THE OTHER GUYS: ZECHARIAH

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

SNAPSHOT OF ZECHARIAH

  • Date: 520-518 BC (Persian Empire)
  • Theme: If the people will put their trust wholly in God, their future will be a bright one.
  • Key Verse(s): Zechariah 2:4-5 – …and said to him, “Run, speak to that young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it. 5 For 1,’ declares the Lord, ‘Will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst’.”
  • YouTube: For a brief video synopsis, visit fellowshipcleveland.com/the-other-guys and click on “The Bible Project Synopsis” for Zechariah.

GROUP QUESTIONS

Share with your group a time you were discouraged. What did you see God do during this time?

Read Zechariah 1:1-6. What does it mean to return to the Lord?

What does God promise if the people return to Him? What does God mean by this?

Zechariah’s dreams/visions are recorded in the first six chapters. Why do you think God spoke to Zechariah in dreams/visions?

Scan through the following passages and record the eight dreams/visions of Zechariah. Discuss with your group what these visions were about, and why they would be an encouragement to the people of Jerusalem.

VERSES                                                   VISION                                          MEANING

Zechariah 1:7-17                  ____________________________    ____________________________

Zechariah 1:18-21                ____________________________    ____________________________

Zechariah 2:1-13                  ____________________________    ____________________________

Zechariah 3:1-10                  ____________________________    ____________________________

Zechariah 4:1-14                  ____________________________    ____________________________

Zechariah 5:1-4                    ____________________________    ____________________________

Zechariah 5:5-11                  ____________________________    ____________________________

Zechariah 6:1-8                    ____________________________    ____________________________

One of the more well-known verses in Zechariah is 4:6. How often do you rely on your own strength to get things done? How can you return to God and rely on His Spirit more?

Zechariah ends with a message of hope for the people of Israel – Jerusalem will be secure, never again to be destroyed. When do you think this prophecy was or will be fulfilled?

APPLICATION

Write on an index card a serious problem you are dealing with now. On the back of that card, write out Zechariah 8:13b: “I will save you and make you something good. Do not be afraid. Let your hands be strong.” Carry this card with you throughout the week, reading it at least three times a day.

Follow the reading plan for the Book of Malachi for next week.

  • Monday 8/27               1-2
  • Tuesday 8/28               3-4
  • Wednesday 8/29         1
  • Thursday 8/30             2
  • Friday 8/31                  3-4

FOR FURTHER STUDY

There are a number of Messianic prophecies (prophecies that point to the ultimate Hope, the Messiah – fulfilled in Jesus Christ) in the Book of Zechariah. Read the following passages, then write how the prophecy was fulfilled. Look up other passages as needed.

SCRIPTURE                                                            PROPHECY                                     FULFILLMENT

Zechariah 3:8, 6:12-13

Romans 15:7-12

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Zechariah 9:9

Matthew 21:1-9

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Zechariah 11:12-13

Matthew 26:14-16, Matthew 27:3-10

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Zechariah 12:10-14

Matthew 24:30, John 19:34, Revelation 1:7

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Zechariah 13:1

I John 1:7

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Zechariah 13:7

Matthew 26:31, Mark 14:48-50

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THE OTHER GUYS: HAGGAI

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

SNAPSHOT OF HAGGAI

  • Date: 520 BC (Persian Empire)
  • Theme: If the people will dedicate themselves to God’s work, He will bless them.
  • Key Verse(s): Haggai 1:3-4 – Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?”
  • YouTube: For a brief video synopsis, visit fellowshipcleveland.com/the-other-guys and click on “The Bible Project Synopsis” for Haggai.

GROUP QUESTIONS

What projects have you been involved in that started strong but you didn’t finish? Why do you think this happened?

Around 586 BC, the Israelite captivity began with the sacking of Jerusalem. The Babylonians, under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar, destroyed the great temple Solomon built. The Babylonians took most of the Israelites into captivity, where they spent the next 70 years. Eventually, Babylon was conquered by Persia, and King Cyrus decreed that the Israelites could return home. He ordered the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem and even provided some funding for its completion. As the exiles returned, they began to work on the temple, but ran into obstacles and the work stopped – for about sixteen years. Read Haggai 1:1-15. What was God’s issue with the people of Judah (vs 2-4)?

What did God say was the result from the Israelites choosing not to work on the temple (vs 5-11)?

Do you believe blessing always follows obedience? Why or why not?

What was the people’s response (vs 12-15)? Why do you think they were so quick to obey?

