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Word One Bible Study: Advent 1 Old Testament

I Ain't Gonna Study War No More

Text: Isaiah 2:1-5 for the First Sunday in Advent, Lectionary Series A Old Testament

 
Objective
 Participants will better appreciate, share and enjoy the peace we have with each other in God's family.
 
Group Guidelines
 This Bible study has been developed for use in a small group of 6-8 persons. If your group is larger than this, divide into smaller groups. If this is the first time your group has met together, or if there are new people in the group, take time to get acquainted. If a leader needs to be chosen, choose as leader the person whose birthday is closest to the first Sunday in Advent. The leader is responsible for encouraging the group to keep moving along through the study, and for making sure that each person in the group has the opportunity to share and feels comfortable doing so.
 
Building Community
 Share a personal experience involving a conflict between yourself and another person (family member, friend, teacher, etc.) that was eventually peacefully resolved. Describe briefly your feelings before and after the conflict was resolved. How was "peace" finally brought about in this situation.
 
Make a list of what you consider the main reasons people fight with each other and refuse to live in peace and unity. Then share your list, allowing for comments from other members of the group.
 
Looking at God's Word
 Read aloud Isaiah 2:1-5 verse by verse (taking turns reading in your group), and then do the following activities. [Note to the leader: in the interest of brevity, you may wish to omit either step 2 or step 3. Be sure to begin with step 1 and conclude with step 4.]
  • Begin the study by having each member of the group look up one of the New Testament passages listed in the right-hand column below. Try to match that passage with one of the key phrases or summary statements from Isaiah 2:1-5 in the left-hand column. Discuss as a group how these New Testament passages listed in the right-hand column below. Try to match that passage with one of the key phrases or summary statements from Isaiah 2:1-5 in the left-hand column. Discuss as a group how these New Testament passages centering in Christ help to explain and interpret this Old Testament text.

 

Isaiah 2:1-5 Key Phrases
"the last days" (v.2)
 
"the Lord's temple will be established" (v.2)
 
"all nations will stream to it" (v. 2)
 
"He will teach us his ways" (v. 3)
 
"He will bring peace to the peoples" (v. 4)  
 
"Let us walk in the light of the Lord"
New Testament Passages
John 9:12
Revelation 7:9-10
Hebrews 1:1-2
Mark 1:22
Ephesians 2:19-22
Isaiah 9:6
Luke 2:14
Luke 2:30-32
Matthew 28:18-20
John 2:19-22
 
  • Focus on verse 4 of Isaiah 2 in light of the objective for this study. Choose one of the following sentences and complete it with a brief paragraph to share with the group:
    • Remembering what Jesus did on the cross to give me peace with God helps me to live at peace with others, because...
    • God's Spirit helps me to live at peace with my family and friends by...
    • The last time I really needed God's help to make peace with a fellow-Christian was...
    • To me, "living in peace as God's people" means...
  • Look up one of the following Scripture passages and share briefly how the passage relates to the objective. If possible, share what it means to you personally.
    • John 14:27
    • Ephesians 4:3-5
    • Acts 10:34-35
    • Colossians 3:13-14
    • James 3:18
    • Romans 5:1
    • Proverbs 16:7
    • Ephesians 2:14-15
  • Imagine that two of your friends in your church youth group are angry with each other and won't speak to each other. Take turns sharing ideas in your group about how you might play the role of "peacemaker." What specific steps would you take to try to bring your friends back together? Think: What would Jesus have done in this situation? [option: Do this exercise as a "role play" in your group, having group members take turns playing the part of the three friends.]
Reinforcing What Has Been Learned
 Answer the following questions as briefly and specifically as possible. As time allows, share your answers with the group.
  1. What did I learn in this Bible study?
  2. What did I learn about myself in this Bible study?
  3. How did Scripture become "new" to me in this Bible study?
  4. What did I learn from the sharing of other members of the group?
  5. How will what I learned today help me in my Christian life?
Closing
 Choose one of the following activities to close your study:
Each member of the group offers a one-sentence prayer related to the them, "Living in Peace as God's People."
Read aloud Revelation 22:1-5 and close by singing together the following verse from the spiritual "Down by the Riverside."
Gonna lay down my sword and shield, Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside, Down by the riverside
Gonna lay down my sword and shield, Down by the riverside,
I ain't gonna study war no more.
 
I ain't gonna study war no more, I ain't gonna study war no more,
Gonna lay down my sword and shield, down by the riverside
I ain't gonna study war no more!
Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies V, studies on the Gospel readings for lectionary series A, in 1992.
 
Republished and revised in November 2013 for thESource.






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