WEEK 4- An Arm of Flesh...or a Higher Power

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

     1 After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah.  He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself.  2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to make war of Jerusalem, 3 he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him.  4 A large force of men assembled, and they blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land.  “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” they said.  5 Then he worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it.  He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the supporting terraces of the City of David.  He also made large numbers of weapons and shields.

     6 He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate and encouraged them with these words:  7 “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.  8 With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us to fight our battles.”  And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

     9 Later, when Sennacherib king of Assyria and all his forces were laying siege to Lachish, he sent his officers to Jerusalem with this message for  Hezekiah king of Judah and for all the people of Judah who were there:         10 “This is what Sennacherib king of Assyria says:  ‘On what are you basing your confidence, that you remain in Jerusalem under siege?’”

2 Chronicles 32:1-10

What does this passage have to say about confidence?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) On what does Hezekiah base his confidence? (v. 7)  What is the difference between that confidence and the source of the Assyrian army’s strength? (v. 8)

2) What is an “arm of flesh”?  Why are people often tempted to base their confidence on an “arm of flesh”?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

3) Do you tend to rely on an “arm of flesh” as your confront daily tasks and challenges, or is your confidence based on a dependable “greater power”?  What are the evidences of that in the way you live and act, especially under pressure?

4) As an athlete, what “arms of flesh” tempt you to rely on or pursue them?  By doing so, do you gain rewards that are lasting?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

5) How did Hezekiah’s people respond to his leadership? (v. 8)  What did Hezekiah do, as a confident leader? (v. 3-10)

6) What is the impact of a confident leader?  A question for team leaders...Do you lead by an “arm of flesh” or confidence in a “greater power”?  How would others describe your effect on them?

FRIDAY — Discuss sport applications of confidence and pray together.

· Ask your athletes to briefly reflect on what they’ve learned about confidence this week, and to repeat some of those things.  (Remind them of some of the Biblical truths about confidence you’ve  discussed, if necessary.)

· Ask your team, “Based on what we learned about confidence this week...What does a confident athlete do?”  Do not settle for vague answers; challenge your athletes to go beyond general qualities of confidence, and to determine what those qualities look like in action.

· Add the results to your team’s list of descriptions of the “confident athlete”, and be sure the list is displayed somewhere that is constantly visible, as a reminder to the team.

· Pray together as a team.  Encourage your athletes to pray for your team’s growth in regard to the discipline of confidence —   especially in relation to some of the issues and challenges that you discussed together this week.  Challenge them to also ask for forgiveness, when applicable.  Give time for athletes to request prayer (regarding confidence or anything else), and pray together.


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