KINGLESS: Judges 21

OUTLINE
“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25).
But…
I. There is a King coming who will do what is right in the LORD’s eyes
II. There is a King coming who will defeat the giant enemies of the LORD’s people
III. There is a King coming who will establish a kingdom that will never end

DISCUSSION
1. Read chapter 21 and write down what stands out to you as the people of Israel scramble to reverse what they have done to wipe out the tribe of Benjamin.

2. How does verse 25 perfectly sum up the book of Judges? What are some scenes wherein you vividly remember someone doing “what was right in his own eyes”?

3. Look back through the entire study at all of your answers. What was new? What was convicting? What was encouraging?

HOPELESS: Judges 20

OUTLINE
I. Hopeless are all who stand trial for their sin without an advocate
II. Hopeless are all who will not part with sin
III. Hopeless are all who rage against the justice of the LORD
IV. Hopeless are all who try to do the LORD’s work in their own strength
V. Hopeful are all who take refuge in the Rock

DISCUSSION
1. Chapter 20 reveals further moral corruption in Israel, this time by the entire nation subjecting one of their tribes to complete annihilation. Read verses 1-11. What does the writer mean by “from Dan to Beersheba”? How did the people of Israel initially respond to “this evil” that had happened? What does the Levite leave out when he tells them of the evil that was done to his concubine by the leaders of Gibeah? How did the people of Israel eventually respond to “this evil”?

2. Read verses 12-17. What did the people of Israel demand from the Benjaminites? How do Deuteronomy 13:5 and 17:7 shed light on their demands? How did the Benjaminites respond?

3. Read verses 18-28. What admirable thing do the people of Israel do time and time again in these verses? What can we learn from these verses? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?

4. Read verses 29-48. According to verse 35, who defeated Benjamin? What can we learn from this? How far did the people of Israel take this civil war according to verse 48? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?

WORTHLESS: Judges 19

OUTLINE
I. If we base our sexual ethic according to what is right in our own eyes, we are worthless (v.1-2,22-25)
II. If we choose what we do each day based on what is right in our own eyes, we are worthless (v.4-5,9)
III. If husbands refuse to lead, love, provide for, and protect their wives and instead do what is right in their own eyes, they are worthless (v.25-28)
IV. If we are outraged at the evil done by others yet unmoved by our own, we are worthless (v.29-30)

  1. Chapter 19 begins to show the moral corruption of the people of Israel. First, this is shown by a Levite and the treatment of his concubine. Second it is shown by how the “worthless fellows” treat these sojourners. Read verses 1-9. What is the current setting in Israel that we are reminded of in verse 1? What is a concubine—how does the ESV Study Bible note on verse 1 shed light on the answer? How does the concubine’s father treat the Levite when he comes to his house? How does the Levite respond? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
  2. Read verses 10-21. Why did the Levite not want to “spend the night in the city of the Jebusites” but rather “pass on to Gibeah”? Who offered hospitality to the Levite and his concubine? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
  3. Read verses 22-28. What do the “worthless fellows” do? How is this reminiscent of Genesis 19, when the angels come to Lot’s house in Sodom? What did the master of the house do when the worthless fellows demanded the Levite? What did the Levite do? How does this make us long for Jesus? What should they have done? What did the worthless fellows end up doing to the concubine? What else stands out to you in this passage and why?
  4. Read verses 28-30. How did the Levite initially respond when he realized his concubine was dead? How should he have initially responded? How did he eventually respond? How should this make us long for Jesus? What else stands out to you in this passage and why?

SHAMELESS: Judges 17-18

OUTLINE
I. You cannot serve the LORD and idols (v.1-6)
II. You cannot trust Jesus and yourself (v.7-13)
III. You cannot love the LORD and money (17:10-11, 18:4-6, 18-20, Matthew 6:24)
IV. If you serve idols or trust yourself or love money, the temporary results will be either 1) empty hands or 2) enslavement. The eternal results will be destruction (ch.18, Philippians 3:18-19)

  1. Chapter 17 begins showing the depths of Israel’s apostasy. The first section, Judges 17:1–18:31, is an example of their religious corruption. Read verses 1-5. What did Micah confess to his mother? How did his mother respond? What did she do with the silver and who did she dedicate it to? What did Micah do with the carved image? How is this reminiscent of Exodus 32:1-10? How does Exodus 20:4 reveal the foolishness of Micah and his mother? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
  2. Read verses 6-13. How should verse 6 make us long for Jesus? Further evidence is shown here of Israel’s religious corruption. This time it is not a family in general, but a Levite in particular. Why did the Levite become “content to dwell with the man”? Were priests meant to be private servants of families of public servants of the people? What did Micah think would happen now that he had a Levite as his very own priest, according to verse 13?
  3. After showing the religious corruption of a family (Micah and his mother) and of a Levite, the narrative now turns to showing the religious corruption of an entire tribe, the Danites. Read verses 1-6. Why were the five Danites spying out and exploring the land? Where was the Danites allotted territory according to Joshua 19:40-47? How does Judges 1:34-35 help us understand why they did not possess an inheritance? Where did they end up finding lodging? What did they ask the Levite to do? Does anything in the text say that the Levite actually inquired of the LORD? How does Jeremiah 10:21 shed light on the stupidity of this kind of promise? What does Jeremiah 10:21 say the results of such stupidity would be?
  4. Read verses 7-21. What did the Danites find when they scouted the land of Laish and how did they respond? How should they have responded? What did they end up doing to Micah and the Levite? How did the Levite respond? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?

