Small Group Lesson
God made a covenant with Israel in the time of Moses. God promised to be their God and bless them. Israel promised to follow God’s law (Leviticus 26:1-46). Sadly, Israel sinned against God. As God said he would do if Israel broke the covenant, God sent Israel into exile. In Daniel 1 we read about Daniel and others being carried off into exile. Daniel 9 takes place nearly 70 years later. Read Daniel 9:1-2.The prophet Jeremiah said the exile would be 70 years and this period of time is almost up. Daniel is over 80-years-old at this time. Daniel prays to God to ask for mercy. He asks that God would allow them to return to Jerusalem. However, when he prays, he also confesses the sins of Israel. These are sins that took place before he was even born. But he confesses them corporately. Read 9:3-10.
Daniel continued to confess sin and also recall God’s goodness. He recalls God’s covenant with Israel and God’s work to save Israel. Read 9:11-15.
Q: What are the past sins of your people that you should confess to God? Your nation, company, school, family, or group?
Q: What are the present sins of your people that you should confess before God?
Q: What can we do to correct those present, corporate sins?
Next, Daniel prays to God and asks for mercy not based on their goodness but based on God’s great mercy. Pray 9:16-19 as a group.
The Bible teaches that because all people are guilt of sin, those who die without receiving forgive in Jesus will perish in hell (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10). Though this topic is difficult to think about, nevertheless it is reality. The rich man in the story begged that someone might be sent to warn his relatives lest they also perish in hell.
Sometimes we are shy to speak about Jesus because we worry about causing offense or being rejected. But when someone dies, the reality of God, heaven, and hell will be plain to them and at that time they will think, "I'm glad someone warned me," or "Why did no one warn me?" Let the voice of those who have died compel us to risk offense and rejection for the sake of love.
Encourage One Another:
What opportunities has God provided to lead others closer toward knowing Christ?
How have you seen God working in the lives of those you want to lead to Christ?
Pray for One Another:
Share at least one name of someone you want to win to Christ. If you know, share your next action step in leading them closer to knowing Christ (for example: invite them to church, take them out to dinner and share your testimony, study First Steps together, give them a Bible or Christian resources, etc.).
Commit to praying for one another every day: (1) For boldness and wisdom, (2) for opportunities, (3) for other’s open hearts.
Other Prayer Requests:
How can we pray for you?
Pray together about God’s Mission and other requests and thanksgivings.