Weekly Discussion Guide



by Pastor Matt Manning on January 14, 2024


Pastor Matt talked about the dangers of being blinded of pride. When that happens, we can roll over others and cause cascading damage to those around us. However, agreeing with God that we’ve sinned can bring healing and change.

Think of a time in your life when you accomplished something significant. What was it that you succeeded at doing? How did it make you feel? If you felt pride, were you tempted to further prove yourself?

The king [David] said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.” But Joab said to the king, “May the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see it, but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” (2 Samuel 24:2-3)

What is the reason David gives for wanting to know the full number of his army?

Why was Joab reluctant to fulfill the King’s order? Did he have a choice?

Do you agree with Joab’s decision to withhold two tribes in the numbering? What would you have done?

David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” (vs. 10)

What prompted David to repent of his actions?

How does his response reflect his understanding of what he did? Where does he place the blame?

God responds by giving David three choices through Gad, David’s seer. None of the options are appealing, to say the least! David appeals to God’s mercy by choosing the option of three days of the sword of the Lord, pestilence on the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel. The devastation of the pestilence is great; 70,000 people of Israel fell.

“Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house.” (vs. 17)

On what basis does David ask God to spare the people of Israel?

As King, David had authority over the people of Israel. Do you think it’s fair that they were subject to the consequences of his decisions? Why or why not?

Following a command from the angel of the Lord, David builds an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Araunah attempts to give David the property, but David insists on paying full price, saying “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” (v.24)

David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel. (vs. 25)

Are you surprised by the fact that David’s personal sacrifice is enough to be granted mercy? What steps did David take to make sure it was a true sacrifice?

Have you ever been in a position where your personal actions, whether good or bad, affected others and not just you? How did you feel?

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, his response was different from King David’s. Rather than take the bait to make a premature display of his power, he responded with Scripture.

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matthew 4:7)

Does Satan have the right to put believers to the test—to make them lust after public recognition?

Why do you think Satan uses pride as a means of attacking those who put their faith in God?

How can we put the kibosh on pride by repenting?

What does God want us to hear? Based on the passage and above questions, what “takeaways” do you think God has revealed to you?

When we see pride in others, how can we lovingly confront it without sounding judgmental? What can we say to help prevent a defensive reaction, and instead, encourage genuine repentance?

Who has the relational equity in your life to confront pride issues in you that are currently in your blind spot?

As Christians, we are called on to be merciful. Can you think of any situations confronting the church today in which mercy is required? What would be the cost of showing mercy?

What does God want us to do? Flowing out of reading and interpretation, what action does this passage or the Spirit’s leading call you to do?

What’s the difference between feeling good about what you’ve accomplished and responding with sinful pride? How do you know when you’re crossing that line?

What are some of the ways you can protect yourself against the sin of pride? How can repentance help once you’ve uncovered it?

As you ponder this passage, ask for God to show you ways in which your pride has hurt others. Own up to that, ask for forgiveness and accept His mercy.

Throughout the week ahead, try to be mindful of times when you are tempted to disobey God. Ask God to reveal if and how pride plays a role in those moments.

What does God want ME to do? What is the personal application and action step God is calling you, personally, toward?

Tags: prayer, pride, pray, fear, repentance, health, biblical, fasting, bible study, kings, community group, ambition, discussion guide, crossroads church, crossroadsabc, group discussion, fallen kings

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