Small Group Discussion Guide
Direction determines destination, but what happens when the unexpected hits. Let's say you've determined your destination and even started moving in that direction. Things seem to be going well, but life takes a detour and you find yourself somewhere you never imagined. Things didn't go according to your plan. What do you do now?
• Share a story about a time when your plans in life didn’t turn out the way you expected. In what way(s) do you experience exile?
The Babylonians took the core of Israel – leaders, priests, landowners, etc. – and forcibly moved them to Babylon. Imagine how you would have felt toward the Babylonians if you were one of the exiles.
1. Read Psalm 137:1-4
- What thoughts and emotions do you think the Israelites were feeling in exile?
- How do you respond to God when crisis hits?
2. Read Jeremiah 29:4-11
- Vs. 4-7 - As an exiled Israelite, what would have been your reaction when hearing God’s instruction to settle down and to pray for Babylon?
- Vs. 11 – It is God’s plans, not our own plans, through which God extends this promiseHow is this distinction significant?
- Discuss with your group what God’s promise in v.11 means to each of you personally.
- How have people taken this verse out of context?
3. Read John 14:23
- Describe what it would look like when a person’s heart is a home for Christ.
- How would that impact a person who is in exile?
What sorts of adjustments do you personally need to make in your attitude and/or actions to be faithful to God’s guidance when living in exile?
Gauge your own level of willingness to submit to God’s plans when they are in conflict with your own.
Identify the “good news” that is found in v.11 and what that might look like in your life. Take some time to give thanks to God for this promise.