Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. As a child, parent, employer or employee, when have you made or received an “empty promise”? Which one really hurt?
2. Have you ever “let someone off easy”, only to have them take advantage of you? How did you feel? What would be your response “the next time”?
3. Who appears to be speaking in these verses? What is curiously lacking in this “confession”? On what is their hope for a light sentence based?
4. How does God view Israel’s love and worship (verses 4 – 6)? What does it mean to truly “acknowledge God” in our dealings with others?
5. Who is charged with breaking the covenant (verses 7 – 11)? What covenant could this be (see Exodus 19:5, 6 and Joshua 24:16 – 27, for examples)?
6. How might the priests be “ambushing” the people (verse 9; see also chapter 4:8)?
7. Has Israel really sincerely repented (compare verse 10 with chapter 5:3)?
8. Have you ever tried to hide from God behind an easy act of repentance? What sacrifices or “burnt offerings” did you try to please God with: attending church more? giving more money? fasting? praying more?
9. In reference to Question #8, have you ever become frustrated or indignant when these actions didn’t seem to work? What do you do then? What does make the Lord return like the “winter and spring rains”?
10. On a scale of 1 (morning mist) to 5 (rock of Gibraltar), how would you rate the staying power of your love for the Lord?