July

July 1st – Judges 4

  • How is Deborah described?What does this tell us about her ministry to Israel?What instruction does she give to Barak?
  • What condition does Barak give for his obedience?What does Deborah say will be the cost of that conditional obedience?Why was this such a big deal?
  • What do you think it was like to fight a physical battle and be aware of the fact that God is the one fighting for you?Why would this have been an unlikely battle for Israel to win without God’s help?

July 2nd – Judges 5

  • Who is being praised for the great victory?How Does the song describe the time before Deborah came to be in leadership?
  • What does it mean in verse 20 that from heaven the stars fought?What does this teach us about how God intervenes in the battles of Israel?
  • What attitude does Deborah and Barak’s song have toward the enemies of the Lord?Is it right to feel this way about the enemies of God?Explain.

July 3rd – Judges 6:1-27

  • How did the Lord respond to the evil that the Israelites did before Him?How did he respond to their prayers for help?
  • When the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon what question did Gideon ask him?Have you ever felt the way Gideon did when he asked that question? What led to that feeling?
  • What did the Lord ask Gideon to do? Why did he do this at night?Have you ever been afraid of how others (family or friends) would respond to you for being obedient to the lord?Explain.

July 4th – Judges 6:28-40

  • How did Gideon’s father prevent the people from taking Gideon’s life after he tore down the altar of Baal?What conviction about Baal seems to be behind this defense?
  • What do you think it means when it says in verse 34 that the Spirit of the Lord “clothed” Gideon?What is this set in contrast to from verse 33?What is the point for us to understand?
  • How did Gideon determine God’s will regarding his battle with the Midianites?Have you ever asked God for a “fleece” moment?If so what happened?

July 5th – Judges 7

  • Why did the Lord say that Gideon has too many men?Have you ever fallen into the temptation of thinking you should get the glory for something God has done?If so when?
  • Why does the Lord tell Gideon to go down to the camp with his servant if he is scared?How does God increase Gideon’s faith and trust in Him?How has God strengthened your faith when you have been afraid?
  • How were the 300 men able to defeat the mighty Midianite army?What evidence is there in the story that it was not just a good military strategy but God fighting for them?

July 6th – Judges 8

  • Why would the men of Succoth and Penuel not give Gideon and his army food and provisions?What was their punishment for not aiding Gideon and his men?Why was it so harsh?
  • Why did Gideon not accept the people’s request that he and his son rule over them?What did Gideon make out of the spoil from the Midianites? How did this become a snare to him and the people?
  • What happened after Gideon died?What does it mean that they did not show steadfast love to Gideon’s family?In what ways has your heart been fickle like Israel’s here?

July 7th – Psalm 77

  • What are the circumstances like in the life of the psalmist when he talks about seeking the Lord?What is it about times of trouble that move us to seek the Lord?
  • What is the Psalmist wrestling with in verses 7-9?Have you ever wrested with similar feelings?What goes through your heart and mind when the Lord seems to be silent?
  • What attribute of the Lord does the Psalmist reflect on in the latter part of this psalm?What difference does it make to our hearts when we reflect of this attribute of God during difficult times?

July 8th – Judges 9:1-25

  • What is Abimelech’s strategy to sway the hearts of the men of Shechem?How are the men he hires described?What does he do?
  • What is the point of Jotham’s speech about the trees?What is Jotham asking the men of Shechem when he says if you “acted in good faith and in integrity?”
  • How do we understand God’s sending an evil spirit between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem in verse 23? What was the result of this evil spirit’s work?

July 9th – Judges 9:26-57

  • How does what Abimelech did to the leaders of Shechem fulfill what Jotham called for in chapter 9?What does it reveal about the hearts of the leaders of Shechem?
  • What strange request does Abimelech make after he has been fatally wounded by a woman?What does this reveal about the culture? About Abimelech’s heart?
  • What do we learn about God from how he dealt with Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem?How should this story motivate us to live? Why?

July 10th – Judges 10

  • What was God’s first response when the Israelites cried out to God again for help?What did Israel do in response?How does God respond to their change of heart?
  • What does this teach us about the wrath of God?The gracious compassion of God?The impatience of God?
  • How important to God is repentance, the turning away from sin and doing what is right?Is there anything that you need to repent of that you haven’t?

July 11th – Judges 11:1-28

  • Why did the Gileadites reject Jephthah from the family?Have you ever mistreated someone based on their background, race, or lineage?
  • Why then did the elders of Gilead seek out Jephthah for help to lead them in battle?Have you ever had to ask for help from someone you had mistreated?How did it go?What did you learn?
  • How did Jephthah describe why his land was his?How did he describe the power of his God to the king of the Ammonites?

July 12th – Judges 11:29-40

  • What does it mean that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Jephthah?What rash vow does Jephthah make to the Lord?
  • How does Jephthah’s daughter respond to hearing the vow he father made?What does this tell us about her, her fear of the Lord and her faith?How would you have reacted?
  • Have you ever made a rash promise to God?Did you fulfill that promise?Why or why not?What did it cost you?

