Week 1: Background and First Judge (Othniel)
1. It has been suggested that Judges 17:6 “all the people did what was right in their own eyes.” sums up the lifestyle of the people in the days of the judges (@1200 B.C.). How contemporary is that observation for our own day? Give examples.
2. Judges 3:7-11 tells the story of Othniel. Read it again. What do we know about Othniel’s background (Judges 1:12-13)? How do you think his background plays into his success later in his life?
3. What is so bad about worshipping the Baals and the Asherahs (the male and female fertility gods of the Canaanites mentioned in vs. 7)? Are there gods of our land which threaten our standing with the true God? What are some of those gods?
4. Does the fact that it took eight years for the people to cry out about their bondage tell us anything? What have we noticed about how long it takes to cry out for God’s help in our own lives?
5. What in your own life do you need to cry out to God for deliverance from? Do you have expectations about “HOW” God should deliver you? What did God give Othniel that he needed to deliver Israel from her captors (v. 10)?
6. As you consider this passage, what is the basic pattern of what how the people relate to their God? Discuss how this pattern fits or doesn’t fit our own spiritual experience.
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