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“the least shall be first”
Judges 1:28-- “And it came to pass, when Israel was strong that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.”
Judges 2:10-- “and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works that He had done for Israel.”
Judges 2:12-- “They forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and provoked the Lord to anger.”
Gideon was a meek farmer from one of the “least tribes”
Gideon became a national hero; prophet; warrior; judge
Gideon means “cutter”
Gideon lacked confidence and had cautious faith
Israel attempts to make Gideon their king…
-- He refuses yet seems to want the worship and recognition!
Vs. 1-- What was the consequence of Israel’s current sin?
How long were they dominated by the Midianites?
*THE MIDIANITES were a nomadic tribe that raided and plundered at will!
Vs. 2-- What effect did the Midianites domination have on Israel?
Vs. 3-- When the crops were ready to be harvested, what other group joined in with the Midianites to steal from Israel?
Vs. 4-5-- What was the purpose of the invasions?
How many bad guys were there?
Vs. 6-- What were the economic consequences for Israel?
Vs. 7-- Israel finally, __________ unto the Lord.
Vs. 8-10 The Lord sent a prophet with a message….
I brought you up out of _____________
I delivered you from the hands of the __________________
I drove out those that oppressed you and gave you their ____________
I told you not to serve the __________ of the _________________
But you have ______ _______________ my voice.
Vs. 11-- Who came to visit Gideon?
Who was Gideon’s father?
What was Gideon doing when the angel showed up?
Vs. 12-- What did the angel call Gideon?
Vs. 13-- Does Gideon believe the Lord is helping Israel?
Where are all the _____________?
Did Gideon know his history?
Vs. 14-- What did the angel say Gideon was going to do?
Vs. 15-- Is Gideon easily convinced?
Vs. 16-- How was Gideon going to accomplish this feat?
Vs. 17-- GIDEON’S LACK OF FAITH SHOWS UP
“show me a ______________”
Vs. 21-- What happened to the meal that was prepared for the angel?
Vs. 22-- Now what is Gideon’s conclusion?
Vs. 23-- The angel is gone and God continues to speak…. ____________ not!
Vs. 24-- What did Gideon name the altar that he built?
Vs. 25-26-- What instructions were Gideon given that very night?
A. Throw down the ___________ of ______________
B. Cut down the ______________
C. ____________ an _____________ unto the Lord
D. Offer the second _______________ as a ______________ sacrifice.
Vs. 27-- How many servants did Gideon take with him?
Why did Gideon tear down the image at night?
Vs. 29-- Did the men of the city find out who was responsible?
Vs. 30-- Where was Gideon hiding out?
vs. 31-- Joash stood to defend his son…
Are you seriously going to stand up for Baal?
If you are defending Baal, you should be put to death.
If Baal is a god, he should be able to defend himself.
Vs. 32-- What name was given to Gideon?
*NOTE: If anything bad happens to Gideon, then the people will know that Baal has gotten his payback. (WHAT ARE THE ODDS?)
Vs. 33-- It was time for the bad guys to assemble, where did they gather?
Vs. 34-- What is the significance of Gideon blowing a trumpet?
*NOTE: The Holy Spirit enables him to have the courage to proceed against the Midianites.
Vs. 35-- What tribes assembled to help Gideon?
______________ ____________ _______________ _____________
Vs. 36-- The fleece test is not recommended because it shows a __________ of faith.
Vs. 37-38-- Test one: Fleece _____________; Ground ____________
Vs. 39-- How do we know that Gideon knows his request shows lack of faith?
Test two: Fleece ______________; Ground ____________.
Vs. 1-- Gideon and his men approach the enemy…the enemy is _____________
(direction) of them.
*NOTICE: Gideon is now referred to as ________________________
Vs. 2-- God explains to Gideon that he has too many ___________.
*NOTICE: No number is given at this point
Why is this a potential problem?
Vs. 3-- What was the first test to eliminate some of the soldiers?
How many people departed early?
How many total people were originally in Gideon’s army?
That is an incredible number of people who were tired of the Midianites domination and were willing (somewhat) to do something about it!