What message of hope and encouragement did God give the people?

Read Haggai 2:1-9. What were the promises that God made? What do you think these promises meant?

Read Haggai 2:10-23. Haggai uses the phrase “consider” or “give careful thought to” numerous times throughout his message. What are the people to “consider” in 2:15 and 18? What consequences are they reminded of in 2:16, 17, and 19? What promise is given?

How would you react if God told you He would be with you and bless you if you obeyed Him?

What does it mean for God to bless you? What would that look like in your life?

APPLICATION

If someone were to watch your life for a week, what do you think they would say your priorities are? What do you want your priorities to be? What changes need to be made to reflect those priorities?

Follow the reading plan for the Book of Zechariah for next week.

  • Monday 8/20         1-2-3
  • Tuesday 8/21         4-5-6
  • Wednesday 8/22   7-8-9
  • Thursday 8/23       10-11-12
  • Friday 8/24            13-14

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Instead of continuing to rebuild the temple, the people of God became distracted and focused on their own wants and needs. Read the following passages; write what you learn about the pursuit of affluence versus wholehearted devotion to God:

  • Haggai 1:6
  • Haggai 1:9-11
  • Haggai 2:1-9
  • Haggai 2:10-19
  • Matthew 6:19-20
  • Philippians 4:11-13
  • 1 Timothy 6:7-8
  • Hebrews 13:5

Read Matthew 6:25-34. What does Jesus say should be a believers’ priority?

Jesus promises to add everything He knows we need in life when we seek Him first. Why is it so hard to live this?

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THE OTHER GUYS: ZEPHANIAH

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

SNAPSHOT OF ZEPHANIAH

  • Date: 607 BC (Babylonian Empire)
  • Theme: God will act, but a remnant will be saved.
  • Key Verse(s): Zephaniah 3:11-12 – In that day you will feel no shame because of all your deeds by which you have rebelled against Me; for then I will remove from your midst your proud, exulting ones, and you will never again be haughty on My holy mountain.
  • YouTube: For a brief video synopsis, visit fellowshipcleveland.com/the-other-guys and click on “The Bible Project Synopsis” for Zephaniah.

GROUP QUESTIONS

What made your parents most proud of you when you were a child? If you are a parent, what makes you most proud of your children?

Read Zephaniah 1:1-18. God has always been very clear about what His promises are for His people, as well as what he expects from His people in return (see Exodus 34:11-14). Do you feel God’s judgment in Zephaniah 1 is too harsh? Why or why not?

What sins will the people be judged for? Are these sins prevalent today? If not, what sins do you think God will judge our culture for?

What does it mean to be “complacent” (NIV) or “stagnant in spirit” (NASB) (Zephaniah 1:12)? Does this sin seem to be pervasive in the American church? At Fellowship? How do you battle complacency in your life?

Read Zephaniah 2:1-3. In verse 1, what does Zephaniah urge the people to do? Why do you think this was so important?

What is the only way the people of Judah might escape the coming judgment?

How do you seek God?

Why do you think that seeking God wasn’t a guarantee that the people would escape judgment?

Joe said that sometimes God’s mercy to us is shown through acts of discipline. Read Hebrews 12:6-11. What are the reasons given in this passage for why God disciplines His children?

One of the reasons God disciplines you is to create dependence on Him. How difficult is it for you to acknowledge your dependence on God? What are some things that you tend to depend on instead of God?

What can you do to break your dependence on other things and build your dependence on God?

Probably the most recognized verse in Zephaniah is 3:17. What do you think about the idea of God rejoicing over you with singing? What does this tell you about your worth in His eyes?

APPLICATION

As part of his sermon, Joe said that the way from God’s judgment to God’s promise is through repentance. What are your sins? What are your gods? Are you complacent? Materialistic? Selfish? Independent from or indifferent to God? The people of Judah had the choice to repent…and so do you. Spend time in honest conversation with God, with a repentant heart, and bring a smile to God’s face so that He “rejoices over you with singing”.

Follow the reading plan for the Book of Haggai for next week.

  • Monday 8/13         1
  • Tuesday 8/14         2
  • Wednesday 8/15   1
  • Thursday 8/16       2
  • Friday 8/17            1-2

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Zephaniah continues the theme of the Day of the Lord first discussed in Amos in this series. Compare what the Day of the Lord will be like for an unbeliever (Zephaniah 1:14-18) and a believer (Zephaniah 3:16-20).

UNBELIEVER                                                                      BELIEVER

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