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1. As a teen, did you pay more attention to your driving teacher or your English teacher? Why?
2. Who are the two people God has specifically “called” (verses 12 and 15)? What has each been given to do?
3. What message has God been communicating to the exiles (verses 14 – 16)? In what way is Cyrus the Lord’s chosen ally?
4. What has their history of rebellion and ignoring God cost the people (verses 18 and 19)? How might history have been different if Israel had followed God’s original plan?
5. What have God’s people lost through their exile in Babylon (verses 18 – 22)?
6. Chapters 40 – 48 reach their climax in verses 20 and 21. If you were reading these words to the people, would you sob with tears of joy? Shout in victory? Whisper? Why? What about God will this deliverance communicate to all the nations?
7. How does this show that God’s concern for His people has not changed since the Exodus?
8. In what ways is Cyrus’ deliverance of the Jews from Babylon like the deliverance from sin that Jesus has won for His people? How did you first respond to the news that, because of what Jesus has done, you are free from enslavement to sin (Romans 8:1 – 3)? How do you respond now? Why?
9. What are some bad reasons people witness to others about Christ? What is one good reason (verse 20)? How might grasping the goodness of the Gospel encourage others to listen? What will help you grasp that goodness afresh?
10. The apostle Paul compares the water from the rock (verse 21; Exodus 17:6) to life of the Spirit that flows from Christ (1 Corinthians 10:3). In your life, is the water of the Spirit gushing, trickling, dripping or turned off? Why? What would help increase the flow?