2022-3-2 Asking for a Friend: Jesus says, “Don’t be anxious”… but I’m anxious.
SMALL GROUP MATERIAL
Small Group Questions:
- Have you ever experienced a mental health issue? How did it affect you?
- Read Psalm 38. What sort of emotions does David express?
- What should Christians who are struggling with mental health issues do?
- How can you help a friend with mental health issues?
- Have you ever heard people say things that demonstrate a stigma around mental health? How can you help fight against this?
Week 4: Rebellion & Rescue
THE MAIN POINT
The Israelites struggle to remain faithful to God and begin a cycle of Rebellion & Rescue. They are blessed, they rebel, they are enslaved, they cry out for help, they are rescued and they repeat. This cycle continues throughout the rest of the Old Testament. As Israel fell away from God and was punished, God continued to describe the figure of redemption in the Messiah, a new covenant.
Nehemiah 9:16-33 & Isaiah 53:1–7
God’s people enter Canaan, the Promised land, under the leadership of Joshua, yet they continue to rebel and do evil. God sends judges and prophets to speak His words and to call his people back to himself; yet they continue the cycle of rebellion and rescue. Eventually Israel demands a King so they can look like the other nations. This is significant since God should be their King, however they wanted the benefits of God’s blessings but not God himself. Israel has good Kings and evil Kings (mainly evil) but during this season of Israel’s existence prophecies were being told of a coming King, one who would rule forever and save God’s people forever!
THE BIBLE PROJECT SUMMARY: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/isaiah-40-66/
As you prepare the core of the message using personal story and questions keep in mind these points:
- The nation of Israel broke apart and eventually went into exile throughout the latter part of the Old Testament. Throughout that time, prophets would rise up to confront corruption and disobedience in God’s people. Throughout the years, a figure would be described as one given by God to redeem his people. One prophet, Isaiah, gives a description of this figure and the work that he will do. This figure would be called the Messiah.
- A messianic figure is a charismatic leader that people have an inflated view of, feeling the person will “save” them from trouble. But the term Messiah is from the Bible and describes the anointed one, the leader appointed by God to carry out the special mission of redemption and liberation.
- The entire Old Testament has been building to this Messianic figure. It is why it’s so important to read and understand the Old Testament as it prepares the way for Jesus.
- God’s people went through seasons where they had good leaders like Joseph and David and they also went through many more seasons where they had bad and evil leaders. Many want the blessings of the Kingdom but don’t want the King. This has been the story of the Israelites and is often the same story for us today. We want peace, but we don’t want the Prince of Peace. We want justice, but we don’t want the Holy God. We want freedom, but we don’t want the Holy Spirit who rebukes and convicts. At the end of the day we are all ruled by something. As Jesus says in Matthew 6, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” So who or what is your King?
- Throughout the book of Isaiah, a figure is continually spoken of and the picture of him built upon. For God’s plan of reconciliation, God “planned to accomplish this reconciliation through a very special servant. The servant would be a king born into the family of David under remarkable circumstances (7:14). His reign would bring victory, justice, and peace to God’s people (32:1–20). Some of Isaiah’s prophecies suggest that this king would be more than human; He would be none other than God Himself come to live among His people.”
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- Jesus is our Messiah and the one who brings new life to us.
- Just like Israel, we rebel against God, yet he remains faithful to us.
- Who is your king?