Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. How strict were your parents? Did they use the “stick” more than the “carrot”? Or were their “bark” worse than their “bite”? Were the rules and the consequences clearly spelled out?
2. What is the most severe punishment you recall getting from your parents?
3. Why do you think God found it necessary to include this list of punishments in the context with the rewards (verses 1 – 13)?
4. What does it teach you about human nature that one list is substantially longer than the other? How do you feel about that?
5. What new mood is created by making repentance, forgiveness and restoration more explicit (verses 40 – 45)? In what sense does God’s reaffirmation of the covenant seek the same thing as the list of punishments (verses 14 – 39)
6. In one paragraph, summarize chapter 26 emphasizing how these rewards and punishments would help the people maintain a correct relationship with God.
7. In what two ways are you intentionally like (and unlike) your parents as a disciplinarian?
8. Has human nature changed much since these lists of rewards and punishments were first written? In what ways is today’s church no different from ancient Israel?
9. What do you think would be included in a similar list of “rewards and punishments” drafted by your church elders/pastors (with you and your church in mind)?
10. What is most difficult for you about sustaining a right relationship with God? How can this chapter help you do this?
11. How have you experienced the forgiveness and restoration of God (as specified in verses 40 – 45)? What was this experience like?