LEADER: Please choose 2-3 readers for the evening and print out copies of the following for all participants. Do not feel that you work through every question. Weigh which questions will be appropriate for your group. Take time to work through the questions the group is especially interested in or challenged by.
Read 2 Kings 25:1-12
• The Babylonian exile of the Southern Kingdom (or Judah) took place in 586 B.C.
• Obadiah was written after the Babylonian exile to address the injustices waged by the Edomites (a local nation) against Judah while they were being exiled.
Read Obadiah 1-16 – God Reassures the Rattled of Retribution
• Why would the survivors of the exile be rattled or unsettled because of the Edomites?
• Are you ever “rattled” when watching the news? Does seeing the mercilessness and pride of man unsettle you?
o How might praying after newscasts be a means of God’s reassurance of his retribution and grace?
o What are other ways you can be reassured by God of his fair retribution upon evil?
• How has God brought retribution to injustice through Christ’s death?
• How will God bring retribution to injustice at Christ’s return?
Martin Buber, a 20th century Jewish theologian, wrote of himself and Jewish people in general, “we will never recognize Jesus as the Messiah Come, for this would contradict the deepest meaning of our Messianic passion. In our view, redemption occurs forever, and none has yet occurred. Standing, bound and shackled…we demonstrate with the bloody body of our people the unredeemedness of the world. For us there is no cause of Jesus; only the cause of God exists for us.”
• How would you respond to Buber? How does Jesus’ work in the past and the future counter what Buber said?
Read Obadiah 17-21 – God Reassures the Rattled of Restoration
• What are the four P’s? (Pe_ p _ _; Pl_ _ _; Pr_ s_ _ _ _; Pu_ _ o _ _)
• Where do you see the 4 P’s mentioned in Obadiah 17-21?
• Obadiah promised that one day Mount Zion would be made holy. Essentially he is prophesying the holy presence of God would yet be among his people in their own place for the purpose of their mission to be a light to the world.
Patrick Fairbairn wrote in his wonderful book The Interpretation of Prophecy that, “the prophets necessarily thought and spake of the future under the conditions of their own historical position; so that it was not the image of the future which threw itself back upon the past, but rather the image of the past which threw itself forward into the future – the things which were, and had been, gave their form to the things which were yet to be.”
Read 1 Peter 2:4-10
• Have you grasped that the church is the temple of the Holy Spirit?
• What has the Church done to earn or deserve such a gift?
• How does it matter that God’s people are the temple of the Holy Spirit? What difference does that make in life today?
• How would people’s truly grasping that the holy presence of God is within the Church change world politics?