ABIMELECH: Judges 9

What would it look like if the LORD handed you over to idolatry? What would it look like if LORD let you reap what you sow?

Here is the answer: if God hands us over to the idols that our sinful flesh desires and if He let’s us reap everything we sow, we will have no peace with God and no peace with man. We could say it another way: we will have war with God and war with man.

  1. Read chapter 9 verses 1-21. Though Gideon has plenty of apparent sins, how is contrasted with his son Abimelech? What can we learn from Jotham’s words to the leaders of Schechem?
  2. Read verses 22-57. What do we learn here about Abimelech’s pride? What do we learn here about the LORD’S justice? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?

GIDEON (pt.3): Judges 8:1-35

DISCUSSION

  1. Read verses 1-3. Why were the men of Ephraim upset that Gideon did not include them in the fight against Midian? In contrast, why did the LORD only allow 300 men to fight? What can we learn from these verses?
  2. Read verses 4-21. How do the officials of Succoth and Penuel respond to Gideon asking for help as he fulfilled what the LORD commanded? How does Gideon respond? What can we learn from this? How do verses 11-12 contrast sharply with what we saw in chapter 7? What else stands out to you in verses 4-21 and why?
  3. Read verses 22-28. Who do the men of Israel give the glory to for victory in verse 22? Is this a holy response—why or why not? How does Gideon respond to their asking he and his son to be king over them in verse 23? What can we learn from this? What did Gideon do in verses 24-28 and what was the result? How should this make us long for Jesus? 
  4. Read verses 29-34. How did Gideon finish his course? What did the people do after Gideon died? How should both of these answers make us long for Jesus?

GIDEON (pt.2): Judges 7:1-25

DISCUSSION

  1. Read verses 1-3. Who is going to be responsible for the victory over the Midianites? What reason does the LORD give to Gideon for whittling down the army to a smaller number? What can we learn from this? How does Deuteronomy 20:5-8 help us further understand the LORD allowing people to go home who are fearful?
  2. Read verses 4-8. In what ways does the LORD tell Gideon to test the men in order to make the army smaller in number? What can we learn from this?
  3. Read verses 9-18. Why does the LORD tell Gideon to “go down to the camp with Purah your servant”? What does the LORD show Gideon and why? How does Gideon respond to the assurance the LORD gave him in verse 15? What can we learn from these verses? 
  4. Read verses 19-25. What did the the three hundred men do in order to bring about the destruction of the Midianite army? What did the LORD do to bring about the destruction of the Midianite army? What can we learn from this concerning the importance of faithfulness to the LORD?

GIDEON (pt.1): Judges 6:1-40

DISCUSSION

  1. Read verses 1-10. What does the LORD remind the people of when he speaks through the prophet? What does this teach us concerning our continual need of hearing the gospel in our own day (see verses 7-9)? What does this teach us concerning how to repent of idolatry (see verse 10)?
  2. Read verses 11-18. Who is “the angel of the LORD”? How does verse 14 help clarify? What question does Gideon ask the LORD? How does the LORD answer? How does Gideon respond to the command of the LORD? What should we learn from these verses?
  3. Read verses 19-27. What do we learn about the seriousness of sin by Gideon’s response the realization that he was face to face with the angel of the LORD and the LORD’S words to Gideon right after? What do we learn in this passage concerning the wages of idolatry? 
  4. Read verses 28-35. How does Gideon respond to the LORD revealing himself personally to him? How do the people respond to Gideon’s breaking down the alter of Baal? What should this teach us concerning the cost of following Jesus in our day? What should this passage teach us concerning the strength of the LORD for his people?
  5. Read verses 36-40. What is more shocking to you in this scene, that Gideon would ask these things of the LORD or that the LORD would show him these signs?

DEBORAH AND BARAK: Judges 4-5

DISCUSSION

  1. Read verses 1-10. What marks Deborah as a person? How does she view the word of God (see verse 6)? Though Deborah is a judge over the people of Israel, who is to do the fighting?
  2. Read verses 11-16. What does Deborah exhort Barak to put his trust in when it comes to fighting and victory (see verse 14)? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
  3. Read verses 17-24. Of what significance is it that Jael killed Sisera rather than some mighty man of valor? What else stands out to you in these verses and why? Who is ultimately given the credit for subduing Jaban the king of Canaan (see verse 23)?
  4. Read chapter 5, the song of Deborah and Barak. What can we learn from this song?

OTHNIEL AND EHUD: Judges 3:7-31

DISCUSSION

  1. Read verses 7-11. What does the writer mean when he says “they forgot the LORD”? What do we learn about salvation and God’s grace in this passage?
  2. Read verses 12-14. What did the people of Israel do? What did the LORD do in response?
  3. Read verses 15-30. What is the significance of Ehud being left-handed (verse 15)? What stands out to you in this passage and why? What should we learn from these verses?
  4. Read verse 31. What light does the ESV Study Bible note on Judges 3:31 shed on the identity of Shamgar?

IDOLATROUS: Judges 2:6-3:6

DISCUSSION

  1. Read verses 6-10. What marked the people of God during the time that Joshua and his fellow elders lived? What happened after the generation of Joshua? How should this sober us as we teach the next generation and make disciples in our day?
  2. Read verses 11-15. What are some of the words used to describe what the people of Israel did after the death of Joshua and his generation? What are some of the words used to describe the LORD’S response to their apostasy? *apostasy: “abandonment of former faith.”What is the state of the people of Israel as described in verse 15? How do we see the sovereignty of God in these verses as opposed to a naturalistic view of history?
  3. Read verses 16-23. These verses serve as a summary of the entire book of Judges. What did the LORD do in response to the “terrible distress” of the people? What did the people do in response to the LORD sending them Judges to save them? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
  4. Read chapter 3 verses 1-6. Why did the LORD leave the other nations among the people of Israel according to verse 2? Why did the LORD leave the other nations among the people of Israel according to verse 4? Is testing the same thing as tempting? How do James 1:13 and 1 Peter 4:12-13 help clarify?

HALF-HEARTED: Judges 1:1-2:5

DISCUSSION

  1. Read Judges 1 verses 1-7. What do we learn about the period of history in which this book is set, according to verse 1? How does this differ from Joshua chapter 1, which followed the death of Moses? Who did the LORD tell to go up against the Canaanites and who actually went? How does Adoni-bezek respond once they “caught him and cut off his thumbs and his big toes”? What can we learn from all of this?
  2. Read verses 8-15. How does Joshua 15:13-19 help tie the book of Joshua and the book of Judges together? How does 1 Samuel 18:25 help us understand what is happening here with Caleb, Achsah, and Othniel? What else stands out to you and why?
  3. Read verses 16-36. What had the LORD commanded his people to do in Joshua 6:17 and 11:14? How do these verses help us see the half-hearted obedience of the LORD’S people?
  4. Read chapter 2 verses 1-5. Who is “the angel of the LORD” and how can we tell? What did he do? What did he promise? What did he command? What did the people do in response? What did the LORD do in response to their disobedience? How did the people respond to the LORD’S discipline? How does Hebrews 12:3-17 help clarify?