Main Point of Discussion:
In desperate times, people are willing to put their belief in just about anything. But as followers of God, our belief must ALWAYS be in Him.
Introducing the Clip:
The clip we are going to watch comes from the movie Rango. In this scene, we discover that the town sheriff has been hoarding the water during a draught so he can use it as a way to exercise control over the townspeople. As we watch it, think of how you might respond if you were asked what you believe in.
The Movie Clip:
If you do not see the embedded video clip above, Click Here
to view it on WingClips.com
Even though the Sheriff has a manipulative motive, he is definitely aware of a universal truth. It is a universal truth that people need to believe in something, especially when they are living in desperate times. The critical question is whether or not the object of our belief can get us through our difficulties.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we dive in, everybody take a second to share your name and complete this sentence. I believe in _________________.
- ASK A FEW: How would your friends and family fill in the blank?
- ASK A FEW: Do you agree with the sheriff’s statement that everyone has to believe in something? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW? What is it about desperate times that drive people to their core beliefs?
- ASK A FEW: What has helped you in difficult circumstances?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever put your faith in something that ended up failing you in your trials?
Read the following passage from the Bible:
ASK A FEW: How is this account an example of people in a desperate situation? (Leaders – They thought that Moses might be dead, they were doubting that God still had plans for them, etc.)
ASK A FEW: Was there a time when these people believed in God? (Leaders – Yes, like when He delivered them from Egypt, when He split the Red Sea.)
ASK A FEW: Why did they give credit to Moses for their deliverance instead of God?
ASK A FEW: Why did they decide to believe in something different when the tough times came?
ASK A FEW: Why do we sometimes mistakenly put our faith in human things rather than God?
ASK A FEW: Why was God so angry that His people made an idol?
ASK A FEW: How would this scene have gone differently if the people had simply kept their faith in God?
ASK A FEW: Why did they lose their faith in God so quickly after all the amazing things He did for them?
ASK A FEW: What are the ‘golden calf’ idols that we put in place of God?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: How do you need to adjust your beliefs and trust to make sure it’s in the right place, which is in God?
When the people realized that Moses was taking forever in coming down off the mountain, they rallied around Aaron and said, "Do something. Make gods for us who will lead us. That Moses, the man who got us out of Egypt—who knows what's happened to him?"
So Aaron told them, "Take off the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters and bring them to me." They all did it; they removed the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from their hands and cast it in the form of a calf, shaping it with an engraving tool.
The people responded with enthusiasm: "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from Egypt!"
Aaron, taking in the situation, built an altar before the calf.
Aaron then announced, "Tomorrow is a feast day to GOD!"
Early the next morning, the people got up and offered Whole-Burnt-Offerings and brought Peace-Offerings. The people sat down to eat and drink and then began to party. It turned into a wild party!
GOD spoke to Moses, "Go! Get down there! Your people whom you brought up from the land of Egypt have fallen to pieces. In no time at all they've turned away from the way I commanded them: They made a molten calf and worshiped it. They've sacrificed to it and said, 'These are the gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt!'"
When you think about it, everyone has faith in something, and everyone turns to a belief in something when times get rough. Unfortunately we oftentimes turn to manmade ideas or solutions that are really just idols that can’t help us at all.
We need to take a warning from the Israelites: even when we know God is working in our lives, it can be easy to put our beliefs in the quick and visible idols in our world.
Give students a pencil and paper, and then ask them to fill in the blanks from the list below with responses based on their experiences with God.
When I am happy, I believe _____________________
When I’m lonely, I believe _______________________
When life is as dry as a desert, I believe _____________
When I’m scared, I believe __________________
When life is unfair, I believe ____________________
When it seems like there is no purpose _______________
When I die, I believe _________________________
If you look at your list and realize that you don’t put your trust and faith and belief in God at all times, especially the tough times, then you probably have your faith in the wrong place. You need to put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. You can do that right here tonight, and have your life and eternity completely changed. Don’t leave here without doing that tonight.
Close in Prayer
Written by Lane Palmer