Daniel 9:1-19 Discussion Questions

The Book of Daniel
Daniel 9:1-19

INTRODUCTION
Seventy years had passed since Israel was exiled into Babylon. Daniel, being reminded of Jeremiah’s instruction to pray towards Jerusalem and meditate on God’s covenant, prays for repentance and reconciliation.


DISCUSSION
1.    Even though Daniel lived in Babylon, his heart was bent toward Jerusalem. It’s not about what “city” we live in but what “city” we live for. Since we live in the city of man (the world), how do we bend our hearts towards the city of God?

2.    What does the content of your prayer reveal about your understanding and time spent in scripture?

3.    Daniel seemed to be acting as High Priest for the nation of Israel in Daniel 9.  What does it mean that Jesus is a better Daniel, he is our High Priest, and he is interceding for us before the Father?

4.    Despite listing Israel’s leaders as the source of Israel’s sin, Daniel counts himself with the leaders as well. Instead of blaming others, he pointed the blame towards himself. Why is this so crucial to repentance? Is there anything wrong with blaming others for sin?

5.    Daniel pleaded to God to redeem his people because they “are called by [his] name.” What does this mean that God’s people are called by his name? How does this affect our lives?

APPLICATION
In Daniel 9:15, Daniel eludes back to when God saved Israel from Egypt.  How often do you proclaim the blessings of God in your life?  Do you draw on past experiences to recognize God’s faithfulness and unchanging nature?

PRAYER
Spend some time in prayer with one another for things drawn out of the discussion.

Daniel 8 Discussion Questions

The Book of Daniel
Daniel 8

INTRODUCTION
In this chapter Daniel is given a second vision about the events that must take place prior to the coming of the Son of Man. We are left to feel hopeless as the “little horn” seems to overtake God’s presence and people. However, we know that Christ does come and God wins in the end.

DISCUSSION
1.    What was your understanding of Daniel 8 (if any) prior to Sunday’s message? Has your view change? Why or why not?
2.    What does the striking accuracy of Daniel’s vision say about the power and control of God throughout human history?
3.    Daniel’s vision is meant to leave us feeling hopeless. However, the angel who interpreted God’s seeming absence is the same angel who would later announce God’s literal presence in Christ. How does this give us hope today for times when God feels absent in our lives?
4.    Many of us struggle with the sins of our past, either sins we’ve committed or sins committed against us. Where does out hope lie in overcoming this struggle?
5.    Much of Israel was guilty of abandoning the Law of God for the Law of the Greeks.  The Greeks made much less moral demands than the Law of God.  Many Christians are often guilty of the same thing.  Discuss this quote for Orlando Costas:  [Many Christians are looking for] “a conscience soothing Jesus, with an unscandalous cross, an otherworldly kingdom, a private, inwardly limited spirit, a pocket God, a spiritualized Bible, and an escapist church. Its goal is a happy, comfortable, and successful life, obtainable through the forgiveness of an abstract sinfulness by faith in an unhistorical Christ.”

APPLICATION
Many of us bear the burden of the sins of our past, whether it is sin we committed or sin committed against us. How should biblical community share in this burden and grieve with us, yet with hope?

PRAYER
Spend some time in prayer with one another for things drawn out of the discussion

Psalm 51 Discussion Questions

Psalm 51
Discussion Questions
9.13.15

INTRODUCTION

In preparation for celebrating the biblical feast of Rosh Hashanah, Psalm 51 carries us through a season of penitence and repentance from King David who discovers God’s grace and goodness in the process.

DISCUSSION

1. David believed that God can pardon sin no matter how dark it is. Why do we sometimes believe there is sin in our life that God cannot or will not forgive? What does this unhealthy thought say about the effectiveness of the cross?

2.  Read Psalm 51:5. What does this mean about sin (i.e., its pervasiveness and power)?

3.  Sin is completely missing the divine goal that God created you for. How does this affect your view of sin?

4.  The following quote was used during Sunday’s message:  “Sheer scholarship alone cannot reveal to us the gospel of grace. We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of knowing Jesus Christ personally and directly… [when we operate from this base of knowledge], we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited.”   How does this apply to the believer today?  Relate this to what David says in Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

APPLICATION

Pride, guilt, shame, and fear all work to keep us from repentance. What role does community play in calling us to repentance past our pride, guilt, shame, and fear?

PRAYER

Mars Hill’s Fairhope campus began a morning gathering this past Sunday at 10AM.  Please pray for our leaders involved and that God would use this campus to transform hearts on the Eastern Shore.

Invite your group to participate in Rosh Hashanah at both gatherings Tuesday (9.15.15) night at 6PM.

Psalm 2 (Discussion Questions)

Psalm 2
Discussion Questions

INTRODUCTION
The book of Daniel is an incredible glimpse into God’s revelation of things to come in the end, but it is not the only place in scripture where we find such information. In fact, God has been revealing end times prophecy throughout the Old Testament, all of which points to the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

DISCUSSION
1.    The chiastic structure of Daniel shows that the focus of our end times theology should be on the coming Son of Man, Jesus Christ. What happens if we fail to see Christ as the focal point of our end times view?
2.    Read Psalm 2. What are the things that jump out to you the most? Why? Do you see this as prophecy concerning Jesus?
3.    What can we understand about Old Testament prophecy concerning the end times without the cross in mind? What can we know about Old Testament prophecy concerning the end times with the cross in mind?
4.    Ps 2:2-3 says that the nations rage in vain against God. How do the nations “rage in vain” today?
5.    C. H. Spurgeon once said, “Fear, without joy, is torment; joy, without fear, is presumption.” What did he mean by this? What is a proper fear of the Lord?

APPLICATION
What does it mean to “kiss the Son”? How does Christian community help us to continually swear our allegiance to the King of Kings?

PRAYER
Spend some time in prayer with one another for things drawn out of the discussion.

Mars Hill’s Fairhope campus is starting a morning gathering this Sunday at 10AM.  Please pray for our leaders involved and that God would use this campus to transform hearts on the Eastern Shore.