The Shepherd’s Love - Lesson 22
Apathy, Compromise and Defeat
The Book of Judges
In the Book of Judges we see God's mercy and faithfulness and also His awesome corrective discipline toward His beloved people who chose to turn from Him and did “what was right in their own eyes." We are made aware of the terrible consequences of apathy and compromise.
God has called us, like Israel, to be His Holy people living in wholehearted commitment and dependence on Him. Let us stand together so firmly in the principles and truths of His Word - for truly the world around us wants to squeeze us into its mold, and we must not allow it.
Lord, only by Your grace can we walk in victory. Train our hands for battle and our hearts for uncompromising loyalty and zeal for You and Your ways alone. Thank you, precious Father and King!
I. Read Deuteronomy 30:15-20. Take time to pray for God's insights into the message.
A. Describe the two choices God gives His people and state the consequences of each.
B. We, too, have a choice. (Matt. 6:24, John 1:12, I John 5:10-12) What do you choose?
II. Read Judges 1
A. Where do you see the obedience of Israel and the resulting victory?
B. Where do you see compromise and apathy toward God's commandments?
C. What are the consequences of apathy, compromise and disobedience?
D. Read Rev. 2:2-5 and 3:14-20. What is God saying to you?
III. Read Judges 2:1-5
A. Who brought the message of vs. 1-3?
B. What had God promised concerning His covenant with His people?
C. State the warning in v. 2. How then are we to treat sin (an enemy) in our lives?
D. In v. 3 we see one awesome consequence of disobedience. What is it?
IV. Read Judges 2:6-23.
A. While Joshua lives, "the people served the Lord." What happened after he died?
B. Verses 12-23 describe a cycle of sin and deliverance that characterized the Israelites for a period of 300 - 350 years. State the key phrases describing this cycle in:
1. vs. 11-13
2. vs. 14-15
3. vs. 16-18
4. vs. 19-23
V. Notice the cycle of sin in each column below. Fill in the appropriate verse(s) reference in each space. Include also the name of the deliverer and the number of years of peace.
3:4-11 3:12-30 4 and 5:31 6-7, 8:28 10:6 – 11:1; 12:7 Sin Defeat Distress Cry To God Deliverer Years of Peace
What insights did God give you as you completed this chart? (Could you identify with any part of it?)
VI. Read Deuteronomy 6:10-12
A. Summarize the warning given here.
B. What did they actually do? (See Ps. 106:13, 21 and 34-36)
C. (Personal) Apply this warning to yourself. What do you tend to forget? (Remember Rom. 6:4-11 and I Pet. 2:9) At what times do you most easily forget?
VII. Read Judges 17:6 and 21:25
A. What is the tragic message given and repeated here?
B. (Personal) Does this message describe any area of your heart or life? How can you know, and what can you do about it? (See Psalm 119:1-2, 9-16 and 101-105)
VIII. God's word commands us to give thanks in everything. (Eph. 5:20, Col. 2:6-7, Heb. 13:15) As we give Him thanks and praise, we acknowledge His goodness and faithfulness and are filled with the continual awareness that He is our provider, our sufficiency, our strength, our Life ... Praise and thanks is the greatest antidote to apathy toward God. So let us praise Him and give Him thanks as we read Psalm 103.
SUGGESTED HYMN: Dear Lord and Father
Next: Lesson 23: God’s Faithful Servant
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