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 ::: A People with no King ::: Judges 19-21
The conclusion of the book of Judges is one of the most gruesome chapters in all of Scripture. We read about a woman who treated as an object and lost her life. Her marriage to her husband should be shocking to us in the fact that he was a Levite. Her death led to a civil war in Israel which lead to more sin. It is interesting that such horrific events are what united Israel to work in unity for the first time since Judges 3. The story reads like Israel was trying to solve their sin problem with a sin problem. The conclusion of Judges is like being stuck in a dark tunnel and feeling very hopeless. The story is meant to leave us longing for a hero without flaws. The book of Judges is intended to push our eyes, and heart, to the New Testament to find Jesus. We need a better leader than what has been presented. We need an eternal King!
1) We’ve all been in dark times in our lives. Neal shared a story about his brother-in-law going on a cruise for his honeymoon and the trip being a total failure. Share about a vacation that went bad but had a highlight at the very end.
2) Read Judges 191:-8, 20-30. How did this story get so bad so quickly? The vile actions of what took place are completely against God’s will. How does God want us to treat each other? (Read 2 Thessalonians 3:13 and 1 Corinthians 10:24)
3) The Levite stretched the story to get revenge on the offenders (read Judges 20:1-7). How did his stretching the truth impact God’s people? What would happen if we stopped telling stories that paint us as the hero and reveal more of the truth?
4) Neal gave us a crash course on forgiveness. Read Matthew 18:21-35. In the parable Jesus tells us about the lavish love of God that offered forgiveness to a man who didn’t deserve it. How can we act more like God in forgiving others?
5) Read Judges 20:43-48. The people of Israel not only engaged in battle but practiced genocide by killing so many people in their rage. How does the darkness of this passage, and the evil nature of mankind, push us to Jesus?
6) In Judges 21, God’s people made a number of unwise vows that hurt more people. (read Judges 21:15-25). How have you seen sin lead to more sin?
7) The book of Judges is filled with flawed heroes. Turn to the New Testament and talk about how Jesus came to save us. (see Matthew 1:21, John 10:9-10, Acts 4:11-12, Romans 5:6-10, and 1 Corinthians 1:18). Who can you share this message with?
Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline this week