Introduction: Has God called you? Has He called you to a particular
task? I think He has. How can we know if we are called? How can we
know if we missed our call? Is there another call if we missed
earlier calls? I believe that God calls each one of us to serve Him
in some special way. Our study this week is about the calling of God.
Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!
- Good Timing
- Read Daniel 9:24-26. What is 70×7? You didn’t expect a
math question, right? (490!)
- What starts this period and what ends it? (The “word”
to restore and rebuild Jerusalem starts the period.
It sounds like the end of the period involves the
coming of Jesus (the Anointed One) and the second
destruction of Jerusalem.)
- Read Nehemiah 1:3-6. We can (and have) discussed time
prophecy in other lessons. Let’s look at a different
aspect of this. The title of our lesson is “God’s Call.”
Last week we discussed Nehemiah’s prayer and how God used
him to persuade Artaxerxes to order the rebuilding of
Jerusalem. How do you think calling and prophecy works?
Was Nehemiah praying at that very moment because Daniel
was given a vision of the seventy weeks ( Daniel 9:24)?
- Was Nehemiah born to do the things to fulfill the
- Was Nehemiah praying because he knew of the prophecy?
- Did God simply know all of these things in advance
and give Daniel the numbers to fit what God knew
- How do your answers to these questions fit into the
idea of God’s calling? How do they fit into the idea
of human free-will?
- Have you ever been in a “Circle-Vision” theater? You stand
in the middle and the movie is projected all around you. I
view God as standing in the middle of the circle of time.
He can look in at any point and what is happening. For
that reason, I think that God knew before Nehemiah was
born that Nehemiah would be praying about this. Thus, God
gave Daniel a vision that would take into account the
timing of Nehemiah’s prayer. This fits with the idea of
- Good Coordination
- Read Romans 8:28. What does this suggest about calling and
the actions of God as He is standing in the middle of the
circle of time? (God “adjusts” events to bless His
- Read Romans 8:29-30. How are we predestined to be like
Jesus? (God does not interfere with our free will. He sees
who will choose Him and He sent Jesus to live a perfect
life on behalf of those who chose Him. This allows us to
reach the goal of being justified and glorified.)
- Practical Examples
- Read Exodus 3:1. Is being a shepherd a calling? (Yes. But,
it is a calling that a lot of people have fulfilled.)
- Read Exodus 3:2-4. If you know this story, is this the
beginning of Moses’ calling? (Some may note that Moses
previously had a calling in Egypt.)
- Could your calling be as dramatic as this one?
- Read Exodus 3:5-6. What is the lesson here about being
called? (There are several, but the main one is being sure
that it is God who is calling you.)
- Let’s skip down and read Exodus 3:9-10. The Jews were in
Egypt hundreds of years. If you compare Acts 7:23 with
Acts 7:30, Moses was 80 years old when he was standing at
the burning bush. Why is it that God says the slavery of
His people “has come to me” after hundreds of years?
- Why does Moses receive his call when he is 80 years
- If you were an outsider looking at all of this, what
would you conclude about God? He is slow? He has His
own time schedule? He is busy with other matters?
- Do these conclusions apply to your call and the
solution to problems in your life?
- God’s Answer
- Read Romans 9:14-16. Notice the same kind of question – is
“there injustice on God’s part?” What is the answer? (No.
The Bible tells us that God will have mercy on whoever He
- Is that how we define “justice?” The king decides
who gets mercy and who does not? (That is the
opposite of the rule of law. That is injustice.)
- Read Romans 9:17-19. If we are simply in the hands of God
to do with as He pleases, the Bible asks “why does [God]
still find fault with us?”
- We don’t normally see attacks on the justice of God
in the Bible. Why are these questions in Romans?
(They reflect what God’s opponents say about Him.
The Bible wants to give us answers to these kinds of
- Read Romans 9:20-21. Is this answer good enough for you?
Is it good enough for God’s critics? (This is the same
answer God gives Job in Job 38. Essentially it is “What do
you know compared to Me?” Sit down and shut up!)
- Read Romans 9:22-24. Buried in these verses is the answer
about God’s justice. What is it? (We all deserve death. We
all deserve destruction. We all chose sin and death. If
God leaves us to our choice, what complaint can we have?
Justice for us is eternal death. But, God does not leave
us to our just reward, God has shown us mercy.)
- How does this work with a guy like Pharaoh? Re-read
Romans 9:17-18. Is Pharaoh treated unjustly? (Pharaoh
rejected God. Pharaoh deserved eternal death. The
fact that God “hardens” the heart of Pharaoh is
simply an affirmation of the choices that Pharaoh
- How does this work when we find ourselves in unjust
circumstances (slavery, for example) or when we are
80 before we see God’s calling? Do we have grounds to
complain about God’s timing or delay? (The default
answer is that we deserve death. God has given us
everything. Who are we to question how He does it or
the timing of His plans?)
- Read Romans 9:30-31. Is God being unfair in the treatment
of Israel? They worked to become righteous?
- Read Romans 9:32-33. What is the fatal mistake made by
Israel? (To pursue righteousness based on works and not
based on faith in what Jesus has done for us.)
- What does this have to do with our calling and the
justice of God? Is the chapter ending raising a new
issue? (The entire chapter deals with the same issue
– the power of God. We have our concept of how things
should be done. We say that hard work brings success.
We say that things should be fair and decided by the
rule of law. God responds that if we insisted on the
rule of law we would all be dead – eternally. God is
more than fair. We do not understand all of the
calling of God, but He has our best interests in
- Read Numbers 20:7-8 and Numbers 20:10-12. What has Moses
done wrong? What is the penalty for his wrongdoing?
- Read Deuteronomy 3:25-28 and Deuteronomy 34:4-7. Moses
pleads with God to allow him, after all these years of
leadership, to enter the promised land. Why does God not
- What do you say about the fairness of God?
- Read Jude 1:9 and Luke 9:28-31. Now what do you say about
the justice and fairness of God? (God is more than just.
He gave Moses more than he hoped for. See Ephesians 3:20.)
- Friend, the calling of God in our life sometimes is very
clear and sometimes not. At times it may not seem to be
fair. But our Lord shows us that He gives us more than
justice. He is more than fair. Will you ask for the power
of the Holy Spirit to be within you so that God can show
you your calling and do great things through you?
- Next week: Facing Opposition.