Our church is doing a twelve-week sermon series through the book of Judges called: "Flawed Heroes." We are studying the Old Testament book for a couple reasons. One is that Judges is a book of flawed heroes and none of us are perfect. The book reminds us that God is the divine hero of the story. Judges is a period of transition for Israel, a transition from God as their leader to a monarchy. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.
Small Group Questions ::: Deborah ::: Judges 4-5
The story of the Judges continues with Deborah. Deborah is the first, and only, female judge that God called to lead Israel. You might not have expected to see a female judge but here we have a great leader of Israel. Let me point out two positions Deborah holds in Israel. A prophet is one who speaks for the Lord. I always think of the prophet as a mouthpiece of God. She was a mouthpiece for God. She was also a judge; she was leading Israel. Another word for Judge, at this time in Israel, was leader. As we study this book remember that she was the only judge who ruled without a sword. Pay special attention Judges 5 and the song of praise Israel sings to the Lord
1) Neal opened the sermon with a story about the late Maya Angelou talking about courage. Think of how you’ve developed courage in your life. What are some of the steps that you took to develop courage? Who helped along that journey?
2) Once again we see the downward spiral of defeat (read Judges 4:1-3). What sin do you feel like you continue to circle back to? What practice do you need to put in place to avoid that sin and find victory? (see 1 Peter 2:11 for encouragement).
3) God sends a deliver to Israel but not the person we might have imaged. Deborah leads as a mother (Judges 5:7) and not warrior. Deborah held two roles in Israel: Prophet (mouthpiece of God) and Judge. Where has God invited you to have a role of speaking God’s truth?
4) Initially Barak was hesitant to enter the battle (Judges 4:8) but subsequently had the confidence to obey Deborah (Judges 4:14). Share about a time you were scared to do something but learned to trust the Lord. Do you have trouble trusting God?
5) God is the ultimate hero of the book of Judges. He routed the enemy (Judges 4:15 and 5:4-5) and saved Israel; all they had to do was trust God. Read Psalm 20:7, Proverbs 3:5-6, and Romans 15:13. What are the benefits of trusting God?
6) Judges 5 is a song about the faithfulness of God. Israel literally sung the praises of the Lord. Have you used your voice to praise the Lord lately? Scripture teaches us about praising God all our strength (Psalm 96:1, James 3:9, and 1 Peter 2:9).
7) The conclusion of the life of Deborah is a reminder of God’s faithfulness to us (read Judges 5:31). Israel had peace for forty years. Where do you long for God to bring you peace in your life? What battle needs to be won so you can live in that peace?
Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline this week