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  • Cornerstone Church

New Chapter, Old Story


Judges documents the downward spiral of Israel in the promised land. The book repeatedly states that there was “no king in Israel,” and the last verse emphasizes “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” God's people have been unable to be obedient to God on their own. God is revealing the puzzle pieces of redemption slowly over time, first mentioned in Genesis 3:15, a.k.a. the sacred timeline. The people need an ordained king, and God has allowed the need to be made through their disobedience.

Samuel will be introduced to us as the last judge in 1 Samuel. He is a transitional figure in God's story, born from a once barren woman. He will be the forerunner preparing the way for the first king of Israel. This week’s readings will end with a man named Saul. He will be announced as the first king of Israel. Between Judges and 1 Samuel is the book of Ruth, a small book recording the way God redeems a family, the nation of Israel, and ultimately points to the redemption for all people through the King of kings, Jesus Christ. God could have divinely intervened in any way to bring about a king from a family, but God chose this way. Ruth is not the great grandmother of Saul, the first king of Israel, but rather of David. Why Saul then? The line of king begins to point to what kind of king Israel needs in order to be God’s people.



Each week, as you take in the Bible, find some friends to talk it out. You can follow this simple guide to help. First, R.E.A.D. and P.R.A.Y. on your own. Then, meet with friends to share what you've learned.


R - Repeated words

E - Examine and mark

A - Ask what you learn about God

D - Do if there is anything to do


P - Praise

R - Repent

A - Ask

Y - Yield 


Bible Plan Reading - Week 23



START IT.

We're reading the Bible together in 2024. Specifically, we're taking a journey into how the story of the Bible unfolded in the Old Testament. If we get the big picture, we get the story the Bible is trying to tell us. From Sunday's message or The Big Picture Bible Reading Plan this week in the book of Judges, Ruth, or 1 Samuel, what is impacting you the most? Was there a word, phrase, Bible verse, or theme that impacted you?


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STUDY IT.

Read Ruth 1:1-4. What nation did Naomi and Elimelech seek security? (go back and re-read Deuteronomy 23:3-6). What nationality was Ruth? How do we know Ruth abandoned her own culture, her hope for husband, and her future for serving Naomi and her God (Ruth 1:16-18)? What does this show about God’s character that a Moabite would be accepted in to God’s family also?


Read Ruth 2:3. What was Ruth doing to provide for Naomi and herself? (go back and re-read Leviticus 19:9-10). What was Boaz’s response in Ruth 2:8-12? What is Naomi’s response in Ruth 2:20? (go back and re-read Deuteronomy 25:5-6 and Leviticus 25:24-25) How is Boaz being a "kinsman redeemer" a picture of Christ restoring His people? Read Ruth 4:14,22. How is Ruth abandoning her own future a picture of Christ? (see Matthew 1:5-6)


Read 1 Samuel 1:7. What was the reason for Hannah’s struggle? Read 1 Samuel 1:20,27-28. What does this say about God’s timing for both Hannah and the nation of Israel during this pivotal period?  What was Samuel’s response to the LORD in 1 Samuel 3:10? How does this stand in contrast to Eli, his sons, and the people of Israel?

 

Read 1 Samuel 3:12-14. What was the reason God judged the house of Eli? How was the house of Eli and the people of God judged for their pride and disregard of the LORD in 1 Samuel 4:11? Who showed reverence for God even if temporary in 1 Samuel 4:7-8, 6:3-6? Read 1 Samuel 6:19-20. What lesson is this generation learning about God’s holiness that they could have already learned from the law?


Read 1 Samuel 8:5-8. Who did Israel want to be like? Who are the people rejecting? Read 1 Samuel 10:23-24. What was the reason they thought Saul would make a good king?  What did Saul do when he was going to be presented to the people in 1 Samuel 10:21-22? What do we see about Saul’s character?



​​SHARE IT.

Which of the 3 books do you see God at work the most: Judges, Ruth, or 1 Samuel? How? What do you find surprising about each book?

 

How does the small, seemingly insignificant book of Ruth encourage you this week?

 

How do you see God pointing Israel to the need of a redeeming king? How are you encouraged by knowing that Jesus is the fulfillment of that need for you and anyone who would believe? What areas do you struggle with allowing Jesus to be king in your life? Is there a difficult habit, relationship, emotion, attitude, belief, or situation that you resist allowing Jesus to speak into or struggle to trust giving it time?


How do you know that Jesus cares for you in that difficult place? How have you seen God work over long periods of time when someone was struggling in this week’s reading? (Ex: Ruth, Hannah)

 

Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 was answered. Which verse/phrase/word stands out to you and encourages you today? Would you be willing to come back to this to remind yourself of God’s faithfulness?



FINAL THOUGHT

Here's an interesting thought: Samuel was described as one who ministered “to” the LORD instead of “for” the LORD (1 Samuel 3:1). What does this mean? Psalm 68:26 states, “Bless God in the great congregation.” God’s people can bless Him whether their job involves the church or not. This is a statement about relational impact rather than just service. Using God for our own purposes does not work. God detested those who treat Him as a good luck charm, such as the Israelites taking the Ark of the Covenant into battle for their own purposes. God accepts all who would worship, bless, believe, hope, and put their faith in the Name above every other name, Jesus Christ. God first drew near to us by sending His son as the sacrifice for His disobedient people. Those who put their faith in Jesus alone, He will not turn away. The King of kings gave up His sinless life on our behalf so that we could call God ‘father’, instead of master.

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