Vs. 4-- God said, “the people are yet ______ many”
Vs. 5-- The next test is the “water” test…
How was Gideon supposed to separate the men?
Vs. 6-- What were the results? LAPPERS-- BOWERS--
Vs. 7-- Which group did God choose?
WHY? Some think it had something to do with awareness and military strategy.
I think…God just chose the smallest group!
Vs. 8-- The men had what two things in their possession?
300 vs. the ____________
Vs. 9-- God told Gideon to go where…the night before the battle?
Vs. 10-- If Gideon was fearful of going alone, who was he to take with him?
Vs. 11-- You’re going to like what you hear….Why is God sending Gideon to the enemy camp?
Was Gideon still fearful of the Midianites? How do you know?
Vs. 12-- Again the three groups Gideon was going up against were the
______________; _______________; ____________ of the __________.
How many bad guys were there?
How many camels?
Vs. 13--What was Gideon permitted to overhear?
Israel is described in this dream as a ____________ of ____________
The _____________ roll crushed the ______________.
Vs. 14-- What was the dreamer’s conclusion?
*NOTICE: The enemy knew of Gideon by name and of Gideon’s God
Vs. 15-- What was Gideon’s response to this interpretation?
What is the new battle time and strategy?
Vs. 16-- Gideon divides his 300 into _____ companies.
Each man had a ___________; an empty ____________ and a ____________.
Vs. 17-- Follow my lead…do as I do
*NOTICE: What do you suppose is Gideon’s faith level now!
Vs. 18-- What were the men to say/shout?
Vs. 19-- When was the “middle” watch?
9 PM-Midnight (First)
1 AM - 3 AM (Middle)
4 AM - SUNRISE (Last)
Vs. 20-- Gideon’s men had ___________ in their left hands;
_____________ in their right hands. Where are the swords?
Vs. 21-- What “aggressive” maneuvers did Gideon utilize?
Vs. 22-- How was Gideon’s forces able to win?
Vs. 23-- When the Midianites were on the run…who joined Gideon’s 300?
Men from _______________; ____________ and __________________
Vs. 24-- Who else did Gideon invite to join the party?
Vs. 25-- What two leaders of Midian were killed by the men from Ephraim?
Vs. 1-- Why were the men of Ephraim angry with Gideon?
*NOTICE: (6:35)-- Trumpet was blown…men from Manasseh; Asher; Zebulon and Naphtali showed up
Vs. 2-- How does Gideon answer in a diplomatic fashion?
Vs. 3-- Your accomplishments and victories are ________________ than mine.
Was Gideon’s diplomacy affective?
Vs. 4-- Gideon is still leading his _________. They are ________ yet ____________
Vs. 5-- Gideon asked the men of ____________ for food.
Vs. 5-- Who was Gideon pursing? ___________ and ___________ kings of Midian
Vs. 6-- Did the men of Succoth assist Gideon?
Why or why not?
Vs. 7-- What was Gideon’s promise to the men of Succoth?
Vs. 8- Who else refused to help Gideon and his men?
Vs. 9-- What was Gideon’s promise to the men of Penuel?
Vs. 10-- ___________ and _______________ were kings from the children of the
______. Their armies had already lost _________________ men.
Vs. 11-- The kings of Midian…thought they were safe!
Vs. 13-14-- Who specifically was Gideon after in Succoth?
How many princes and elders were there?
Vs. 15-- Remember how you didn’t help me…Remember how you were more afraid of them than me?
Vs. 16-- Did they receive a good thrashing…or worse?
(Taught them a lesson?)
*NOTE: Possibly killed the elders…teaching the people to be smarter in the future!
He taught the men of Succoth, not the elders.
Made their death an example to the rest!
Vs. 17-- Tore apart the tower…killed the men.
Vs. 18-- Gideon asks the two kings about a battle at Tabor…why?
Vs. 19-- Gideon now plans to slay these kings…why?
Vs. 20-- To whom did Gideon give the honor of killing the two kings?
Did he execute the kings?
Vs. 21-- Who did kill the kings?
