1. In the movie E.T. the little extraterrestrial character seems to die. Everyone seems to know the movie shouldn’t end like this. Fortunately E.T. ends happily. Name some other movies, TV shows or books that have plot twists at the end that change the way the story ends.
2. In the DVD segment Randy said, “For hundreds of years God waited patiently, warned His people, and gave them chance after chance.” Why was God so patient with the people of Israel when they were so sinful?
3. In the prophet Ezekiel’s amazing and powerful vision from God (Ezekiel 1, 2, 6; The Story, pp. 235-237), what do we learn about the following: a. The condition of the people’s hearts (in the nation of Judah) b. The reasons for the coming judgment c. What lies ahead for Judah and Jerusalem
4. How can God’s discipline of His children be the best gift He can give us? Can you give examples of how God’s discipline has helped people grow?
5. Once Jerusalem had fallen and the Babylonians had utterly destroyed the nation of Judah, Jeremiah recorded what he say and felt (Lamentations 1-5; The Story, pp. 243-245). What did he write that made the situation seem hopeless, like it was all over? What did he write that seemed to have a sense of hope, like God’s plan might still be accomplished?
6. When God called Jeremiah to serve Him, God assured him that God’s plan had been in place since Jeremiah was in his mother’s womb. In the New Testament, we learn that God has a plan for each of us who follow Him. What are some ways to serve God with our gifts and interests?
7. As with many of the people that God calls (in the Bible and in the world today), Jeremiah had his list of excuses. What excuses do people today use to try to get out of following God?
8. In one of the most hopeless times in Biblical history, the prophet Ezekiel pointed ahead to a future time when the story’s ending will be rewritten (Ezekiel 36:1-37:14; The Story, pp. 245-247). How do Ezekiel’s words bring hope when it feels as if the story is over?
9. Respond to this statement: “In God’s employment contract He does not ask us to be successful (by the world’s standards) but faithful. Success is based on faithfulness to God … not the results!” Do you agree or disagree? What are some ways to encourage people to be more faithful in the coming week?