Here are some of the key message of the book of Judges:
– God is the true hero and he sends Jesus to give us rest from our enemies.
– God uses unexpected people to do unexpected things.
– Each generation must remember God for themselves.
– God sometimes sends adversity to help us remember him.
– God judges those who are disloyal to him.
– God has mercy of those who repent.
– Everyone doing as they see fit creates an ugly, horrible society in which ‘might is right’.
– True freedom is found in living under God’s rule.
Telling the stories of the book of Judges
In our church we are planning to adopt a story-telling approach to the book of the Judges.
The book was a collection of stories already being told within Israel and was probably written to help people retell those stories. We still need to work hard at understanding the stories so that we can retell them properly and bring out their meaning in the retelling. We also need to work hard to retell them in ways that are true to the text and capture people’s imaginations.
Our plan is to tell the story and then encourage people to retell the story to one another in groups so that the story is firmly fixed in peoples minds.
We are also planning to use the following set of questions for discussion:
1. What questions do you have about the story?
2. Can you see any similarities with other stories in Judges?
3. How do we see the pattern of human disloyalty leading to God’s judgment?
4. How do we see the pattern of human repentance leading to God’s mercy?
5. What do we learn about human nature in this story?
6. What do we learn about God in this story?
7. Is there anything in this story that points to Jesus or shows our need for Jesus?
8. Are there any links to our stories? How are we like the Israelites?
9. How does the story challenge or encourage you?
10. How does this story help us understand what it mean to walk in God’s ways?
11. When might you tell this story to a Christian?
12. When might you tell this story to an unbeliever?