Vs. 22-- What did the men of Israel ask of Gideon?
Vs. 23-- What was Gideon’s response to the kingship offer?
Vs. 24-- What did Gideon ask for?
Vs. 25-- Were the people willing to give Gideon of their spoil?
Vs. 26-- How much did the gold weigh?
A shekel of gold weighs about ½ ounce…
850 ounces = 53 lbs
As of August 16th = an ounce of gold = $1180.00
Vs. 27-- What is an “ephod” --
This “golden garment” became an ____________
Vs. 28-- Midian was no more a problem for Israel.
How long did the land enjoy quietness?
Vs. 30-- How many sons did Gideon have?
How many wives?
*NOTICE: He didn’t want to be king…but he lived like a king!
Vs. 31-- Which son is particularly singled out?
Vs. 32-- Where was Gideon buried?
Vs. 33-- What did Israel do soon after Gideon’s death?
*CYCLE: Children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord (AGAIN)
The children of Israel suffered at the hand of some enemy for years.
The children of Israel cry out to God for help
God sends a deliverer (Judge)
Israel serves God all the days of that judge.
The judge dies…Israel does evil in the sight of the Lord
Vs. 34-35-- Israel _______________ not the Lord their God
Israel did not show _______________ to the house of ______________.
Vs. 1-- Which son of Gideon had his sights on the kingship?
Who did Abimelech get to assist him in his plot?
Vs. 2-- He asked the people do you want __________ men to rule over you…or
______man who happens to be your kinsman?
Vs. 3-- The men of Shechem decided to side with _________________
Vs. 4-- How much money did the men of Shechem give Abimelech?
What did Abimelech do with the money?
What words describe the men he hired? _____________ and ________________
Vs. 5-- Abimelech killed all his brothers except?
Vs. 6-- What was Abimelech’s ultimate goal?
JOTHAM PROPHECIED DISASTER
Vs. 21-- What course of action did Jotham take?
Vs. 22-- How long did the “honeymoon” last between Abimelech and Shechem?
Vs. 23-- Who or what cause the division or break-up?
Vs. 24-- Why did God step in to disrupt this “kingdom”?
Vs. 26-- Who did the men of Shechem now put their trust in?
Gaal makes fun of Abimelech and plans a rebellion. “If I was in charge I’d remove Abimelech”. Zebul warned Abimelech of Gaal’s boasting. Gaal is taken by surprise and Zebul told him it was time to put his boast into practice. Abimelech won easily over Gaal and his forces. Abimelech destroys Shechem. Some of the men of Shechem hid out in the tower of Shechem. Abimelech and his men gathered wood and burnt the tower…about 1000 people died. Abimelech extended his fight to include Thebez. Again the men fled to the tower for safety. Abimelech had the same plan to burn it with fire. However…
Vs. 53--What happened to Abimelech?
Vs. 54-- Why did Abimelech ask his armourbearer to kill him?
Vs. 56-- Why did Abimelech die in this manner?
Vs. 57-- Whose prophecy or prediction came true?
“A Great Could-Have-Been”
Samson was a man with great potential. He was used of God to accomplish great things. His selfish desire and reliance on his own strength caused him to neglect God. If he had yielded to God, he probably would have been able to free his people completely from the oppression of the Philistines.
BIBLICAL REFERENCE: Judges 13-16
A. Father was Manoah
B. Probably the strongest man in the Bible
C. Could be easily swayed by women
D. Called upon God only twice
E. Biggest victory of his life came at his death
*NOTE: Even though it seems that clearly Samson could have done more for God, it is important to remember that Samson is found in the HALL OF FAITH in Hebrews 11. The stories found in Judges are just glimpses into Samson’s rule of over 40 years. He must have done something right.
READ JUDGES 13:1-7; 24-25
1. How long had the Philistines been ruling over Israel?
2. Who revealed the birth of Samson?
3. What four restrictions were placed on Nazarites?
4. How long was Samson to be a Nazarite?
5. What caused Samson to be successful and gain in authority?
READ JUDGES 14:1-20
6. Why were Samson’s parents upset?
7. What occurred on one of Samson’s journeys to Timnah?
NOTICE: (vs. 6) -- The phrase “Spirit of the Lord…came upon him”; every time Samson does something worthwhile this phrase appears!
