1. Tell about a time when you watched a sporting event that looked like it was over, but a person or a team made an amazing comeback.
2. Chapter 16 of The Story covers more than two hundred years. The Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians in 722 BC and was never heard from again. The Southern Kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians in 586 BC but had an amazing comeback seventy years later when they returned from captivity. How do you see God’s patience and commitment to bring His people back to Himself woven through these two centuries of history?
3. God allowed a foreign army to invade and defeat Israel (the Northern Kingdom). Why did God bring this judgment on His own people and what do you learn from God’s response to the behavior of Israel (2 Kings 17:1-14; The Story, pp. 220-224)?
4. Hezekiah of Judah was one of the few kings deemed “good” in the eyes of God (2 Kings 18-19; The Story, pp. 220-224). What did Hezekiah do that pleased God and how can we learn from his example?
5. The Bible has a lot to say about pride. What do you learn about pride in the encounter between Assyria and Israel in this chapter of The Story?
6. How can we avoid pride and grow in humility?
7. Though the Southern Kingdom of Judah discovered they would one day end up prisoners of war under the fist of a foreign nation, God spoke words of hope through His prophet (Isaiah 14:1-5, Isaiah 49; The Story, pp. 226-228). What did God promise and how do you see Him continuing to accomplish His plan to bring His people back to Himself?
8. The final and greatest hope for all of God’s people is the promise of the Messiah who would come to deliver us (Isaiah 53; The Story, pp. 228-230). What do you learn about Jesus, the promised Savior, from this prophecy?
9. Hezekiah pleased God when he spiritually cleaned house, got rid of idols, and destroyed the signs of spiritual compromise in the land. When you look at the spiritual life of people today, what could be cleaned out, cut down, or destroyed so that we can walk more closely with God?
10.When Jerusalem was surrounded by the Assyrian army and the situation looked hopeless, Hezekiah prayed and things changed. What challenges are we facing today that seem too big, overwhelming, or even hopeless and what should be the focus of our prayers?