In a Nutshell: Judges 6:14 “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” Gideon’s “might” was his desire to trust and his willingness to obey, it wasn’t perfection, nor good intentions. Many approach their faith asking “Are God’s blessings unconditional, or conditional?” An honest study of Scripture, especially the book of Judges suggests, “His blessings are neither conditional, nor unconditional!”
Ice Breaker: Can you recall a time that a friend or a family member had been almost too patient with you?
CONNECTING WITH THE TEXT:
1. How many times did Gideon look to the Lord for some evidence of God’s trustworthiness, you might call them tests of God’s intentions? 6:16-7:10
2. How many times did God lean on Gideon to prove his faith in God’s provision, you might call them tests of Gideon’s intentions? 6:16-7:14
3. The faith of Gideon is given birth and comes full circle at two different rocks and two different winepresses. What happened at each? 2 rocks- 6:20 & 7:25; 2 winepresses – 6:11 & 7:25
4. Hebrews 11:32-40 lists Gideon among several other judges and prophets that God spotlights as people of great faith. Generally speaking what does the author of Hebrews suggest is accomplished by, and suffered by such people of faith?
5. Read the New Testament book of 1 John. What elements similar to the story of Gideon might be found in 1 John: 1) Fear challenged to faith, 2) Heaven “advocating” in place of our weaknesses, 3) An awareness of a battle bigger than we can win on our own, 4) Elements in our life that prove God’s work in us, 5) a challenge to not be ashamed, 6) historical events that testify that God loves us and will provide what is necessary.
REFLECTING ON YOUR LIFE:
1. Can you detect circumstances in your life that have forced you into a progressive level of trust in God’s provision?
2. Why do you think God allows some individuals to test His faithfulness and rebukes others? De. 6:16; Mal. 3:10; Mt. 4:5-7; 1 Jn. 4:1
3. Can you sense anything poetic in your life of faith such as tests at a rock, and victories at a rock, or doubts because of a circumstance that actually does more to build your faith?
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHURCH:
6. What elements/events about church/CARE Group tend to challenge you to faith?
7. Do you have a greater need to be “fed” in your faith, or to be “challenged” to obedience?
Some Good Resources
Gideon according to Veggie Tales
Title: “Gideon’s Failure”
Text: Judges 8
Questions: Did Gideon want to be King over Israel or not? 8:23, 29 (what does Gideon’s sons name mean?) What did Gideon make and leave behind that cause Israel to stumble in their faith? 8:27,33
Parents with your children: How can you help your children identify common “idols” that might be common in their culture?