8. When did Samson first break his Nazarite vow?
9. Did Samson’s parents know about it?
10. What was Samson’s riddle?
11. How long did the Philistines have to solve it?
12. What was the wager, or bet?
13. Who did the men use to find the answer to the riddle?
14. How long did it take her to discover his secret?
15. Why do you think he finally gave in?
16. How did Samson pay his part of the bet?
17. What happened to Samson’s wife?
READ JUDGES 15:1-20
18. Why did Samson’s father in law keep him from his wife?
19. What did Samson do to release his anger?
20. What did the Philistines do to retaliate?
21. Who came to plead with Samson to give himself up?
22. What did Samson make the men of Judah promise?
23. NOTICE vs. 14 again: What did Samson use against the Philistines?
*INTERESTING: The possibility exists that Samson took the jawbone from a “living” donkey…
24. How many men were killed?
25. Why did Samson call on God in verse 18?
26. Where did the water come from?
27. How long was Samson a judge over Israel?
READ JUDGES 16:1-31
28. What is another sin that Samson is guilty of?
29. Who was now trying to kill Samson?
30. How did Samson display his great strength as he left the city?
31. Samson loved Delilah. Do you think Delilah loved Samson?
32. What did the Philistines promise Delilah?
33. How many times did Samson lie to Delilah?
NOTICE: In each case, Delilah is upset with Samson for lying…Samson should have been the one upset. Samson should have followed Joseph’s plan… Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife. It was time to say goodbye to Delilah!
34. List the three lies of Samson:
35. Why did Samson finally reveal his true secret of strength?
NOTICE: (vs. 19)-- Even Delilah tried to afflict Samson to prove he was really helpless!
36. (vs. 20)--What do you think the last phrase means?
37. What two things did the Philistines do to Samson?
38. Give the name of the Philistine god:
SAD: The Philistines wrongfully assumed their god was more powerful than Samson’s God…Samson gave the wrong opinion of God.
39. (vs. 25)--What did the Philistines now do with Samson?
40. Who helped Samson fin the pillars?
41. How many Philistines were there in the house?
42. Why did Samson want God to help him?
NOTICE: (vs. 28)-- “only this once”
Samson only called on God in time of need.
This is also the LAST time Samson would call upon God.
43, What was Samson’s final prayer? (vs. 30)
44. Why was knocking down the pillars such a great victory?
YOUR CHOICE: It doesn’t say whether Delilah died when the “house came down”… but you can put her in the house if you want.
“Woman Of Character”
Ruth was the daughter in law of Naomi, wife of Mahlon (tradition; Talmud) and the wife of Boaz and the great grandmother of David. Due to a severe famine in the ;and of Judah, Elimelech, a native of Bethlehem, immigrated to Moab with his wife, Naomi, and two sons Mahlon and Chilion. The two boys married Moabite women, Mahlon married RUTH and Chilion married Orpah. At the end of ten years, all three of the women were left widows. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. Despite Naomi’s protests, Ruth determined to return to Bethlehem with her. Ruth’s dedication to Naomi and to the God of Israel is stated in Ruth 1:16-17.
They arrived in Bethlehem at the time of the barley harvest. Ruth went out to glean in the fields of Boaz, a wealthy man whose relationship with his servants eloquently attests to his character (Ruth 2:4). According to Hebrew law, Ruth had a right to demand that a near kinsman of her late husband take her for his wife. Boaz had been related to her husband and was willing to marry her, but since there was another man of closer kinship, it was necessary to go through certain customary and legal measures before he could rightfully claim her. This being done, the two were married with the blessings of their neighbors. They eventually became the parents of Obed, the grandfather of David.
