LIFEGROUPS: WEEKLY DISCUSSION GUIDE
Week of September 20, 2021
SERIES: Return Back to God
TITLE: Week 3 – “God Will Restore”
Pastor Brian continued our series in the book of Joel this weekend as we took a dive into Joel 2:18-32. Here is a preview of the message.
- God is a God of RESTORATION.
- To the young man or woman, teenager, old men and women, children. To those who are far from God and those who are near. God is a God of restoration.
- Even in suffering difficulty, and the outpouring of His judgment, He is restoring all things.
- Perhaps you think you are too far from God or too sinful. Maybe you think that life and circumstances are against you. The Lord is working to restore all things including every aspect of your personhood and life.
- The people of Israel drifted far from God. God sent an epic, disastrous locust plague in judgement. God used the locust plague to picture a coming apocalyptic army from the North. The people repented. God relented and restored.
- Joel 2:18 ESV “Then the Lord became jealous for his land and had pity on his people.”
GOD REVERSES THE CURSE (2:18-24)
- Reverses agricultural disaster. (Joel 1:9-17)
- Reverses humiliation among godless powers. (Joel 2:17)
- Joel 2:17 ESV “Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
GOD RESTORES THE BLESSING (2:25-27)
- Provision – more than our “daily bread.”
- Joel 2:24-25 ESV “The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.”
- Joel 2:26 ESV “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.”
- Presence – the greatest gift we can receive. (God with us: Eden – Tabernacle – Temple – Immanuel – Holy Spirit – New Jerusalem)
- Joel 2:27 ESV “You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else.”
- Ezekiel 37:26-28 ESV “I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
- Joel 2:26 ESV “…never again be put to shame.”
- Joel 2:27 ESV “…never again be put to shame.”
GOD MAKES FUTURISTIC PROMISES (Joel 2:28-32)
**We are living this right now!!
- The Gift of the Holy Spirit of God (2:28-29)
- The Spirit will be poured out upon all people of God. There are no distinctions: men and women, old and young, servants and landowners.
- Acts 2:14-21 – Joel’s prophecy fulfilled.
- Signs of the Final Day of the Lord (2:30-32)
- Signs: blood, fire, columns of smoke, sun turned to darkness, moon turned to blood. All of this will come before the “great and awesome day of the Lord” comes.
- All Theophany. (Blood – remember the plagues. Smoke and fire. Sukkot/Pentecost. Sun turned to darkness – crucifixion.)
- “For Joel the day of the LORD was not exclusively judgment or salvation; it was simply the coming of God to deal with people. For some this means life; for others it means death…In summary the New Testament asserts that Joel’s prophecy concerns the eschatological era and that we are now in that era. The church is not an interruption in the plan of God. This is the messianic age. The Spirit has come, Zion has already been exalted in that Gentiles have joined Israel in the worship of Israel’s God, and the judgment of this world has begun. We await the culmination of all things.” – Garrett, D. A. (1997). Hosea, Joel (Vol. 19A, p. 374). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
- The Gospel (2:32)
- Joel 2:32 ESV “…everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- Romans 10:9-13 ESV “…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
- So, what about us? What about me? What about you? Do you believe that God will reverse the curse of sin in your life? Do you believe He will bless you with salvation? Do you believe He will grant you His very presence? Come to Him!
ICEBREAKER QUESTIONS & DISCUSSION
OPENING DISCUSSION: GOD MOMENTS
This has definitely been an interesting week! Tropical Storm Nicolas brought both disruption, difficulty, and damage to our area. Check-in and follow-up with everyone in your group. It’s been over a week, but some may still be walking through the effects of the storm and repairing what was damaged. Continue to “lean in” and see how your group can come alongside others. Take time to talk about how the group can respond is other situations arise in the future.
Also take some time to see how God has been at work in the lives and families of your group. Use the following questions to share these God moments.
- What are the “God moments” from this past week? How have you seen God at work that is unmistakably Him?
- How has He been working not just in your life personally, but in the lives of your family (spouse, kids, grandkids)?
- How did God speak to you through His Word this past week?
- How are you hearing and obeying?
- How can we specifically pray for you this week?
Pray as a group – thanking God for how He is at work and asking Him to answer the requests that were mentioned.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Ask and discuss the following questions.
Q: Why does God change His direction with His people in Joel 2:18-21? (Hint: read Joel 2:12)
Q: How can we practice repentance in our lives and relationship with God? Why is this important?
Q: How does God reverse the curse on the people in Joel 2:18-24?
Q: Read Joel 2:25-27. How does God restore the blessing to the people?
Q: Why is God’s presence such a great blessing? How is God with us today?
Q: What does the knowledge of His presence bring to our lives and faith?
Q: Why is it important to have “eyes to see” what God is doing in our lives and world?
Q: According to Joel 2:31, who can be saved from the wrath of God incurred by sin?
Q: What does this passage teach us about God and His character?
God is a God of RESTORATION! In everything, even the suffering, difficulty, and outpouring of His judgement, He is restoring all things. Do you need to repent and turn to Him today?
As you wrap-up your gathering this week, use these closing questions to encourage your group to share what they are hearing and how they plan to obey.
- What did you hear?
- What is your one “take-away” from this week? How did God speak specifically to you through this week’s passage and study?
- What do you think?
- How did this passage and study affirm, challenge, or change the way you think about gathering in big and small ways?
- What will you do?
- What is your next step? How will you take the truth of God’s Word and apply it to your life this week?
Close with prayer.
SCRIPTURES FROM THIS WEEK’S MESSAGE:
- Joel 2:18-32, Joel 1:9-17, Ezekiel 37:26-38, Romans 10:9-13
- Series: “Return: Back to God”
- September 19 – “God will Restore (Joel 2:18-30)
- September 26 – “A Glorious Future” (Joel 3:17-21)
- Series: “Protect This House”
- October 3 – Marriage: Closing the Doors of Destruction (Hebrews 13:4)
- October 10 – God Deigned It, Let Him Build It (Psalm 127:1)
- October 17 – Parenting: Discipling the Next Generation (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
- October 24 – Leading and Living Through Family Difficulty (Psalm 121:1-8)