aaron said on Sunday that God gives you a choice—YOU can either deal with pride in your life, or God will deal with it for you. Below is a list of seven indications of pride* with a brief description of each. This week look over the list and pray for God to open your eyes to any of these subtle symptoms in you. Read Psalm 139:23-24, and ask Him to show you where you are being prideful.

  • Fault-Finding: Seeing faults in others and not seeing God’s goodness in them.
  • A Harsh Spirit: Speaking with contempt, irritation, frustration or judgment about others’ sin.
  • Superficiality: Being more concerned with others’ perception of you than the reality of what is within your own heart.
  • Defensiveness: Becoming frustrated or defensive when you feel challenged or rebuked.
  • Presumption Before God: Forgetting Who God really is; not knowing Him well enough.
  • Desperation for Attention: Seeing glory from people or from God.
  • Neglecting Others: Gravitating or looking to associate with people of higher standing because it makes you feel or look more important.

*Jonathan Edwards, 18th century American revivalist preacher, philosopher, and theologian

Follow the reading plan for the Book of Jonah this week:

  • Monday 7/2          1
  • Tuesday 7/3          2
  • Wednesday 7/4     3
  • Thursday 7/5        4
  • Friday 7/6             1-4

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Read the following passages and note what God says about pride and humility. Why do you think God hates pride? How can you cultivate humility in your life?

  • Psalm 10:4
  • Psalm 138:6
  • Proverbs 11:2
  • Proverbs 13:10
  • Proverbs 15:25
  • Proverbs 16:5
  • Proverbs 16:18
  • Isaiah 13:11
  • Daniel 5:20
  • Romans 12:3
  • Romans 12:16
  • Philippians 2:3-4
  • James 4:6, 10

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