1. Share a time when you felt thirsty for the Lord and he gave you refreshment.
2. When have you felt weak, walking apart from God, and what was the result of being in that state?
3. In John 15, Jesus talks about being connected to the vine. Samson stayed connected to the Lord by keeping his vow. How do you stay connected to Christ?
4. How do you relate to Samson?
5. Samson did a lot of things that should have made God angry and separated himself from God. But God loved him through his mistakes. This is called grace. Share with your group how you’ve experience God’s power made perfect in your weaknesses.
Judges Lesson 5: “Daughters of Deborah”
1. Judges 4:1-7 tells the story of Deborah. Read it aloud. How is Deborah and her role described? Do you see and indication that Deborah is either more or less fully a judge than the others described in the book of Judges? Explain your position and make reference to specific Scriptures.
2. Do you find in this chapter the four step spiritual pattern we have seen in the other stories in Judges (rebellion, result, repentance, renewal)? What is the same or different from the other instances we have seen this pattern (Othniel, Ehud, Gideon)?
3. Read Genesis 3:16 and Galatians 3:28. How does the result of Eve’s rebellion twist the relationship between men and women? Do you think we should “lean back” into Genesis 3:16 or “lean forward” into Galatians 3:28? Explain your answer. What does this mean for the “role of women” in our world today?
4. Review Judges 4:6-10. What are we told about Barak? Hebrews 11:32 lists Barak in the roll call of Old Testament heroes of faith. Did Hebrews get him wrong or was Barak a man of faith? How?
5. How do you think the example of Deborah should speak to us today?
Lessons from Judges: Gideon – Part B
1. Judges chapter 7 is the story of God’s triumph through Gideon. The first section (1-8) is about God thinning out Gideon’s army to 300 people so that they would know it was the Lord who delivered them. The implication is that if they won through military might, they could have taken credit for victory; but if they won despite being the odds being overwhelmingly against them, then God would get the credit. Have you ever experienced a time when victory seemed impossible, but God made a difference in a way that “only God could have done that”? Have one or two share as an encouragement to your group about how God has been faithful to them.
2. The first part of chapter 8 (vs. 4-17) is the story of Gideon’s revenge against the villages of Sukkoth and Peniel. Gideon’s human nature comes through as he seeks revenge against his own people. What should he have done differently? How should we respond to people (perhaps other Christians) who refuse to help further the kingdom of God – or perhaps who see the kingdom differently and actively work against what we believe God has called us to?
3. In chapter 8, verse 22, the Israelites ask Gideon to rule them, supposedly as king. He politely refuses, but then seems to embrace the role, if not the title. (He builds a golden ephod that the people worship, he lives in prosperity, has many wives and sons, etc.) Often, after these mountain top experiences with God, it becomes easier to settle into a more comfortable routine that leads us back to old habits and ways. What have you done to stay connected and faithful to God after a “spiritual high point” in order to avoid slipping into old ways?
4. If the whole book of Judges really is an argument that Israel needed a good king like David, then the Gideon story highlights two truths: (1) When Godly leadership is lacking and is needed, God will be faithful to raise up a person to help accomplish his will. (2)The only qualification needed for that role is that you trust God. God can and does literally use anyone who is willing to trust him. Do you ever struggle to feel “worthy” to be used by God? If God calls you to “step up” in faith, are you ready and willing to trust him in that?
5. Every king of old, every leader today – even Christian leaders of the day – fall way short of the kind of leader that God wants for his people. Fortunately, he gave us his Son, Jesus to be our One True King. If we consider HIS kingship as the example we are to follow as leaders of today, what kind of king is he and how do you think he hopes we would lead?
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