Haggai – Doing God’s Work

Books of the Old Testament
Background Haggai spoke to a group of people that had already started to build God’s house after their return from Exile in 536 B.C. However, work had stopped for 16 years due to various reasons and God was speaking through the prophet Haggai to these people. Key Verse Zechariah 1:2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’” 3 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Don’t be distracted Hag 1:7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring…
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Habakkuk – God’s Sovereignty

Books of the Old Testament
Background Habakkuk is a unique book and it contains an extended dialogue between Habakkuk and God. The book is a display of an authentic relationship between the prophet and God whereby he held nothing back and poured out his complains to God. Like many of us today, the prophet was unhappy about the fact that God was not doing anything despite the unfairness of the situation. At the end of the conversation, Habakkuk learned that God was sovereign and He does things in accordance with His perfect plan and timing. Key Verse Hab 3:17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no…
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Song of Solomon – Romantic Love

Books of the Old Testament
Background/Theme The main theme of the Song of Solomon is love. The word love in its various forms appear about 60 times in this book. The book describes the love between Solomon and the Shulammite girl. For the unmarried The importance of chastity (Song of Songs 4:12 NIV) You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. In comparing his bride to a private garden, Solomon was praising her virginity. Virginity, considered old fashion by today's standards, has always been God's plan for unmarried people. Are you even ashamed to be a virgin in today's world? Don't forget what the Bible teaches. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NIV) It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;…
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Joshua – secret of success

Joshua – secret of success

Books of the Old Testament
Background The Book of Joshua tells the story of a significant Bible event, the conquest of the land of Canaan. Chapters 13- 22 talks about how the Israelites settled in the promise land. Theme After the death of Moses, God spoke to Joshua to appoint him as the new leader. Joshua is promised great success like his predecessor Moses provided he followed God's instruction for success. Josh 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful Discussion : With Josh 1:8 as our key verse, what are some of the topics we can discuss today? Answer : The topic we will…
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Daniel – No Compromise

Books of the Old Testament
Background Daniel wrote this book during his time in Babylon as a Jewish exile from Israel. Daniel was brought to Babylon together with a group of young Israelite nobles because the Babylonian empire felt that they could be of use in service. The book describes the lives of Daniel and his three friends while they were in Babylon. Daniel lived there throughout the Jews’ seventy-year captivity, eventually rising to become one of only three administrators over the provincial governors throughout the kingdom. His three friends also rose to positions of prominence. King Darius comprised King Darius was tricked into throwing Daniel into the den of lions. Daniel’s enemies had proposed to the king that whoever worshipped anything other than the king was to be thrown into the lion’s den. Forgetting…
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Why the book of Daniel is important?

Books of the Old Testament
No book of the Old Testament present such a serious threat to the rationalist as Daniel. It contains more fulfilled prophecies than any other book in the Bible. The book contains not only short-range predictions, like the seven years of Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity (chapter 4) and the imminent fall of Babylon to the Medo-Persian attackers (chapter 5), but also such long-range predictions as the four-kingdom sequence (chapter 2) and the elaboration of that sequence with its emphasis on the last days (chapter 7 and 8). It also contains the predictions of the date of Christ’s first coming and the framework of the “seventy weeks” (chapter 9). Finally it contains detailed accounts of the confrontation between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires and the career of the two Little Horns (chapter 11). In…
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Numbers – God’s will

Books of the Old Testament
Background The book title is "Numbers" in our English Bibles based upon the Vulgate (Latin translation) title, Numeri. This title is based on the "numbering" of people (1:19; 1:45; 2:33; 3:42; 4:49; 26:4). The story of Numbers is about how Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land, how they sinned and were punished, and how they prepared to try again. Theme The phrase at the commandment of the Lord is repeated 17 times in this book, more than anywhere else in the Bible. It was even repeated three times in one verse! Numbers 9:23 (NIV) At the Lord's command they encamped, and at the Lord's command they set out. They obeyed the Lord's order, in accordance with his command through Moses. Our response : Numbers 32:31 "Your servants will do…
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Ezra – God’s help

Books of the Old Testament
Background After 70 years in exile, the captives from Judah were allowed to return to their homeland. Nearly 50,000 people made this journey under the leadership of Zerubbabel. Upon their arrival they began to rebuild the Temple, but became discouraged by opposition. After encouragement from Haggai and Zechariah, they returned to the task and completed the Temple. Ezra returned to the Land with a second group of exiles, 80 years after Zerubbabel. Ezra found the Temple rebuilt, but the lives of the people in shambles. Intermarriage with foreigners opposed to God threatened the spiritual future of the nation. So Ezra prayed for guidance and then led the nation to repentance. Theme Before telling the group the theme of the book Ezra, ask them this question. "What does the name Ezra…
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Jeremiah – God’s discipline

Books of the Old Testament
Background Jeremiah was called by God to be a prophet to Judah. From chapters 1 - 45, he confronted the leaders and the people of their sin and prophesied both their 70-year captivity in Babylon and their eventual return from exile. Chapters 46 onwards concerns Jeremiah's prophecies against the other foreign nations. Theme (Jer 1:16 NIV) I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made. Discussion : There is now a debate as to whether one should spank a child when disciplining him. What do you think? Pros : The child will not forget pain and will therefore not commit the wrongdoing again. Cons : The physical pain may be…
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Exodus – Worship

Books of the Old Testament
Exodus describes Israel's escape from slavery in Egypt and journey towards the Promised Land under Moses. The only explicit account of the Exodus we have is the biblical account (Ex. 1-15). No extra-biblical witnesses directly speak of the sojourn of Israel's ancestors in the land of the Nile. More than a hundred times in all parts of the Old Testament except the Wisdom Literature, Yahweh is proclaimed as "the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Theme Discussion : What do you think is the main theme of the book exodus? Most people would say that the book of exodus is all about the Jews moving out of Egypt in search of the promised land. This is indeed the main story…
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