community group studies
In Judges 17.1-18.31, the tribe of Dan goes off the rails by making up their own conquest after stealing the cult leader of a newly created religion. Without godly leadership, God's people bring about their own ruin.
In Judges 16.1-31, we see the aftermath of Samson’s vengeance on the Philistines as he continues to pursue Philistine women. Although he has unbelievable strength, his appetites expose his weaknesses that are exploited by his enemies. It is only when he blind that he begins to see how blessed he’s been. Our appetites can blind us to our most obvious blessings.
Lust, greed, wrath, and irreverence - not what we expect that God would use for His glory. In Judges 14.1-15.20, we see how God uses Samson's attraction to a Philistine women and the rest of his obvious flaws in order to judge the Philistines. God uses our shortcomings to accomplish His saving purposes.
In Judges 13.1-25, God announces to Manoah and his wife that they will give birth to a son. As Manoah prays to hear more, God answers his prayer and reveals His fatherly grace. God graciously fathers his wayward children.
As we all change in an ever changing world, what determines how we change? In Judges 10.1-12.15, we observed in the story of Jephthah that we become like what we worship.
In Judges 8.33-9.57, Gideon dies and his son Abimelech plots his way become the first king of Israel. His quest for power is insatiable and leaves 70 of his brothers dead in the aftermath. His only surviving brother Jotham calls out the wickedness of Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem for what they did, and his prophetic parable against them becomes a reality. Unfortunately, we have the same spiritual DNA as Abimelech and we all have the potential to be as selfish him. Therefore, we have much to learn from his story - selfishness is the essence of idolatry.
In Judges 8:1-35, we saw the aftermath of Gideon's victory over the Midianites. He was criticized by some, and idealized by others. His response to success didn't lead to further success. Our success does not guarantee our future success.
For Easter, we looked at the Emmaus Road experience described in Luke 24:13-15. Even with the resurrected Jesus with them, these two disciples forgot the identity of Jesus and the gospel. We are always in danger of losing the gospel, that is why we always need to hear it.
In Judges 6.33-7.25, we see how God strengthened Gideon's certainty about the mission while shrinking his army to combat the Midianites. God displays His power in our weakness.
In Judges 4-5, we learn from the example of Deborah and Barak that godly leadership is a channel of God's grace.
In our third message on the Book of Judges, we read how God used Othniel, Ehud, & Shamgar to judge and save Israel from their oppression. In these stories we learned how God revives His people by returning them to the roots of His grace.
Last we saw the mission fail of Israel to drive out the inhabitants of the promised land, but this week we get to see why. Idolatry keep's God's people from God's mission.
In our introduction to our series on the book of Judges entitled "Vicious Circle", we see the strong mission success of Israel to start, but then we see it come to a grinding halt. What happened? Why did they fail? It is easier to start our mission than it is to stay on mission.