- chaos (Judges 17-18)
- A religion of our making (17:1-13)
- The of self-made religion (18:1-31)
- chaos (Judges 19-21)
- immorality (19:1-30)
- vengeance (20:1-48)
- Recovering pure religion and biblical morality
- Make God your
- Follow God’s
- Read Judges 17. What kind of religious chaos do you observe? What did Micah and/or his mother do right? What did they wrong?Tim Keller says, “[When we have a] God that fits our culture’s sensibilities, then we, like Micah’s family, are reshaping God to fit our society and hearts instead of letting God reshape our hearts and society.”
- Read Judges 18. How is a religion of our own making unreliable? How did the Danites take everything from Micah?
- Why can’t we make God what we want him to be? Or do things our way? Barry Webb says, “We are beginning to see the kind of situation that develops when there is no center to hold a society together and no generally accepted standard to which its members adhere.”
- Barry Webb explains the problem with idolatry, “Instead of being an expression of thanks to God and humble submission to him, idolatry nearly always becomes a means of trying to manipulate him to either ward off evil or get what we want from him. It dishonors God by making him less than he is and distorting our true relationship with him.”How do people tend to do this today? How have you found yourself doing this today?
- The shrine the Danites created in Laish/Dan in the time of the Judges turned out to be the precursor to the infamous sanctuary that Jeroboam later established there when the northern tribes broke away and formed a separate kingdom after the time of David and Solomon (read 1 Kings 12, especially v. 25–30).Micah’s legacy ended up being an idolatry that infected the whole nation and eventually led to its destruction!
- Read Judges 19. In what ways is moral chaos seen in the actions of the Levite? In the actions of the old man? In the actions of the evil men? Barry Webb reflects: “The story of the Levite and his concubine shows us the kind of society we finally get when ‘everyone [does] what [is] right in his own eyes’ (21:25). It is not a community of glorious freedom, and certainly not one of love. It is a chaotic and cruel society in which everything that is worst in human nature comes to the fore, where the institutions that should give order and deliver justice fail, where everyone suffers, and women in particular are abused.”How in our culture has sexual immorality been portrayed as “glorious freedom”? What is your defense against this claim biblically and practically?
- Read Judges 20. In v. 18 the Israelites inquired of God who should go fight first. Barry Webb points out:“It is the same question Israel asked at the very beginning of the book and receives a similar response (1:1, 2). But there Israel was united; here they are divided. There they were fighting Canaanites; here they are fighting one another. There they were acting on orders they had been given by Joshua; here they are acting under the influence of the devious Levite. And most significantly, there they were promised victory; here they are not.”
- How do the Israelites exact violent vengeance in Judges 20? How could they have done things differently? 8. If someone has sinned against us, we are instructed to forgive them. Read Ephesians 4:32. Why should we forgive one another? Forgiveness is: NOT bring the wrong up with the person NOT bring it ups with others NOT bring it up in your own thoughtsWhich of these three are most difficult for you?
- Read Judges 21. How do the men treat women badly? How is their treatment of people (especially women) an example of dehumanization?
- Daniel Block says, “[The Bible promotes] male headship not as a position of power but one of responsibility, in which the leader sacrifices himself for the well-being of the led. In the Book of Judges this pattern is reversed. Repeatedly women and children are sacrificed for males."
- How can you better make God your King this week?
- Read Matthew 22:34-40. Which command is greatest (or most important)? How will you obey this commandment this week? How will you treat other people as image bearers this week?