SAMSON (pt.5): Judges 16:23-31

OUTLINE
I. Our unfaithfulness brings reproach upon the name of the LORD (v.23-27)
II. For the sake of His name, the LORD overrules our unfaithfulness and causes us to glorify Him again (v.28-31)
III. Samson is never more reminiscent of Jesus than in his death

  1. Read verses 23-24. Why do the Philistines gather? Who did they sacrifice to? Why did they worship Dagon here? How does the LORD humiliate the idol Dagon and his worshipers in 1 Samuel 5:1-5?
  2. Read verses 25-27. Why did the Philistines bring Samson out in the midst of their rejoicing? How many Philistines, and of what kind, were present? What does Samson do when he is brought out and how does this further show his cunning?
  3. Read verse 28. What did Samson ask of the LORD? Why did he ask this? Do you think this was the right motivation—how does Deuteronomy 32:35-36 shed light on the answer? What would have been the right motivation?
  4. Read verses 29-31. What did Samson do after he was placed by the pillars? In what way is Samson like Jesus? In what ways is he different? What can we learn from the life and death of Samson?

SAMSON (pt.4): Judges 16:1-22

  1. Read verses 1-3. What did Samson do when he went to Gaza? What has characterized Samson thus far in the book of Judges? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
  2. Read verses 4-9. How is this scene reminiscent of Judges 14:15-18? In what ways are they alike? In what ways are they different? What does Samson tell Delilah when she asks for his secret?
  3. Read verses 10-17. What seems to be Samson’s Achilles heel? What else stands out to you in this passage and why?
  4. Read verses 18-22. What does the writer say happened when Samson had his hair cut off? Does there seem to be some kind of irony here? What did the Philistines do to Samson after his strength left? What does verse 22 imply? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?

SAMSON (pt.3): Judges 15

  1. Read verses 1-8. What does Samson do when he learns that his wife has been given to his companion? What does he do to the Philistines who “burned [his wife] and her father with fire”? How does the narrative move forward, with forgiveness and reconciliation or retaliation and retaliation? How should this make us long for Jesus?
  2. Read verses 9-13. What did the Philistines do when they learned of Samson—that the LORD had raised him up as a judge for Israel? What did “the men of Judah” do when the Philistines told them their plans for Samson? What should they have done for the judge the LORD had raised up to save them? What can we learn from these verses?
  3. Read verses 14-17. What did Samson do to the thousand men that came to kill him? Where did Samson’s strength clearly come from? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
  4. Read verses 18-20. This is the first prayer of Samson that is recorded. What can we learn about Samson as we examine his prayer? What can we learn about the LORD as we examine how he answered? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?

SAMSON (pt.2): Judges 14

  1. Read verses 1-9. What do we learn in these verses concerning the cleverness of Samson? Where did Samson’s strength come from and how is it apparent in these verses? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
  2. Read verses 10-18. What light does the ESV Study Bible note on verse 10 shed on the word “feast”? Why is this significant to understand? How do these verses show us the weakness of Samson when it comes to women? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
  3. Read verses 19-20. What is the result of Samson disclosing the riddle’s answer to his wife, and she then betraying him to the 30 men? What do we learn about Samson here? How should these verses make us long for Jesus?

SAMSON (pt.1): Judges 13

  1. Read verses 1-7. What did the people of Israel again do? What did the LORD do, according to verse 1? What else did the LORD do, according to verses 2-7? Why are verses 2-3 significant? What is a Nazarite vow? How does Numbers chapter 6 help clarify? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
  2. Read verses 8-14. What did Manoah ask the LORD for? How does the LORD respond to Manoah’s request? What can we learn from these verses?
  3. Read verses 15-20. Why do you think “the angel of the LORD” did not reveal his name to Manoah? Who do many commentators believe “the angel of the LORD” to be? How did Manoah respond to the commands of the angel of the LORD? What do we learn about the LORD from verse 19? What happens when Manoah and his wife offer the sacrifice to the LORD? What can we learn from this scene?
  4. Read verses 21-25. How does Manoah respond when he realizes he has been talking to “the angel of the LORD”? How does Manoah’s wife respond to her husbands words? What else stands out to you in these verses and why? What can we learn from these verses?

JEPHTHA: Judges 10-12

  1. Read verses 6-18. What words does the writer use to reveal Israel’s actions and thoughts? What words does the writer use to reveal what was done to the LORD’S people by their enemies? What words does the writer use to reveal what the LORD did to, and thought about, the people of Israel at this time? What can we learn from these verses?
  2. Read chapter 11 verses 1-28. In what ways is Jephthah an unlikely savior for Israel, considering verses 1-3? According to verses 4-11, who establishes Jephthah as “head and leader” over Israel? How do Judges 3:9, 4:6, and 6:14 help clarify what happening here with Jephthah? What do we learn about the people of Israel in what Jephthah said to the king of the Ammonites in verses 12-28?
  3. Read verses 29-40. What exactly did Jephthah promise the LORD? Why did Jephthah promise this? Why did he then keep his vow? What can we learn from this horrific scene?
  4. Read chapter 12 verses 1-7. Why do you think the men of Ephraim were angry that Jephthah did not call them to fight? What reason does Jephthah give them? How is this conflict like and yet different from the conflict depicted in Judges 8:1-3? It is important to note that after this defeat the Ephraimites never again played any important role in Israel’s history. What stands out to you in these verses and why?
  5. Read verses 8-13. What stands out to you in these verses and why? What can we learn from these verses?