The Story:
Discussing Chapter 19

by Living Springs Community Church on April 2, 2016

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“The Story” is an opportunity to experience the Bible in its chronological order. The Living Springs family is reading The Story together during the week, and our Sunday messages will help us process and apply what we’ve been reading. If you are in a group or family that is studying The Story together, you can use the questions below to spark discussion.

Chapter 19: The Return Home

Based on Ezra 1–6; Haggai 1–2; Zechariah 1 and 8

  • First return of exiles to Jerusalem
  • Ministries of Haggai and Zechariah
  • Exiles face opposition in building the temple
  • Temple restoration completed

Breaking the ice

What is the farthest you have moved? How was the adjustment?

Digging in

Chapter 19 is a reminder that God loves us enough to let us suffer the consequences of our choices, but He also loves us too much to abandon us forever. God remains faithful to His people whether or not we deserve it.

Reflecting

  1. Why do you think many of the exiles chose to stay in Babylon instead of returning home to the Promised Land? How do you suppose God viewed that choice?
  2. When the temple was re-established, some were overjoyed, and some were heartbroken. Many churches go through periods of growth, reconstruction, and challenge. How should we respond when mixed feelings pull us in opposite directions?
  3. What difficulties did the Jews experience in their rebuilding efforts? How did they respond to adversity? What do you learn from this?
  4. Zechariah proclaimed that people from other nations would be attracted to the God of the Jews (pp. 269–270). In what ways should our church attract people to God?

Praying

With Zechariah’s encouragement, the people completed the task God gave them. Who in your group needs encouragement? Make a list of specific needs to pray for, and follow up on them next week.

 

For next week…

Chapter 20: The Queen of Beauty and Courage

Based on Esther 1–9

  • Xerxes’ reign in Persia
  • Esther becomes queen of Persia
  • Esther saves the Jews from Haman’s murderous plot
  • Days of Purim are established
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