APRIL 30-MAY 6
JUDGES PT. 2
As we begin our second week in Judges, we should remind ourselves of the bigger story of the Old Testament. God led His chosen people, the Israelites, into the Promised Land. Once there, the Israelites were to remove the Canaanites from the land, so as to not be influenced by their false religion and moral corruption. Throughout the book of Joshua, the Israelite people conquer some large cities, but do not complete the job of clearing the Promised Land. This leads the Israelites into periods of sin, adopting the practices of their Canaanite neighbors. Their sin leads to oppression and a need for the Lord’s deliverance, which He brings to them through judges.
This week’s reading covers two judges: Gideon and Samson. Last week’s Judges readings focused on the conquering acts of Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, and Deborah. In this week’s passages, the author spends more time highlighting character flaws within Gideon and Samson. Gideon begins by trusting the Lord, but ends his life creating an idol, or false god, for the Israelites to worship. Samson is the least God-honoring judge. He has little regard for the Lord, but God still uses him to win victories over the Philistines. By the end of Judges it is clear that the Israelites are not following the Lord. We are told, “In those days, there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
Notice one thing from Judges: the Lord can use even overtly sinful people to carry out His will. The Bible is the story of God redeeming His people from sin, and nothing will stop Him from seeing redemption to its completion.
FOR THIS WEEK'S SERMON OVER GIDEON AND JUDGES 6-7, LISTEN BELOW:
FOR AN ADDITIONAL PODCAST OVER THIS WEEK'S CONTENT, LISTEN BELOW:
9 ERAS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
Out of the Comfort Zone
God is so gracious. He understands our weaknesses and offers His strength in times of doubt. He calls us to be someone we do not think we can be. With Him, we can accomplish seemingly impossible deeds. This leads us to today’s main supporting character, Judge Gideon. Our main character, God, approaches Gideon through an angel. The angel finds Gideon hiding in fear of the Midianites. Through the angel, God declares that He is with Gideon, and furthermore, that Gideon is a mighty warrior. God calls him to deliver Israel from Midian's bondage, then directs and reassures him to “go in the strength you have and save Israel.” Gideon makes excuses and asks God for a sign that He is the One directing him. God meets him at every doubt. God does this with us today. He calls us to live in the family ingredient, Out of the Comfort Zone. As we seek to bring Him glory, He calls us to deeds that seem beyond our ability. Again, He challenges us to take His message of Jesus and promises that He will be with us and never leave us (Mt. 28:18-20).
- What does God mean when He tells Gideon to “go in the strength you have?” How strong did Gideon feel he was?
- God called Gideon a “mighty warrior.” Was he acting like one? Did that anger God?
- Gideon offered a sacrifice to God. How did God show His power? What was Gideon’s response?
- Are there deeds God is asking you to do that you do not feel bold enough to do? Discuss and pray.
Activity 1: Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?
Take a walk around your neighborhood. How many people do you know by name? As you walk, pray, even if you don’t know who lives at each house. Remind children that God knows. Extra challenge: go home and make a neighborhood prayer map. Pray regularly.
Source: Adapted from 8 Ideas for Family Prayer on intentionalbygrace.com.
Activity 2: Give from the Heart
LCF supports Liberty Women’s Clinic, where women find free and confidential pregnancy support. The clinic’s mission is to save every unborn child and to give eternal hope to every parent. As moms choose to give their babies life, they need support. Discuss the clinic’s purpose at an appropriate age level for your child. How could your family support the Liberty Women’s Clinic’s vision?
Small Group Discussion
- What sin is there to avoid?
- How do we manage the desires of our flesh? Judges 14
- What promise is there to claim? God uses even His people’s most tragic sins, character flaws, and weaknesses to work His global purposes for the glory of His Son and for His people’s good. Judges 14:4 shows us God’s shocking sovereignty over sin.