What can we do when we see suffering and injustice in the world? In ancient times, God chose special messengers called “prophets” to call people to live with compassion and fairness. This week, we’ll explore the genre of biblical prophecy and see how it guides us to remember what God has said, repent from sin, and ready ourselves for God’s good future with Jesus!
Group Discussion Guide
To see the leader guide for this week click here.
Spend a few minutes discussing with your group how their application of last week’s group discussion went. What were the highs and lows of their last week?
After your time of connecting, begin your meeting with prayer.
1 Corinthians 14:33
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.”
The world can be confusing and difficult sometimes, especially when we don’t pay attention to God and his design for our lives. Similarly, this was the problem the people of Israel found themselves falling into throughout much of the history we read in the Bible. As a result, God sent his messengers, or prophets, to remind his people of what he wanted the design of their lives to look like. While this genre was written in a specific context in time, the truths we can learn from them about God and his future for the world are still just as perfect today as when they were first written.
Big Idea For The Week
Through biblical prophecy we can see God’s vision for the world.
- When you think of the word “prophet”, what comes to mind?
- What stereotypes does our culture associate with the word prophecy?
- What is your experience with reading biblical prophecy? What do you think the purpose of this genre is?
This week, we will be looking at some examples of prophecy in the Bible to see how God used messengers to get the attention of his people. All the verses this week were written when the people of Israel had disobeyed God and/or been attacked and exiled by other nations. God used prophets in these times to send messages to the people of Israel to communicate how he felt about their actions, remind them of who he is, and call them to follow him. Try to identify the purpose of each prophecy as you read the following verses. After, discuss the connected questions together.
- Hosea 13:4-6
- Why was it important that the people of Israel remembered that God took care of their ancestors and brought them out of slavery?
- How can remembering what God has done in the past help people follow him?
- Jeremiah 7:1-7
- What is this prophecy communicating to the audience at the time?
- These verses speak about justice to those around them. Why do you think it was important that the people of Israel lived this way?
- Isaiah 49:8-12
- What does this section of prophecy communicate to the original audience?
- A section like this is common in prophetic writings. Why do you think it was important that God said these things to his people?
- How does Jesus fulfill some of the prophecies in the Bible?
Based on the verses we just read, there are some things that we can do in response. Take a moment to discuss these questions as a group to decide what your personal action steps for the week can be:
- How can you take practical steps to remember what God has said and done for you this week?
- What is one area of your life you need to turn back to God in this week?
- How can you take a step to be prepared for what God is going to do in your life this week?
Prophetic writings can be difficult to read because of the language but also because sometimes we might relate to the people of Israel in the way we are. It can be easy to forget what God has done for us and be focused on our own life. At times, we can get caught up in some sort of sin that we do not want to give up. Even if those cases aren’t true in your life, there can be times we look around and notice that we haven’t been preparing ourselves very well for what God wants to do in our lives. Either way, while the genre of prophecy was written to a specific people and time, one of the good news about God’s Word is that they are timeless in the truth they hold. This week, try to apply these truths to your life and use your group as a way to stay accountable in that.
Daily Bible Reading
Use the S.O.A.P. method to reflect on the verses below.
Scripture: Read the verses several times out loud.
Observation: As you read the scripture what do you observe.
Application: What is God wanting you to believe, do or feel based on what you have read?
Kneel in Prayer: This is a chance to talk to God about what you have read, and ask him for help in living out what you’ve learned.
- Day 1: 2 Peter 1:20-21
- Day 2: Psalm 106:3
- Day 3: Isaiah 30:18
- Day 4: Luke 16:10
- Day 5: Matthew 22:37-39
- Day 6: John 14:15