Texts: Judges 19-21
In a Nutshell: Closing out Judges we see a lot of dysfunctional patterns resulting in a lot of impulsive reactions and eventually causing profound regrets. This is the typical end result to a community that refuses to put God in the center of their hearts, minds and actions. There are extreme reactions which erode trust, accentuates grief and compounds problems. It becomes apparent that God’s leaders are ignoring godly family values, community leaders live selfishly and there is a clear lack of respect for human life and spiritual authority. “Cool heads no longer prevail!”
Ice Breaker: Can you recall a fast decision made and executed but proved to become an over-reaction and ended up complicating the lives of those around you?”
CONNECTING WITH THE TEXT:
- How many times does it say in Judges that Israel didn't have a King? Is this a statement of a problem, or a symptom? (see 1 Sam 8:7-8) What other cultural commentary is provided in each context? Judges 17:6; 18:7; 19:1
- Is it politically correct to call people “worthless fellows?” 19:22
- What was wrong with the men of the city wanting to get to “know” the Levite? 19:22 (see also Gen. 19:5,8; Jude 7;
- Was it good that the Levite “divided, limb by limb” the concubine? (19:29) Was it good that Israel “assembled as one man to the Lord?” 20:1 Was it good that the nation of Israel reacted as they did in Judges 20:8-11?
- Was it good that the nation of Israel reacted as they did in Judges 21:1? (21:8-24)
REFLECTING ON YOUR LIFE:
- Have you ever wondered what good it is to try to do right when the whole community is a mess? Read Judges 19:12-21 and reflect on how one person can make a difference today.
- Why would a “Levite” (apparent man of God) allow such treatment of a woman? Have you ever heard or known of an apparently “Godly man” abuse or severely mistreat a woman or children?
- How do we balance the reality that God could prevent such abuse and yet he allows us to see the consequences of choosing sin?
- What do patterns of dysfunction, disrespect, defiance look like in our community? In our church?
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHURCH:
- How would you expect the Elders/Ministers of our church to react if such a thing happened in our community/church as we see in Judges 19:22-30? Remember that it was Israelites (church members) that committed these crimes?
- What is an over-reaction to sins in the church of perversion and/or disregard for human life? What might be an under-reaction?
Title: “Samson’s Warning"
Text: 1 Samuel 8
Questions: Why was Samuel upset? What was Samuel told to do? Was Samuel completely innocent in this situation?
Parents with your children:
Discuss with your children how the American President is and isn't different from the ancient government of a King? What does it look like when someone “rejects God” as their king?