July 13th – Judges 12 – 13:25

  • Why were the Ephraimites upset with Jephthah?What creative test did the Gileadites come up with for telling whether or not someone was an Ephraimite?
  • What special instructions were given to Manoah’s wife concerning her son?What does it mean to be a Nazirite? (see Numbers 6)
  • What prayer did Manoah pray to God?When Manoah wants to honor the angel of the Lord what does the Angel of the Lord instruct him to do?Why does he do this?

July 14th – Psalm 78

  • What is it that the Psalmist says we ought to tell to our children?Why should we do this according to the Psalm?How have you done this in your family?
  • How did the Israelites test Godin their hearts?How did God respond to them with grace and compassion?How did God respond to them with wrath?What do we learn about God from this?
  • What are some of the ways that Israel disobeyed God?What are some of the ways that God is described as having been gracious to his people?In what ways did God discipline them?

July 15th – Judges 14

  • Why are Sampson’s parents hesitant to get the Philistine girl for him as a wife? Why is it a big deal that Sampson killed a lion and then revisited the carcass and ate honey out of it?
  • What does it mean when it talks about the Spirit of the Lord rushing upon Sampson?How is this different from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we experience as new testament believers?
  • What do we learn about Sampson’s wife in this chapter?What happened to her after he left the feat to go back to his father’s house?

July 16th – Judges 15

  • What does Sampson do after he discovers that his wife has been given to another?How do the rest of the Philistines react to this?
  • What effect does the Spirit of the Lord have on Sampson?What strength does the Holy Spirit provide to us as followers of Christ?
  • In what miraculous way does God provide water for Sampson?What are some of the ways that God has provided for you in your life?

July 17th – Judges 16:1-22

  • How did the Philistines convince Delilah to help them capture Sampson?What does she do to help them?
  • Why do you think that Sampson does not tell her the truth the first and second times she asks him for the secret to his strength?Why does he finally tell her the truth?
  • Why did the Lord leave him when his head was shaved?What effect did the Lord leaving him have on him?

July 18th – Judges 16:23-17:13

  • What was Sampson’s last prayer to God?Why do you think God answered that final prayer?What did this demonstrate about the power of God over the Philistine god Dagon?
  • How are the people described when there was no king?How do you think this is similar to our world today?How do you think it is different?
  • What does Micah assume when he hires the Levite as his personal priest?What has he been doing wrong in his household as it relates to worship?

July 19th – Judges 18

  • When the Danites came through what did they covet that belonged to Micah?What was the appeal to them?What do you think they expected to gain from the idols and ephod?
  • Why did the Levite go with them?Have you ever been enticed to do you knew was not right because of how important it made you feel?
  • What are some examples of modern day idols that people worship in place of God?What false gods are you tempted to worship?

July 20th – Judges 19

  • What is a concubine?Why do you think the Levite pursue his unfaithful concubine?What does this tell us about his heart?
  • Why do you think the Levite did not want to stay in a town of foreigners? Why would he expect a stranger to invite them into their house to lodge for the night?
  • What dis the men of the city come and request of the man who was housing them?What did he offer the men instead?What then did the Levite do to his dead concubine? Why did he do this?

July 21st – Psalm 79

  • What does the Psalmist say has been done to the people of God?What feeling does the Psalmist express before God in verse 5?Have you ever felt this way?
  • What does the Psalmist ask of the Lord in verse 8?What does it mean that they are brought very low?
  • When the Psalmist cries out for help, what reason does he ask God to intervene?How is God’s name glorified when he works in the lives of his people?When he works in your life?

July 22nd – Judges 20 –

  • What was the response throughout Israel to what happened to the Levite’s concubine in Gibeah? What did they ask from the Benjamites?
  • Why did the Benjamites refuse?What does this tell us about their hearts?Why do you think God allowed Benjamin to win the battles the first two days of the fight?What was happening in the Israelites hearts during the days of battle?
  • Why did God give Benjamin into the hands of the rest of Israel?What if anything exists in your life that needs to be purged?Why not do it today?

July 30th – Ezra 1

  • What was the "word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah" that was being fulfilled?" (see Jer 25:12-13; 29:10-11) What does it mean that the Lord "stirred up" the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia? 
  • What does Cyrus say the Jews should do? Why is this significant, why were the Jews living in Persia?  What does Cyrus command the other people to do for the Jews? 
  • What does this teach us about our God?  What does it teach us about how God meets the needs of his people when he calls them to do tasks for his glory?  Is there an area of your life you need to trust God's provision?   

July 31st – Ezra 2

  • Why do you think it was important to count the Israelites who returned from Exile?  What purpose might it serve? 
  • Why was it a big deal that those in verses 61-62 could not be found in the genealogical record?  What were they not allowed to do because of this?  Until when?
  • What does it mean that they gave freewill offerings?  What does it mean that they gave according to their ability?  What might this look like today in the church?