Judges 11-16: Learning From Samson

(13) A whole chapter is given to Samson’s parents. What details are given, and what do those details tell us about their relationship with God?  Be specific.

In what ways should we follow their example?

What does Manoah want to know about their child (v8)?  How is this a good example for us?  Where would we find the answers?

(14) Describe Samson’s attitude in v1-3.  How does this compare to our culture’s attitude?  Be specific.

What does v4 teach us about human choices and God’s sovereignty?  How might this encourage you as you look around the world today?

(14-16) Many details of Samson’s life are given in these chapters.  From those details, what character flaws do you see in Samson?

How do these character flaws lead Samson into trouble?

In what ways do you see these same character flaws in our culture today?

(14-16) From the details given about Samson, what good character traits do you find in him?

In what ways should we follow his example?

(13-16) What part does the Spirit play in Samson’s life (13:25, 14:6, 14:19, 15:14)?

Despite Samson’s many imperfections, God still used him.  How does that encourage you?

At the same time, Samson’s end is tragic.  What warning do you find here for your life?

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Passion Points

Here are some really good posts for your weekend reading:

Stop Having Quiet Times– David Powlison (TGC)
In the verbal actions of the psalms—rejoicing in who God is, asking for needed help, expressing heartfelt thanks—we’re talking to someone. It’s fair to say that having a “quiet time” is a misnomer. It’s more of an out loud, “noisy” time.  When you talk aloud you express the reality that you’re talking with someone else, not simply talking to yourself inside your own head.

Lay Aside the Weight of Irritability– Jon Bloom (DG)
Our irritability never has its roots in the soils of righteousness. It springs out of the soil of selfishness and springs up fast, like the sin-weed that it is. We get irritated or easily provoked, not when God’s righteousness or justice is scorned, but when something we want is being denied, delayed, or disrupted.

Gospel Weariness – Tim Challies
Trials do us good in at least one more way: Trials develop a gospel weariness, a weariness with this world….  Gospel weariness elevates our perspective from our feet to the horizon, from the trials of this world to the hope of the world to come. It stirs within us a holy longing to be done with this life and to enter into the life to come. It fixates on God’s promises, promises of deliverance, of restitution, of eternal peace. It is a weariness that rests on the promises of the gospel, that finds its hope in the God of the gospel. It does not wallow in despair but gazes with confidence to the future. It is a weariness that cries with the saints of all the ages, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

How My Parents Taught Me To Love The Church – Ricky Alcantar (TBC)
When you’ve had a busy weekend and you make it to church, your kids notice. When you rearrange athletic obligations to get to church, your kids notice. When you get in late from a trip Saturday night and make it to church, your kids notice. When you are willing to slog through traffic after work to make it to a small group meeting where the snacks aren’t amazing and the fellowship is a little forced but you do it anyway, your kids notice.

Hope you have a great Lord’s Day with your local church!

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Sermon Songs: Ephesians 6:1-4


Obey your father and mother
O children – this is right
And show to your parents honor
As pleasing in God’s sight
Fathers – do not provoke to wrath
Give godly discipline
Raise your children to walk God’s path
With Scripture’s instruction

(To the tune of “We Sing the Greatness of Our God”)

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Reflections on Judges 9-10

In our passage today, God raises up Tola and Jair as judges.  One man raises up himself – Abimelech.  Observe:

  • Self-exaltation – God raised up judges to help the people of Israel. Abimelech raised up himself to the harm of God’s people.  Abimelech’s story is a sad affair of murder, betrayal, and fighting.  Are you trying to exalt yourself above others – no matter who you have to step on to get to the top?  Or will you follow God’s direction in I Peter 5:6 and humble yourself before the Lord, that he may exalt you?
  • True Repentance – After Tola and Jair, the cycle continues: the people rebel and God sends enemies as punishment. The people again cried out to God, confessing their sin, but they did not change their ways.  So God did not help them.  Are you confessing your sins, but not turning from them?  We must repent from sin not just in word but in our actions.  From what sin in your life do you need to truly repent?


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Family Collection

Here are some good posts on parenting:

Fathers (and Mothers), Do Not Provoke Your Children! – Tim Challies

7 Ways Parents Unfairly Provoke Our Children – Tim Challies

Seven Principles for Angry Parents Disciplining Angry Children – Kevin DeYoung

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Prayer Quote of the Week

praying-hands-smWhat if the main object in God’s idea of prayer be the supplying of our great, our endless need – the need of himself?

– George MacDonald

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Reflections on Judges 6-8

Again, Israel is oppressed because of their sin.  When they cry out to God, God raises up a man named Gideon.  Note:

  • God’s presence – When God calls Gideon, Gideon responds that he is a nobody – how can he save Israel? God responds – “But I will be with you.”  Gideon is indeed a nobody, but with God he can do all that God calls him to do.  We too are nobodies on our own, but with God we can do all that he calls us to do.  What is God calling you to do?
  • Fear – God tells Gideon to break down the altar to Baal. Gideon obeys, but he does it at night because he is afraid.  Do you hide your relationship with Christ because you are afraid of what others will think?  Are you willing to take a stand for Christ for all to see?  God is with you.  When God calls you to take a stand for him, be strong and courageous like Joshua – not fearful like Gideon.
  • Trusting God – Gideon calls an army together to fight the Midianites. An army of 32,000 shows up.  God whittles it down to 300 men.  Why?  Lest Israel trust in themselves rather than God to bring about deliverance.  And with 300 men the Midianite army is routed, and Israel is saved.  Are you trusting in yourself to get you through your problems or are you trusting in God to help you?  Either way, you may have work to do, but who are you trusting in to bring success?


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Classic Quote

OldBooksIf the soul of the believer is in a healthy condition, he will take occasion to frequently come into God’s presence on purpose to have communion with him.

– A. W. Pink

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Judges 6-10: Learning from Gideon

(6) How does Gideon respond to God’s call for him to save Israel v15)?  When have you felt this way?

What assurance does God give Gideon (v16)?  Why does this assurance make all the difference?

(6) God tells Gideon to tear down the altar to Baal.  When does he do it, and what does that tell you about Gideon?

Can you identify with Gideon?  When are we tempted to hide our good deeds or our relationship with God?

(6) Gideon calls an army together, and then seeks another sign.  What does this tell you about his faith?

Should we lay out fleeces before the Lord?

(7) How does God whittle Gideon’s army down to 300 men?  Why?

When are we tempted to boast in ourselves instead of God?

(7) Gideon’s army surrounds the enemy, but again Gideon is afraid.  What does God do to give him courage?

How can we find courage from God to overcome our fears?

(7-8) How does God defeat the Midianites?  When have you seen God bring victory using your weaknesses?

(8) The people want to make Gideon a king.  How does he respond?  Why are we prone to look to men instead of God?

What does Gideon ask for and receive? Why is this a problem?

Later Gideon names one of his sons Abimelech which means “my father is king.”  What does this suggest?  Why are we so tempted to rule over others?

In summary, what major lessons can we learn from Gideon’s life?

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Sermon Songs: Ephesians 5:22-33


Consider Christ our Savior Head
He leads us for our good
We follow Him raised from the dead
Obey Him as we should

Consider Jesus and His love
His life for us He gave
To cleanse and present us above
The Bride He came to save

He loves and feeds and nourishes
In Him we’re satisfied
He cares for us and cherishes
Now in His love abide

Consider Christ – with Him we’re one
To Him we do belong
In all of life – cling to the Son
And turn from all that’s wrong

(To the tune of “O God Our Help In Ages Past”)

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