e-book Good Questions Have Groups Talking -- Nahum / Habakkuk / Obadiah/ Haggai

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He also pastors a small country church. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Each lesson consists of 20 or Each lesson consists of 20 or so ready-to-use questions that get groups talking.

Book of Daniel

Answers are provided in the form of quotes from respected authors such as John Piper, Max Lucado and View Product. Addressed to a people who were bombarded with false teaching about who Jesus is and how we find salvation, these letters were written Difficulties and challenges do not disappear when we come to faith and perhaps, all too Difficulties and challenges do not disappear when we come to faith and perhaps, all too often, we try to deal with them in our own strength.

In Ephesians 6, Paul portrays a soldier standing fully protected and strong in his Each lesson consists Answers are provided in the form of quotes from respected authors such as John Piper, Each lesson consists of 20 or so Answers are provided in the form of quotes from respected authors such as John Piper, Max Lucado and Beth Each lesson consists of Answers are provided in the form of quotes from respected authors such as John Piper, Max Q: In Hag, what is an outline of the book?

Haggai the second shortest book in the Old Testament after Obadiah , and the outline is very straightforward. Haggai had four visions. Hag Holiness is not contagious; uncleanness is; no natural hope for this people Hag God solemn promise to overturn this with His people Hag Reversing Curses Dec 18, B. The accent is on the first syllable. Q: In Hag , when was Haggai written? A: According to what was written in Haggai 1, this would be B. Precise dating is a feature of Babylonian and Persian writings, such as the Babylonian Chronicle, which precisely dates every event.

Haggai lived under Babylonian and Persian rule, and thus dates things by the Babylonian calendar, not the Old Testament calendar, as one who had lived his life under their rule. Haggai is also unusual in mentioning minted coins, which Darius learned about from the kingdom of Lydia. New International Bible Commentary p. A: B. About 50, Jews were allowed to return home when Cyrus conquered Babylonia.

The Jews worked on the temple for two years and then stopped. Cyrus died in battle. Cambyses II ruled Persia. He was a tyrant who mismanaged the empire. All was at peace in the Persian Empire pax Persiaca except for rebellious Egypt, which Cambyses marched to Palestine at the head of his army to subdue. Cambyses died mysteriously and there was a revolt in Persia.

Artaxerxes was an imposter who reigned 7 months. He is called Pseudo-Smerdis by the Greeks and historians today.

Prophecy is not usually about telling the future

He wrote the letter in Ezra stopping the building. Darius I Hystaspis became king after killing the imposter. He fought the Scythians and Greeks, defeated at Marathon in B. Esther was his queen B. Haggai and Zechariah gave their first prophecies B. Artaxerxes I. He was called by the Persians Artaxerxes I to erase the memory of the imposter Artaxerxes. Nehemiah was his cupbearer. A: Both had a role. Here is the sequence of events. In B. He issued a decree stopping the building. The Jews then started rebuilding. The enemies questioned their authorization for rebuilding.

The Jews pointed out in a letter to King Darius the previous decree from King Cyrus, and after a search, that decree was found. Esther and Daniel say that the laws of the Persian kings could not be repealed. The temple was finally completed around B. See When Critics Ask p. A: While I think not many Christians would every do this deliberately, we can unintentionally do this. One way is to lose their zeal to be building anything. But a second, perhaps more common way, is to get so focused on something else, whether it be music, building buildings, or even knowledge, that obeying God is no longer their highest priority.

Q: In Hag , what were the people doing wrong? A: It was not that they were doing evil things, but they let their own concerns and ambitions take first place instead of serving God, as Haggai shows. A: There can be at least four reasons. Lost faith in God working in them to succeed in achieving that goal: Dampened their love of God and others that motivates them to press onward. They do not feel it is worth the effort, hard work, or sacrifice to work toward that goal. Given up hope, and are discouraged on their progress. They do not see that they will ever make the goal they think they are supposed to arrive at.

Lost their vision: They have changed and now want to work on another goal, perhaps to satisfy their own ambition. Q: In Hag , why do people procrastinate in general? A: Procrastination of action is not refusing to do something; rather it is justified as putting off until a better time.

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Many times there is something that appears more fine, or less laborious to do now; and that gets in the way of doing important things. Many things today are "urgent" in that they have deadlines. But some things are very important but not urgent because they do not have a deadline. It shows how the tyranny of the urgent is the enemy of the important. A second kind of procrastination is "analysis paralysis" or delaying making a decision, especially a decision that is uncomfortable to make. On one extreme, it is not good to make snap decisions with insufficient or no data to base the decision on.

Typically you never will have all the data!


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But if you have enough data, such that additional data probably will not change the decision, then you should decide now. Matthew says to seek first the kingdom of God. Sometimes people do not do what God wants them to do because they feel they have something more important. But nothing is really more important than serving God. Q: In Hag , what are some excuses Christians might give for procrastinating in being fully devoted to God?

A: Here are ten rationalizations. I already tithe. Find something that you know God wants you to do, but you are procrastinating about, and start doing it now. Or instead, find a habit God wants you to stop doing, but you are procrastinating on, and stop doing it now. Q: How do Hag and Jms relate to each other? A: James says that if a person knows what God wants them to do and does not do it, then it is sin.

Here are some reasons why people procrastinate in general. We do not see sufficient pleasure or benefit Lack of self-discipline, which is doing what you know is best, whether you feel like it or not. A: Typically God warns a defiant or ignorant people and then punishes if they do not turn around.

