The history of Israel began in Genesis 12 with the covenant God made with Abraham, promising Abraham that He would make Abraham a great nation, that his descendants would be too numerous to count, that He would bless them and they would bless the nations, that God Himself would be their God and they would be His people, and He promised them a land to call their own. Abraham’s great-grandson, Joseph, was sold into slavery in Egypt but rose to great power and brought his family to live there. In Egypt, the nation of Israel grew so large that eventually they were made slaves. But God remembered His people, and He chose Moses to lead them out of Egypt. Through a variety of plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea, God delivered the Israelites; they settled at Mount Sinai as a free nation. God gave them their constitution (the 10 Commandments and the law) and they built the tabernacle as their meeting place. The Book of Numbers begins with the Israelites preparing to travel north into the land of Canaan. In Numbers 13, the Israelites are ready to send leaders to explore the Promised Land.
Discuss with your group a time when you either moved out in faith and took a risk, or when you missed out on something special because of fear. What was the result of your action or inaction?
Read Numbers 13:1-16. Why do you think God had Moses send out leaders to explore the land?
What conditions does God put on the Israelites to obtain the land?
Read Numbers 13:17-29. How long are the leaders gone?
What do they report about the land?
What do they spend more time discussing – the positive aspects or negative aspects of the land?
Who were the Anak? (See also Numbers 13:33 and Genesis 6:1-4.)
Since God did not put any conditions on obtaining the land (“Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites”), what kept the nation of Israel from taking the land?
Read Numbers 13:30-14:4,10a. How do the leaders deal with their fear? How did that impact the whole nation? What did they want to do?
Read Numbers 14:5-9. How do Caleb and Joshua show their depth of understanding of the nature of God? (See also Jeremiah 32:7 and Matthew 19:26.)
Since nothing is impossible with God, discuss as a group your answer to the Vision Sunday question, “How will you Take the Land?”
On Sunday, the Preaching Team shared three areas that we will target to “Take The Land” and one giant to conquer:
- Build Our People (Alpha, Global School of Influence, Intern Program)
- Build Our Culture (Fellowship Groups, Fellowship Teams, 2nd Mile 2nd Nature, Love The Land)
- Build Our Brand/Presence (Make Christ Known, Pop Up Worship Nights, Online Presence)
- Eliminate Our Debt
This week, begin praying about YOUR part in Fellowship’s vision. Where do you fit? How will God use you? How will you open your eyes, prepare your heart, and extend your hand?
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Read Numbers 14:10-38. What does God propose to Moses? How does Moses respond? What does that tell you about Moses’ character?
Put yourself in Moses’ shoes…how do you think you would have responded?
God listens to Moses’ intercession for the people and forgives them. What does this tell you about approaching (praying to) God with humbleness and selflessness?
Though God forgives the people, what were the consequences from their lack of faith?
What significance do you see in the fact that the Israelites would 40 years wandering in the wilderness – one year for every day the leaders were exploring the land?
SNAPSHOT OF MALACHI
- Date: 432-425 BC (Persian Empire)
- Theme: Are you robbing God of what belongs to Him?
- Key Verse(s): Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.
- YouTube: For a brief video synopsis, visit fellowshipcleveland.com/the-other-guys and click on “TBP Synopsis” for Malachi.
Discuss how you felt when you had something stolen from you.
Read Malachi 1:1-14. Why do you think God begins His message by telling the Israelites He loves them? Why do you think they doubt His love?
Do you ever doubt His love?
God made some harsh statements about Esau/Edom in this passage. How do you reconcile the fact that God is just and loving with these statements?
Joe mentioned that the people of Israel responded to God’s questions like children. Read the following passages and note God’s statements and the peoples’ responses:
|SCRIPTURE||GOD’S STATEMENTS||PEOPLES’ RESPONSES|
Do you have similar responses to God? In what ways do you treat God as less than who He is?
Joe stated that the Israelites 1) robbed God of His image; 2) robbed God of His provision; and 3) robbed God of His legacy. Discuss what these three statements mean, and how they relate to you today.
God doesn’t want obligation: He wants you to bear His image. He doesn’t want part of your life: He wants to provide for all of it. He doesn’t want temporary: He’s looking for eternal. This week, consider where you are robbing God (image, provision, legacy). Write down some changes you will make in order to give God what is rightfully His.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Read Malachi 4. This is the last known message from God for 400 years, until Matthew 1. What stands out to you in this last chapter of the Old Testament? What do you think this chapter means?
What was the main lesson you learned from each book of the minor prophets?
Match the name of the prophet below with the meaning of his name. How do you see each name relating to their message from God?
_____ Hosea A Comforter
_____ Joel B The Servant of the Lord
_____ Amos C Embrace
_____ Obadiah D The Lord Hides
_____ Jonah E Jehovah Remembers
_____ Micah F Salvation
_____ Nahum G My Messenger
_____ Habakkuk H Dove
_____ Zephaniah I The Lord is God
_____ Haggai J Burden Bearer
_____ Zechariah K Festal
_____ Malachi L Who is like the Lord?