Title: “Discerning Deception”
Texts: Num. 18 – 34; especially Num. 22- 25:7-8 NT– Rev 2:14; 2 Pet 2:15; Jude 1:11
IN A NUTSHELL: It’s easy to sound like you’re all about doing God’s will, but usually it is what isn’t said that is the most damaging to our Christian witness. Ironically, maybe the talking donkey shouldn’t be the most noteworthy thing about Balaam’s story. Up front he insists he can’t do or say anything that God doesn’t want him to say, but evidently the consulting fees were earned when he told Balak how to trick Israel in to getting on God’s bad side. Look at the contrast of Balak’s reactions to Israel: Num. 22:3 & 25:1-3; Jesus sets the record straight: Rev. 2:14
Ice Breaker: What is the best illustration you have heard of for “Bait and Switch”?
CONNECTING WITH THE TEXT:
1. If you want a contemporary “telling of the story” of Balaam check out this 7 minute cartoon: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRtpm75-TAk
2. What is the jest of Balaam’s first three Oracles? Num. 23:1—10; 23:15-24; 24:3-9
3. Was Balaam a prophet of God? Num. 22:5-13; 24:1;
4. What did God tell Balaam the first and second times Balak sent princes to ask him to come to Moab? Num. 22:12,20
5. What did Peter, Jude and Jesus have to say about Balaam? 2 Pet. 2:15; Rev. 2:14; Jude 1:11
REFLECTING ON YOUR LIFE:
1. Without mentioning names, have you ever known anyone that is always saying “Praise Jesus” or talking about praying and going to church, but more apt to complain, rebel, or seek their personal good over God’s will or other’s well-being? How effective was their witness for winning others to Christ?
2. Looking at your actions do you think you are more committed to doing God’s will or seeking God’s blessing?
3. What does spiritual deception look like in 2014?
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHURCH:
4. How might Balaam’s type of deception look in the church today?
5. How would you like your C.A.R.E. group handle someone that was deceiving others in your group?
Title “Learning from the Past”
Text: Num. 35 – Deut.16 especially Deut. 6:4-18; 4:10; 7:18; 8:2,18; 15:15 NT: 2 Peter 1:12-3:17
Questions: What were the people of Israel to remember De. 4-15? What are we Christians to remember 2 Pe. 1:12-3:17
Parents with your Children: Can you recall stories your parents told you in order to teach you important lessons? Were there any Bible verses to go with that lesson?