- When the people cried unto the Lord, what was His first answer? See verses 7-10, and cf. 2:1, 2; Ps. 81:8-11; Ho. 11:1-4,7.
- Gideon was called to deliver Israel from the Midianites. But first he must make a stand for God in his own house (verse 25-32). Has this a bearing upon your Christian service? Cf. 2 Tim. 2:19, 21; Mk. 5:18, 19; Acts1:8.
- By what three visible signs did God strengthen Gideon’s faith? Consider what these signs would teach Gideon.
31 May, 2016
Study 6 From the Book of Judges is: Judges 6
The Midianite oppression took the form of an annual invasion (for seven years, 6:1) of hordes of semi-nomads from Trans-Jordan. This is the first indication of the use of the camel in warfare (6:5) which gave the Midianites an immense tactical superiority. The effect upon Israel is described in verses 2, 4 and 6.
30 May, 2016
Study 5 From the Book of Judges is: Judges 5
The story falls into four parts: (a) verses 1-5, an introductory hymn of praise; (b) verses 6-8, the situation before the deliverance; (c) verse 9:18, the rallying of the tribes and the rebuke of the irresolute; (d) verse 19:31, the victory, and the death of Sisera.
- Observe to what dire straits backsliding had reduced the tribes (verses 6-8; cf. 3:31; 1 Sa. 13:19, 22; 2 Ki. 10:32, 33; 13:3, 7). What parallel spiritual consequences are found in the life of the backsliding Christian?
- What qualities are praised in the story, and what kind of conduct is condemned? Is there a present-day application in our service for God? Cf. Lk. 8:14; 9:62; Acts 15:26.
Note. Deborah clearly approved of Jael’s act, but did God approve? It was an act of treachery which abused all the accepted conventions of the age. It may be compared with Jacob’s deceit of his age father. (Gn. 27), yet in both incidents there was an element which could be approved—Jacob’s oppressor. In the case of Jacob we know that he suffered severely for his treachery, although he received the blessing.
29 May, 2016
Study 4 From the Book of Judges is: Judges 4
- Why do you think Barak was unwilling to undertake the campaign without Deborah? Does this reveal a defect in his faith? What insight does this give into God’s willingness to bear with our human frailty? Cf. Ex. 4:13-16; Je. 1:6-8; 2 Cor. 3:5, 6.
- Who was the real architect of Israel’s victory? Cf. Ex. 14:13; 2 Sa. 8:6, 14; 2 Ch. 20:15-17. What practical application has this for us today?
28 May, 2016
Study 3 From the Book of Judges is: Judges 3:7-31
- Observe what the Lord did against Israel (verses 8 and 12), and what He did for Israel (verses 9:and 15). What caused Him to do the first, and what caused Him to do the second. What insight does this give into the principles of God’s dealings with His people? Cf. Ps. 34:12-18; 103:8-14; 2Ch. 7:13, 14.
- Compare and contrast Othoniel and Ehud, both in their achievements and their methods. What quality was present in both men which enabled God to use them? Cf. 2 Ch. 16:91
27 May, 2016
Study 2 From the Book of Judges is: Judges 2:6 – 3:6
- Backsliding, judgment, deliverance, renewed backsliding—trace this unvarying cycle in the history of the period, as summed up in this section. What sort of spiritual life corresponds to this in the life of the individual? Cf. Col. 3:5, 6; Rev. 3:1-3.
- What may we learn from 2:7, 10 and 3:6 concerning the importance of (a) Christian example? B) Christian teaching of the young, and (c) Christian marriage? Cf. Mt. 5:13; Dt. 6:6, 7; Eph. 6:4; 1Cor. 7:39 (last clause); 2 Cor. 6:14.
26 May, 2016
Study 1 From the Book of Judges is: Judges 1:1 - 2:5
The many parallels between this chapter and the book of Joshua show that it is a valuable supplementary account of the conquest. It deals with events after the main victories had been gained, when the tribes had dispersed to attempt the occupation of their allocated territory. The opening words of the book, “after the death of Joshua”, do not necessarily relate to the events of the first chapter, but are a general title to the complete book of Judges.
1. Judah began well. Why did they fail to complete their task? Ought their advance to have been checked by ‘chariots of iron’? Cf. Dt.20:1; Jos.17:16-18; Jdg. 4:13-15; Mt. 9:29; Heb. 11:33.
2. Notice the general movement from south to north in chapter 1. Can you document a corresponding deterioration in the situation as the chapter progresses?
3. What charge did the angel of the Lord bring against Israel? What were the consequences of their failure? What may we learn from this concerning the folly of compromise? Cf. Heb. 12:14-17; Rom. 6:16.
25 May, 2016
Study 0 From the Book of Judges is: The Introduction of the Book of Judges
The author of the book of Judges is not known. The most likely date for the completion of the book is during the reign of David or the early part of Solomon’s reign (observe the favourable attitude to the monarchy implied in 19:1; 21:25).
The book opens with an introductory section, in two parts. The first (1:1-2:5) gives extracts from a history of the conquests, stressing the failure of many of the tribes to possess their ‘lots’. It also tells how they were rebuked by the angel of the Lord. The second (2:6-3:7) show the failing away after Joshua’s death and provides a summary of the salient features of the period. The main portion of the book (3:8-16:31) gives the history of the judges, of whom twelve are mentioned, namely, Othoniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephtah, Ibazan, Elon, Abdon and Samson. It will be noted that the usurper Abimelech is not included. Six of the twelve judges (Othoniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Jephtah, and Samson) receive extended mention, whilst the other six are little more than named (for which reason they are sometimes referred to as ‘the minor judges’). The final section of the book (17:1-21:25). Narrates two instances of the moral and religious declension which characterized the period of the judges. The apostasy, lawlessness and immorality which they reveal are a vivid witness to a situation when ‘every man did what was right in his own eyes’ (17:6; 21:25).
The book bears testimony to the faithfulness of God, showing both His righteousness and His enduring mercy. It contains some memorable examples of faith, and reveals also the hideous blackness of human sin. There is also much instructive teaching in it on the workings of God’s providence, especially in regard to the instruments which He can use in the working out of His purposes.