Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Day of the Lord (Zephaniah)

Sabbath School - June 1 - Zephaniah
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Read through Zephaniah together as a group, stopping occasionally to discuss the following questions and other questions of your own.

Zephaniah 1:1-6 - Cleaning House
What seems to be God’s main concern in cleaning up the world? 
What is He most interested in eradicating in these verses? 
Why is false worship - it’s idols, practices and people - such a problem? What does it do to humanity?

Zephaniah 1:7 - A Prepared Sacrifice
Nearly all sacrifices offered in the Old Testament are offered by humans too God. This one is the opposite. 
Why? What is different this time? 
How do God’s people serve as a sacrifice during His judgment of the world?
On this day of the Lord’s Sacrifice, why do think he calls his people to be silent?

Zephaniah 1:8-18 - The Day of Judgment
What emotions did you feel as you read these ten verses of Judgment?
What did they make you want to do or say to those living in the world?
What did they make you want to do in your own life?

Zephaniah 2:1-3 - A Prepared Message
How does this short message call the “quiet follower” to take a stand? 
How does it challenge repentance and life-change?
What words stand out for you in this short warning? Why?
What do you feel called or led to do after considering the book of Zephaniah thus far?

Zephaniah 2:4-3-5 - The Wrath of God
In this long rant against the cities of Zephaniah’s day, what stands out about the final city?
Why is Jerusalem included in this judgment rant? What is God suggesting about his people as a nation?
What impact do you think this judgment declaration had on the people of Jerusalem when they first heart it?
What impact do you think God wanted it to have on them?

Zephaniah 3:6-8 - God’s Lament
What emotions did you perceive from God in these verses? 
What was He hoping? 
How was He let down?

Zephaniah 3:9-20 - God’s New Jerusalem
As you read this call to humility, purity, singing, rejoicing and healing - How did it make you feel?
Did you want to be there to see it? What kind of day will that be?
What words, phrases and thoughts in these final verses of Zephaniah are most meaningful to you? Why?
Can you put the message of Zephaniah into one sentence? What is the take-home message for you?

Reviewing Zephaniah
When you consider the constant yo-yo spirituality of God’s people - toward Him and away again - over and over, how does it make you feel for God? How long would you put up with such a people?
Prophet after prophet tell the same story. God always chases his wayward people. He does all he can to help them see their need for Him. Through all the stressful and shocking ways He goes about getting our attention, one constant remains - God’s love always wins! He always has a remnant that He reclaims, refines and rejoices over. How does this make you feel?

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