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  • Cornerstone Church

The Breaking Point Again and Again

A "judge" was a "tribal chief" that God used to deliver Israel at distinct moments. The first 3 Judges are short examples, and the last 3 are longer stories. Gideon is the first of the longer narratives. Gideon will be an instrument for delivering the Israelites, but will set the stage for idolatry and bloody infighting. The overall theme to Judges is the people becoming disobedient, God using another people group to punish the Israelites, the Israelites crying out, and God delivering through a judge. However, the devolving pattern will become very evident this week as both the judges and the people become more and more morally corrupt. If there was any hope of Israel becoming a good witness to the nations, it is quickly fading. The farther the leaders and the people go from God, the more evil and outrageous their acts of disobedience and sometimes attempts at obedience become. A generation or two later from Moses and Joshua, and the people of Israel seem almost indistinguishable from their neighbors. This week and next will contain some of the most disturbingly evil accounts in the Old Testament so far. These events keep reinforcing the Big Picture, which is the necessity for divine intervention if humanity is going to have any hope.


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 22


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, what is impacting you the most? Was there a word, phrase, Bible verse, or theme that impacted you?



Read Genesis 1:27-28. God desired a world of image bearers in a physical/material realm. What was man’s task? Read Exodus 19:5-6. God’s desire is to show His glory through Israel, through blessing or discipline. What is Israel supposed to be? Read Judges 21:25. What is the problem that is stated here, as well as shown through the history recorded in the book of Judges? Read Deuteronomy 28:1. What will happen if Israel shows obedience? Read Deuteronomy 29:24-25. What will happen if Israel shows disobedience?

Read Judges 6:27. Gideon was introduced last week as a man who struggled with cowardice, but God graciously helped for His purposes. Read Judges 7:9-11 for an example. Read Judges 8:22-23. How does Gideon honor the Lord? Read Judges 8:27. What does Gideon’s making of a status symbol, or the Ephod, lead to?

Read Judges 8:30. How was Gideon disobedient to God’s design? (see Genesis 2:24, Deuteronomy 17:17). Read Judges 8:31-35. What son is listed here? What name is Gideon also called? This name will be used in the story of Abimelech in chapter 9. What god did the Israelites begin to serve? From what ‘house’ or treasury was Abimelech paying ‘worthless’ and reckless fellows according to Judges 9:4? What did they do in Judges 9:5? The only surviving son, Jotham, issues a curse in Judges 9:20-21. How are these events ended according to Judges 9:55-57? How was Gideon/Jerubbaal a vehicle for good and harm to the Israelites?

Read Judges 11:1. How is Jephthah described? Read Judges 11:30-31, 34-35, 39. Read Deuteronomy 18:9-14. What practice was abominable to the LORD that Jephthah performed? What does this say about Jephthah’s knowledge of the LORD? Read Judges 16:20. Samson is known for his strength, but what was he not aware of that allowed him to be captured? Where did Samson’s strength come from?

Read Judges 17:6, 18:1, 19:1. What phrase do these verses have in common? Read Judges 19:30. How were the people of Israel confronted with the debauchery they had tolerated in their midst? How are these actions in contrast to God’s expectations in Exodus 19:5-6?


Do you see a downward spiral developing in Judges? What's the hope found in this downward spiral for your life?

How have you been reminded of Jesus in the reading of Judges this week? Has anything reminded you of scripture in the New Testament?


How has the story in Judges been shocking so far, or have you noticed something in the text you previously had not?


Judges is full of war, evil, and politics. How does Christ’s love shape how you communicate about difficult topics? How are you at being able to communicate the truth of the gospel and Christ on emotionally charged topics?


Read Judges 17:13. What did Micah expect because of hiring his own personal priest? Read 18:18-20, 31. How does Micah’s expectations from Judges 17:13 help explain why he would have idols also? How do you handle the anxiety in your life? What are the gods that you are tempted to turn to instead of finding rest in God’s provision for you?


This week's reading plan included some familiar stories, and some unfamiliar stories. Some stories were truly heart-wrenching, disgusting, and morally bankrupt. Samson is a well-known story. A strongman who loses his strength due to pride and disobedience to his Nazirite vow and ultimately the LORD. Micah hires a Levite out of convenience, rather than worshiping at the place of the LORD's choosing. Gideon who is a coward, seeks his own glory in an Ephod after the Lord brings about the victory. Jephthah the mighty warrior, but is so removed from God he burns his own daughter in a sacrifice in a misplaced and rash vow. The book of Judges repeats over and over that there was “no king” in Israel during this time. We know that the true king would come. A man strong in humility, who provides the way for us to worship in spirit and truth. A man who humbled himself even to death on a cross in obedience to become the sacrifice. Jesus kept the vow we couldn't and secured the victory over sin and death. Jesus is the true King.


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