1. Not a Jew, but believed in the God of Israel
2. Received blessing because of her faithfulness to Naomi
3. Displayed true love to her mother in law, Naomi
4. He life pictures a sinner, who believes and is richly blessed
5. The story of Ruth is really an extension of the book of Judges
READ JUDGES 21:25
1. What created so many of the spiritual problems for Israel?
READ RUTH CHAPTER ONE
2. Why did Elimelech go to Moab?
3. Your OPINION: Good move, or a Bad move?
4. Name Elimelech’s wife and sons:
5. Who did these boys marry?
6. What happened to all the men in Naomi’s family?
7. Why did Naomi try to get rid of her daughters in law?
8. Who left? Who stayed?
9. Where was Naomi originally from?
10. What did Naomi want her friends to call her now?
12. Was she correct?
READ RUTH CHAPTER TWO
13. Who was the rich relative in Naomi’s family?
14. What did Ruth do to help provide for her family?
15. Does Boaz seem to be a good guy?
17. What advice did Boaz give to Ruth?
18. Why did he act kindly to Ruth? (vs. 11)
19. What command did Boaz give to his reapers?
20. What was Naomi’s reaction to the large haul?
READ RUTH CHAPTER THREE
21. What suggestion does Naomi give to Ruth?
NOTICE: Naomi has stopped thinking only of herself!
22. How did Ruth startle Boaz?
23. What was Boaz’s response to Ruth’s offer?
24. What was the one snag in the whole deal?
25. Why did she leave so early?
READ RUTH CHAPTER FOUR
26. When Boaz spoke to the near kinsman, why were ten men present?
27. Did the man want the land and the inheritance?
28. Did the man want Ruth?
29. Why did he decline the arrangement?
30. What strange act did the near kinsman perform to show his non-interest
in the deal?
31. Explain verse 10:
32. How did Naomi feel about Ruth’s marriage to Boaz?
33. How did the women refer to Ruth as they sought to praise her?
34. What was Ruth’s son’s name?
35. This son had a son….What was his name?
36. This son had seven sons….and the youngest was named?
37. List some ways Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi was rewarded:
DAVID “A Man After God’s Own Heart”
READ I SAMUEL 16:1-13
1. What did God say to Samuel?
2. The next king would be the son of?
3. What was Samuel afraid of?
4. Using verse 7-- How was the king to be chosen?
5. How did this differ from the selection of the first king?
6. I Chronicles 2:13)-- How many sons did Jesse have?
7. What number son was David?
8. Describe David:
9. Who really selected this king?
READ I SAMUEL 17:20-54
10. Was David anxious to get into the battle? (vs. 22)
11. What was the reward for killing Goliath? Where was Goliath from?
12. Verse 26-- Explain David’s question:
13. What did Eliab accuse David of?
14. What did David ask Saul?
15. What did David use as an illustration of his abilities?
16. Who did David give credit to for his mighty acts?
17. Why did David refuse the armour?
18. How many stones did David choose from the brook? Why?
NOTICE: II Samuel 21:15-22
19. Why was Goliath upset?
20. Why did David say that he was going to win?
21. Was David anxious to fight Goliath? (vs. 48)
22. David’s only weapon was?
23. How did the Philistines react to Goliath’s death?
24. What did the army of Israel do?
READ II SAMUEL 2:1-32
25. David was made king over?
26. Was the whole nation united? Who led the other group?
27. How long did Saul’s son rule over Israel?
28. The captain of Saul’s army was: The captain of David’s army was:
29. When the battle occurred, which side won?
30. What happened to Asahel, Joab’s brother?
31. How many from each side died? David’s side? Ishbosheth’s side?
READ II SAMUEL 3:1, 6-12, 17-39
32. Who was winning in the bitter struggle?
33. Why did Abner decide to leave Ishbosheth’s side?
34. Why didn’t Ishbosheth try to stop him?
35. What did Abner now tell all the people of Israel? (vs. 17)
36. How did David treat Abner?
37. Why did Joab want to kill Abner? How did Abner die?
38. What was David’s reaction to Joab’s act?
39. Did the people blame David for Abner’s death? (vs. 36-37)
READ II SAMUEL 4:1-12
40. When Ishbosheth heard that Abner was dead, what did he do?
41. Who killed Ishbosheth? Why did they come to David?
42. How did David reward them for their “brave act”?
43. Jonathan’s son was? What problem did he have?
READ II SAMUEL 5:1-6; 6:6-11
44. How old was David when he began to reign?
45. How long was he the king?
46. Where was the capital city?
47. Why was the ark unstable?
48. Why did God strike Uzzah dead?
NOTICE: Even if you have good intentions, you may not be doing it God’s way…Why did Uzzah think his hands were cleaner than the ground?
