Wives For the Benjamites (Judges 21)

Scripture Text:

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Judges 21

Questions:

1. What experience have you had with “match-making”?

2. In your social circles, is it always “boy-ask-girl”, or can women also ask men for dates? Are there enough to go around? Or is the deck stacked? Which way? How come?

3. Israel is warring one moment. Then vowing and weeping the next moment. What does this tell you about the fickleness of human nature? The foolishness of war? The seriousness of vows? The bonds of the Covenant?

4. Is Israel to be commended or criticized for making this vow? What about for keeping this vow, once it is made?

5. In all this, where is God?

  • keeping their feet to the fire?
  • letting them off the hook?
  • hearing their complaints?

6. What will result from this seizure at Shiloh (see 1 Samuel 9:20 -24)? What does that tell you about God’s providence or sovereignty?

7. With 20 – 20 hindsight, how do you view some of the reckless things you’ve said and done in the past? Do you “shoot-first-ask-questions-later”? Or do you have “foot-in-mouth” disease? What did Israel have?

8. Israel felt like one of its own members had been “cut off” (see Revelation 7:4 – 8; where Benjamin is still missing). Where are you feeling “cut off” these days from your past roots? From your future inheritance? From your current family?

9. Where do you go to ask God, “why is this happening to me?” How would you like God to intervene?

10. What bottom-line slogan sums up your understanding of the book of Judges? Where do you feel judged by the object lessons? Where do you feel encouraged by the Judge who delivers His people every time?

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The Israelites Punish the Benjamites (Judges 20)

Scripture Text:

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Judges 20

Questions:

1. Are you more motivated to act by a clarion “call to arms” or by a “war protest” movement? What does that say about you?

2. What large, united gathering is most memorable to you?

  • Some rock concert
  • Sporting event
  • Memorial service
  • Or what?

3. Who are you? A person who would rather “switch than fight” or “fight than switch”? Give an example.

4. What initially motivated Israel to fight the Benjaminites? Revenge? Justice? Adventure? Combat pay? Or what?

5. Why didn’t the Benjamites simply turn over the guilty and thus avoid a bloodbath? What does the Benjaminites’ response tell us about them?

6. How do you think this civil war affected God?

7. What point is God trying to make in allowing the Israelites to fail in their first two attacks?

8. Read Genesis 49:27, where Jacob blesses the tribe of Benjamin, along with his other sons. In what sense has that blessing now come true?

9. What intra-family, in-house or inter-church battles have your fought recently? What are you still battling today?

10. Where in your life does God seem to be less than willing to answer a prayer in the way you want it answered? Think about when God says, “wait”, “maybe” or “no”. How do you handle that? What change on your part is called for?

11. When in the past five years have you experienced the power of unity, of being “one” with a group of people? Would you say such unity characterizes your church?

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A Levite and His Concubine (Judges 19)

Scripture Text:

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Judges 19

Questions:

1. When you travel as a family, do you rough it, go first class or stay with friends?

2. Who is your favorite relative to visit? Why?

3. Have you ever “left home without it”? What would “it” be (in your case)?

4. What are some possible reasons why the father kept asking the Levite to stay longer (verses 4 – 10)?

5. It is the Near Eastern custom to be hospitable to strangers. How hospitable were the people of Gibeah? How does that compare with the people of your community?

6. Sodom and Gomorrah revisited!  Compare and contrast what happened here to Genesis 19. What do you make of the frightening parallels?

7. Why would the old man offer two women (even his own virgin daughter) and not the Levite whom he had only met that night? Why would he offer to send out anyone at all?

8. Assess the passive and reactive behavior of the Levite. What do you like about him? What do you dislike about him?

9. What could have motivated the Levite to send a piece of the concubine’s body to each tribe of Israel (chapter 19:29ff; Judges 20:1; 1 Samuel 11:7)?

10. Would a king on the throne of Israel have prevented this, or at least punished, this kind of evil?

11. Judging from last year’s social calendar, how would you rate in terms of showing hospitality? Welcoming? Tolerant? Reluctant? Resentful? Give an example.

12. What evil or inhumane situation in the world especially galls you? What might God be calling you to do about that?

13. What can you do about the homeless or the violent crimes in the city near where you live?

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