Questions to Consider
1. The passages in last week’s lesson (lesson 2, link above), and today’s lesson are, in essence, parts 1 & 2 of the introduction to Judges. Review lesson 2. As you’re studying today’s lesson, consider how it hinges upon last week’s lesson.
2. Compare 2:6-10 to 1:1, with regard to Joshua. Explain the function of 2:6-10 at the beginning of today’s passage when it’s clear from 1:1 that Joshua is already dead. (Note the Hebrew tendency to sometimes favor grouping concepts or topics together instead of writing in a linear, chronological order.) Skim back over 1:1-26, and briefly explain who “the elders who outlived Joshua” (2:7) and “all that generation” (2:10) were. How does 2:6-10 transition us from the era of Joshua to the era of the judges?
3. How does 2:10 explain 2:11-13? How does 2:11-15 fulfill 2:1-3? Explain in your own words how the Canaanite gods became a snare to Israel. Do you think, when the Israelites were worshiping those gods, that they felt, or considered themselves ensnared?
Have you ever made an idol of something in your life – perhaps your marriage, your children, your job, your popularity, your looks, even a ministry you were involved in? When you were engaged in that sin of idolatry, did you feel, or consider yourself ensnared? Explain how idolatry can deceive a person into not even realizing she’s ensnared, and how this relates to, and shows us the importance of, the first two Commandments.
4. Compare 2:14-15 with 1 John 4:8, and explain how and why these passages do not conflict with one another. (Try to figure it out on your own first, but if you’re hopelessly stuck, click here for a hint.)
5. Judges 2:16-23 is sort of a “CliffsNotes” of the rest of the book. In your own words, make a step by step outline of the pattern of sin and repentance Israel repeated throughout the era of the judges. Do you see any similarities between Israel’s pattern of sin and repentance and your own? Any differences?
When this passage refers to “Israel/they/them,” do you think it means every single individual alive in Israel at the time, or does it mean the vast majority of Israel? In other words, even in Israel’s darkest days of idolatry, were there a few Israelites who remained faithful to God? (Keep this question in mind as we continue to study Judges.) Do you see any similarities between the majority of Israel in this passage, and the majority of the visible church today?
6. How does 2:16-23, and, indeed, the whole book of Judges, point us to Jesus, the perfect judge who permanently saves?
7. In 2:21-3:6, God speaks of testing Israel. How did He test them? Why did He test them? Did they pass or fail the test? Read these passages. Does God test Christians today? How does He test Christians? Why does He test Christians? Did God test Israel, or Christians today, because He doesn’t know how they will respond to the test and He needs to find out?
- Now that you’ve worked through parts 1 and 2 (lessons 2 and 3) of the introduction to Judges, outline or describe the way these two parts fit together. How does foundational disobedience (part 1) beget further disobedience (part 2)?
- Review what you learned in #7. Looking back over your life, can you recall a time when God was testing you? Did you pass or fail the test? How did God use that test to grow you and strengthen your faith? Repent of any way in which you failed that test, and give God the glory for any way in which you were able to be obedient to Him in that test. During your prayer time this week, ask God to help you look at the trials in your life as tests of your faithfulness and ask Him to strengthen you to pass those tests and to grow you through those tests.