READ II SAMUEL 7:1-3, 12-29
49. What did David desire to do for God?
50. Who was now the prophet of God?
51. What did God tell him in regards to David? (vs. 15-16)
52. What quality does David display in verse 18?
53. What does David promise God? (vs. 27)
READ II SAMUEL 9:1-13
54. Why did David want to find Saul’s relatives?
55. Who was the only remaining descendent of Saul?
NOTICE: David kept a promise that he made to Saul, long ago!
56. How was Mephibosheth now to be treated?
57. Who was to work the land that David gave to Mephibosheth?
READ II SAMUEL 11:1-27
58. What was David’s first mistake leading up to a bigger sin?
59. Do you think Bathsheba knew what she was doing?
60. Why do you think David sent for Uriah?
61. Did David’s plan work? Why?
62. What new plan did David come up with to get rid of Uriah?
63. What occurred after Uriah’s death? How did God fell about it?
READ II SAMUEL 12:1-25
64. Briefly relate the story Nathan told to David:
65. What did David decide? Who was Nathan talking about?
66. What two sins was David guilty of?
67. What three things were going to happen to David because of his sin? (vs. 10, 11 and 14)
68. Read verse 23-- What did David mean, “I shall go to him…”?
69. Bathsheba later had another son, his name was?
READ II SAMUEL 13:1-31, 37
70. How did Ammon trick Tamar to come to him?
71. Were they related?
72. What did Ammon do to Tamar? (vs. 14)
73. Who was Tamar’s (full) brother?
How did he feel about what had happened?
74. How long did it take Absalom to avenge his sister?
75. What was David’s reaction when he heard of Ammon’s death?
76. Why do you think all this took place?
READ II SAMUEL 14:25-28 15:7-17
77. Describe Absalom:
How long had it been since he had seen his father
78. What was Absalom really after? (vs. 12)
79. What was David forced to do?
80. Why do you think all of this took place?
READ II SAMUEL 18:6-17, 31-33
81. How many of Absalom’s men were slain by David’s army?
82. What happened to Absalom as he tried to escape?
83. Why didn’t the servant kill Absalom?
84. Who did kill Absalom?
85. What did they do with his body?
86. How did David react when he heard the news of Absalom’s death?
87. Why did all these things take place?
READ II SAMUEL 21:15-22
88. In verse 15, David grew faint in battle, what was this a sign of?
89. Who killed this giant for David?
90. Why would David’s men no longer let him fight in the battles?
91. How many giants were slain (total)? Where were they from?
92. What was strange about the last giant?
NOTCIE: It is very possible that these were the brothers/sons of Goliath…maybe this was the reason that David selected five stones in the first place.
READ I KINGS 1:11-37
93. Who had appointed himself king, when he figured David was about to die?
94. What plan did Nathan and Bathsheba have?
95. Why was it so important that David pick the next king? (vs. 20)
96. What would have happened to Bathsheba and Solomon, if David had not named Solomon as the next king? 97. What did David arrange so that the people would know his choice?
READ I KINGS 2:1-10, 24-25, 28-34
98. In verse 1-4-- David tells Solomon to do what?
99. In verse 5-6-- What does David request concerning Joab?
100. How long had David been king?
101. What happened to Adonijah? (vs. 24-25)
102. Who was sent to eliminate Joab? (vs. 29)
103. Why was Joab to be killed? (vs. 31)
104. Where was Joab killed?
Where was he buried?
I KINGS 2:3-- Advice from David to Solomon
“And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and His commandments…that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest…”