Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Incomplete,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the first part of our series, “Flawed Heroes” from the book of Judges. This week we looked at Judges 1:1-2:5.
- This weekend at Eastbrook Church we begin a new series entitled “Flawed Heroes” on the Old Testament book of Judges. As we start the series, we will begin by studying Judges 1:1-2:5. Whether you are on your own or with a small group, begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak to you through His word, and then read the passage aloud.
- Background: The book of Judges follows the book of Joshua, recounting the victories and struggles of God’s people as they enter the Promised Land in fulfillment of God’s promises. The first two chapters present the central problem of the book, which is that the people have not fully obeyed God’s instructions about how to live in this new land (see Joshua 23). Because of the tension created by this incomplete obedience, God’s people are constantly facing pressure from surrounding people groups. Because of this God raises up deliverers (‘judges’) to set them free. The book is not arranged chronologically but serves as a thematic, historical bridge between the time of Moses and Joshua and the time of the kings, like Saul and David, thus serving as one part of the great history that runs from Deuteronomy through 2 Kings.
- Each of the twelve tribes of Israel was apportioned areas of land by Joshua (see Joshua 13-21). Judges 1:1-19 chronicles the conquering work of the tribe of Judah, including a special story about Caleb and his family. Would you describe the work of Judah as successful or unsuccessful? Why?
- Now look at 1:20-36. How would you describe the efforts of the rest of the tribes (Benjamin, Ephraim, Manasseh, Zebulun, Asher, Naphtali, Dan) as they seek to obey God’s call to enter the Promised Land?
- One of the great challenges of the book of Judges is the violence and death involved in the Israelites entering the Promised Land. Many have struggled with how a God who is good could ask the Israelites to drive out the other peoples of the land, even devoting them to destruction. This is a very difficult issue and we should wrestle with it. It is important to remember that God was patient with the Canaanites (Genesis 15:13,16), but as time progressed their abominable practices required judgment (Leviticus 18:25; Deuteronomy 9:4-5; 20:18). Throughout His work with Israel, God is transforming cultural norms within the world and introducing redemptive ethical standards (Genesis 12:1-3; Deuteronomy 7:6-11; Psalm 106:7-8).
- Reread Judges 2:1-5. What was the work of God for the people according to verse 1? What was the instruction of God according to verse 2? What was the result according to verse 3? How did the people respond in verses 4-5?
- When have you experienced God’s addressing an area of disobedience or wrong in your life? How did you respond to Him in that place?
- As the book of Judges continues we will see that this revival at the beginning of chapter 2 is short-lived. The cycle of disobedience, decline, repentance, and restoration returns again and again throughout these chapters. Take some time on your own or with a group to pray that you and other believers may have hearts that are turned toward the Lord. Pray for true revival in our lives and in our land.
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This past weekend at Eastbrook we began a new series, “Flawed Heroes” based on the book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible. With this first message, I introduced the series, looked at chapter one, and then took a bit of time to address the question of what we do with God and violence in the Bible.
You can watch the message here, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.
Incomplete Entry (Joshua 23:6-8; Judges 1:1-2)
Incomplete Obedience (Judges 1:3-36)
Interlude: What About God and Violence in the Old Testament?
Incomplete Revival (Judges 2:1-5)
Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Remember,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This was a stand-alone message from Joshua 4:1-24.
- What are some of your strongest memories from childhood? Why do they stand out to you?
- This weekend is a family worship weekend at Eastbrook Church. We are looking at Joshua 4:1-24 and the idea of remembering what God has done in our lives. Whether you are on your own or with a small group, begin your study in prayer, ask God to speak to you through His word, and then read Joshua 4:1-24 aloud.
- In Joshua 4:1-7, what does God ask of the people and Joshua? What is the significance of this action, according to Joshua in verses 6-7?
- The people obey God through Joshua in verse 8. Joshua then sets up a pile of stones in the midst of the Jordan River. This is different from what the people were commanded to do in verses 5-7 and which the people will do in verse 20. Why do you think this was important in the midst of the river?
- In verses 10-18 God works a miracle. What is it? Why is it important for the people to see God’s miraculous provision as they enter the Promised Land?
- When have you prayed that God would show you what to do and that He is with you? How did He answer those prayers?
- With verses 19-24, the writer recounts the people’s completed action of piling up of the stones near the city of Gilgal. What additional reasoning is given to the people for this in these verses?
- Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 27:2. How does the activity in Joshua 4 fulfill the instructions in Deuteronomy? Why was this important for the people then?
- How might we help the next generation remember the wonderful truth and works of God in our lives?
- What is one significant thing that God is speaking to you through this weekend’s study? With your small group, family, or friends take time to share ‘stones of remembrance’ with one another. Maybe you want to actually make a physical pile of stones together as you do it. If you are on your own, you may want to write some of these things down and then share your thoughts with someone later.
This past weekend at Eastbrook Church we had a Family Worship Weekend, where all of our kids, students, and adults are present for all services. In the midst of a joyful service of worship, I led us into a look at Joshua 4:1-24 with a message entitled “Remember.” It’s an interesting passage about the people of God crossing into the Promised Land via the Jordan River and two pillars of stone that are erected as a visual reminder of God’s work and their calling.
You can watch the message here, following along with the outline below. The video begins with a children’s message before continuing into the rest of the message. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.
God is Doing Something
We’re Joining in with God
Remember in the Middle
Remember on the Other Side
I continued our series “Risky Faith” this weekend at Eastbrook with a message on Hannah from 1 Samuel 1 called “Ordinary Offerings.” The main point of the message is that risky faith begins in our ordinary circumstances when we see God do extraordinary things with His presence and power.
You can listen to my message online at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also follow Eastbrook Church on Twitter. I’ve included the outline for the message below:
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