Life Groups Curriculum
What do you do when you reach the goal? - Joshua and Caleb
- Numbers 13:26-30
- Numbers 14:6-9
- Numbers 14:22-24, 30
- Joshua and Caleb were the only two spies who brought back a positive report to the people and believed God for their success. After it happened, they were the only two from their generation who were allowed to go into the Promised Land. They had a goal and by believing in God, they made it through challenges and ultimately succeeded.
What do you do when you don't reach the goal and fail - The Israelites/ Samson/ David
- Numbers 14:20-24
- Judges 16:17-21
- 2 Samuel 11
- The Israelites who did not believe God would help them succeed were destined to never see the Promised Land. They wandered for years, following God half-heartedly, and as a result, they did not receive the promise and did not succeed in their goal.
- Samson was blessed by God with incredible strength and influence. But his personal weakness and disobedience meant he ultimately lost what God had given him, and he suffered for it.
- David had a moment of weakness and committed a sin, sending an innocent man to die because of his lust. He failed the test that God had for him and suffered great personal loss as a result.
What happens when you meet a serious challenge - David
- 1 Samuel 21:10-15
- 1 Samuel 22:1-2
- Psalm 140
- Psalm 142
- David was in the cave of Adullum, after running away from Saul to Achish, the King of Gath. He was afraid for his life there as well, even acting out of character (insane), to try to avoid the conflict with Achish.
- In the Cave of Adullam David hid with others who were in distress, in debt, and bitter.
- During this time, David wrote many of the Psalms to encourage himself.
You're disconnected from God and can't hear His voice - King Amaziah
- 2 Chronicles 25:2
- 2 Chronicles 25:14, 16
- King Amaziah served God, “but not with a perfect heart”. The word says he was indifferent. He “Did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.” In other words, King Amaziah was lukewarm.
- Although he followed some of the commands of God, he did not fully commit to what God told him. He defeated the enemies but did not tear down the High places and allowed the people to continue to worship false gods, even bringing them back himself. When he was told he would be struck down, he was surprised.
You've hurt somebody in a relationship - David and Uriah/ Tamar and Amnon/ Paul and Barnabas
- 2 Samuel 11:14-17
- 2 Samuel 13: 1-22
- Acts 15:36-41
- David and Uriah- David saw Bathsheba and desired her. After she was pregnant, he tried to hide his sin with deception. When that didn’t work, he intentionally ordered her husband to be sent to the front lines of battle, knowing he would be killed when his support withdrew.
- Tamar and Amnon- Amnon greatly desired his half-sister, Tamar, and tricked her into being alone with him, with the intention of taking advantage of her. After he had raped her and destroyed her virtue, he hated her and sent her away. She was “ruined” in the eyes of society, and spent the rest of her life as a “desolate woman”. Later Absalom killed Amnon for this offense, however, Amnon never made amends to Tamar for abusing her, and nobody ever helped Tamar be restored.
- Paul and Barnabas- In a different vein of conflict, Paul and Barnabas greatly disagreed. The Bible said they had “Sharp contention”. This disagreement was not about doctrine, but a personal dispute. Although they did not let the conflict distract them from their efforts, they mutually decided to part ways. Barnabas took a new ministry partner and sailed to Cyprus, and Paul took a new ministry partner and went through Syria and Cilicia.
You're struggling with your faith and questioned God - Sarah/ Hannah/ Hosea
- Genesis 16:1-6
- Genesis 18:10-14
- 1 Samuel 1:6, 10-20
- Hosea 1
- Sarah-- Sarah struggled with not having children. It was a source of shame and pain for her. So although she know about God’s covenant with Abraham and promise, she still wanted to move ahead of God, because of her lack of Faith. She asked her husband to sleep with her handmaid, Hagar, so that she could adopt or co-opt the child, Ishmael. However, once it happened, she treated Hagar badly. Later, when word from the Lord came to Sarah saying she would have a child, she laughed to herself, believing herself too old to have a child. She no longer believed God for the miracle she had prayed for.
- Hannah —Hannah was married to Elkanah, but had no children. Her sister wife, Penninah, did, and Penninah would taunt her about her lack of children. She was deeply distressed, and prayed to God, even appearing drunk to the priest, because she was praying so hard in the spirit. Hannah struggled with a promise yet to come, yet she prayed fervently, and even though she was anxious and “vexed”, she still continued to pray.
- Hosea – Hosea was a prophet of the Lord who called on Israel to repent from sin, warning of God’s judgment. In order to have Hosea identify with how God saw the kingdom of Israel, he directed Hosea to marry Gomer, a prostitute/promiscuous woman, and have children with her. She was adulterous and represented the unfaithfulness of the people to God. Although Hosea was obedient to the Lord, you can imagine that he questioned God’s plan for his life, in such a situation.
You ignored God's instruction - Jonah/ Saul/ Achan
- Jonah 1:1-2
- Jonah 3:1-3
- 1 Samuel 15:3-23
- Joshua 7:1, 11-26
- Jonah- Jonah was given very specific directions from the Lord, and did the exact opposite. He tried to run away on a ship to Tarshish, but God sent a storm and he was thrown overboard (because the other sailors knew he had angered God). A whale swallowed Jonah and he was inside its belly for three days and three nights. While there, he prayed to God and repented for his disobedience. God heard him, and the fish vomited him back onto dry land. After that Jonah learned his lesson and went to Nineveh as God had directed
- Saul- After being instructed by God to destroy the Amalekites, Saul spared King Agag and the best of his cattle. This angered the Lord because Saul thought sacrificing to the Lord was better than obeying His command. This is the second time Saul chose sacrificing over obeying. When God chose Samuel as King of Isreal they were threatened by an attack from the Philistines. Saul, instead of waiting on Samuel, and despite not being a priest made a burnt offering sacrifice to the Lord. This was not in Saul's authority to do.
- Achan- Joshua after the burning of the city of Jericho had the silver, gold bronze and iron from the city put into the treasury of the Lord's house. When they went to take the city of Ai they weren't victorious. God instructed Joshua that someone stole some of the "devoted" pieces for themselves. It was discovered that Achan saw some of the riches and kept them and buried them in his tent, instead of turning them over to be placed in the Lord's treasury. Achan along with the stolen pieces was stoned and burned.