The Minor Prophets - Habakkuk - The Prophet Who Saw History

But there are two kinds of disobedience: defiance and procrastination. They people already knew what to do, they were not defiant or outright unwilling to do it, but they just kept on delaying while they were doing their own projects. God gave them bad consequences because they already knew what they should be doing.

God made the punishment fit the disobedience.

Hosea and Amos

They were too busy working on their own things to have time for God, so God made sure their own things would not be very successful. Jay P. Some scholars think this means a luxurious house with wood paneling. Others say it merely means a house with a roof. But if it meant the latter, then why is this the only place in the Bible where the writer felt a need to say a house with a roof? The NET translation says "richly paneled houses".

Q: In Haggai ,7; ,18 2 times , how can we give thought to our ways? A: We can start with prayer to ask God to show us our hidden faults, as well as remind us of our not-so-hidden ones. We can take stock if our desires, thoughts, and plans are leading us and our family towards God and being more Christlike, or away. We can question if there are important things we are leaving undone, for the sake of trivial things. Q: In Hag ,11,, why does God sometimes choose not to bless His own people?

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A: The answer to this question is the main lesson of the book of Haggai. We often do the same to our children as discipline. Discipline is not always physical punishment. The type of punishment God is using here people sometimes call "logical consequences discipline. A: This is a literary device called a chiasm. A" During the summer growing season, from April to October, there was no rain in Israel. But there was usually a lot of dew from the winds coming off of the Mediterranean Sea.

So the dew was essential to the summer crops. God sent a drought horeb of no dew, because His temple remained a ruin hareb. James says that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful in its effect, and it gives the example first of Elijah praying for no rain, and then later praying for rain.


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  7. James says that a double-minded man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord. Q: Hag ; say, "I am with you, says the Lord". Haggai and also give the same promise of blessing. How is this the best blessing of all? A: Elijah knew the answer in 1 Kings The promise that God will be with us, in a very near and personal way, is the best promise of all. Q: In Hag , how does God stir up the spirit of someone? A: God demolishes the bonds that kept their spirit down.

    He restores their faith, gives them a new heart of love, lifts their hope and gives them vision. God uses both positive and negative reinforcement, as necessary. This gave them time to organize and finish harvesting of figs, grapes, and pomegranates. They might not have felt they had enough resources, but Ezra ,9 says that king Darius even gave them money!

    Ezra says it was finished about 4 years later. A: First what is not the answer, and then the answer. However, there is no explicit indication that these precepts were a change. The answer: The government under the Babylonians destroyed the temple and took away the gold and riches from the temple. The government under the Persians was giving back what was originally the Jews to begin with. Q: In Hag , what is significant about speaking to the "remnant of the people" vs. They had noticeably fewer people and far fewer resources to build a temple. A key point is their attitudes would be when the temple reflected that.

    Q: In Hag , how can paradoxically a desire for success sometimes lead to failure by procrastination? A: Sometimes people procrastinate because they would rather not ever try at all than risk failure. Quite frankly, some things that God wants us to do, if we do them right, humbly and obediently, and rely on God, will still be a failure, - at least in the eyes of the world.

    The timing of the second message, on October 17, B. First, it was exactly years before, in B. Second, it was a month later, so they could already see some results. Ezra said that while some shouted for joy, others wept. Some of the older returnees probably remembered the former temple. Q: In Hag , how do people respond when things are not going to be as good as they once were? A: Ezra says that some of the people rejoiced, but others cried. If you come to a church just for the "show" sooner or later you will either be disappointed, or you might end up in a place where everything is only for show.

    It is better to be genuine than spectacular. A: None whatsoever. Remember, that Solomon also built idol temples too, and these people would not be building an idol temples. Building a plain and pure temple to God is better than building a truly spectacular temple to God but building an idol temple too. Q: In Hag , sometimes it is natural to compare various ministries, but when should we not, and how should we?

    Jeremiah was in influential prophet in the centuries to come, but in his time we do not have record of a single person repenting. We do not judge by results, amount of money taken in, or flashiness.

    Bible Query from Haggai

    But we can and should look at if they are sound in doctrine and practice, and whether or not they are doing what God has called Christians to do. How are can some Christians, relying on "adornments" to bring attention to the gospel, losing their focus on the gospel itself? A: Denominations and Christian organizations can have two kinds of purposes. The first kind is the purposes that God intended for the group. The second kind are additional purposes that people have added. All of those are false reasons to be confident. It was a noble goal to "adorn" the temple, but this new temple was going to be "unadorned" with the gold, magnificent height, and other trappings.

    As we look the mammoth, beautifully architected cathedrals of Europe, prior to the missionary age of the 18th century, one wonders what more could have been done if the money and effort had instead gone to build the real church of God, i. We might think we need adornments to serve God better, and we would, if we were to serve in our own power. But we can do nothing apart from Christ John How is this "command" really a precious promise? A: God is using the same phrasing he told Joshua in the book of Joshua. We can be encouraged by remembering what God has done for us and His people in the past.

    As a side note on Joshua the high priest, his father Jehozadak was deported to Babylon 1 Chronicles Q: In Hag and Isa , God told the people not to fear. What are things they might be fearful about? A: While there are many specific things they could have feared, there are at least three categories.

    Fear that God would not take them back: The people had been so disobedient over 70 years ago that God exiled them the Babylon. Only a very small percentage returned. They might have some questions about if God still wanted them. If a Christian falls today, he or she might wonder if God would ever take them back. The promise made back then is still valid today. In fact, if someone repents it is because of the Holy Spirit convicting them to repentance, in order to take them back. Fear of little strength in tumultuous times: God told the Jews that once more he would shake the heavens and earth, the sea and dry land, in Haggai Isaiah says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

    I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.