These small group studies of Judges contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.
Judges 2 Inductive Bible Study
Pre-incarnate Jesus rebukes Israel for their disobedience (1-5)
Joshua and the elders die (6-10)
Summary/Preview of Israel’s turning to idols in the book of Judges (11-15)
Summary/Preview of the Lord using judges to deliver them (16-18)
Summary/Preview of Israel falling away from God each time the judge died (19-23).
I. Verses 1-5
Who is the angel of the LORD?
When was this land promised to their fathers?
What “fathers” is He referring to?
What instruction was given to the people of Israel?
Did they follow it? Why not?
What were the consequences of their disobedience?
Are there any practical lessons we can get from this today?
When the people wept were they truly repentant?
The angel of the LORD is pre-incarnate Christ.
God never forsook them or broke His covenant with them although they broke their part many times.
Every command from God is for a reason. He told them to drive out the inhabitants to protect them from temptations and idol worship.
Sinning against God will bring consequences every time. NO ONE gets away with it. The consequences/punishment/discipline will come sooner or later. Don’t think God forgets or cannot see.
All sorrow does not equate with genuine repentance. Israel wept. They were sorry at the moment when they were warned and rebuked. They were sorry enough to weep about it. BUT after not long they started idol worship again, many in the same group that were weeping. True repentance is not based on emotion or even sorrow (although that is a good first step). Judas was sorry, but he killed himself and never truly repented.
Boachim – The weepers
Exodus 3:2-6, Genesis 16:7-10 – Two references to the angel of the LORD.
Deuteronomy 4:34- The Lord brought them out of Egypt through mighty works.
Genesis 26:3-4 – The land promised to Isaac.
Genesis 17:7-8 – God would establish His covenant with them as an everlasting covenant.
Exodus 23:32-33, Exodus 34:12-16, Numbers 33:52-53 – God commanded them not to make treaties with those around them and to drive them out completely.
2 Corinthians 7:10 – Godly sorrow brings repentance. Worldly sorrow brings death.
II. Verses 6-10
What role did Joshua have in Israel’s history?
What kind of amazing works happened during Joshua’s life?
Why do you think the people followed God while Joshua and the elders were alive, but then turned away after they died?
Any similar comparisons today? (Kids who grow up in Christian families and follow God while their parents are around. People who follow God around their believing friends, but not alone or around their unbelieving friends?)
How can we avoid this problem?
How do we ensure that we aren’t overly reliant on some Christian authority in our life?
Joshua was the successor to Moses and the leader by which God brought His people into the Promised Land.
It is much easier to serve God when some strong leaders such as parents or pastors or Bible teachers have a big influence on our life. But many times this is just outward obedience. We serve God because we are concerned with what that person will think or are scared that we will be rebuked or lose their respect if we don’t serve God. This is not true service to God at all. This is not an independent relationship with Him. A true relationship with God will go on no matter where we are or who is around us. Daniel is a prime example of this. He was far removed from his leaders and parents, yet he continued to serve God faithfully. We need to maintain our own walk with the Lord regardless of who is around us or if we are by ourselves. Don’t read the Bible because I or any Christian tells you to. Don’t go to church because I or any Christian tells you to. Don’t come to Bible study because I or any Christian tells you to. Do all of this because you WANT to, because of your relationship to God. Read the Bible even if you are home by yourself and no one will ever know if you don’t. When you have kids, raise them up in a way that they have independent walks with the Lord and don’t just do it to please you.
We must look to God rather than to men. Joshua was a great leader no doubt. But his followers should have focused more on the greatness of God instead of the greatness of Joshua. Never focus on people. Don’t let their successes have a huge impact on you and don’t let their failures have a huge impact on you. Be steady in your own relationship to God. This is not to say the examples of other believers are not important. They are important. We can learn from them, listen to their counsel, pray for each other, etc. But they are never to be raised up on a pedestal.
Romans 14:6-8, Colossians 3:23-24 – Please God rather than men.
III. Verses 11-15
Why did they turn to idol worship?
What lesson can we learn from this about peer pressure?
What kind of things does peer pressure/culture tempt believers with?
What happened to them because of their disobedience?
Why would the hand of the Lord be against them?
Didn’t He love them?
What will happen to us if we disobey God?
This begins a summary of the whole period of the time of the judges. It is not one specific event, but rather a summary of the entire cycle that repeats itself seven times in the book. Throughout the book of judges they continued to do this again and again. They continued to turn to idols and worship false gods again and again.
They turned to idols because they had failed to obey God’s command and the culture/peer pressure was too strong. They didn’t have a strong relationship to God of their own so when their godly leaders died they fell away from the Lord. This is a reminder to us to stay far away from temptations and to surround ourselves with godly people instead of bad peer pressure.
God was angry when they sinned. God isn’t just a passive observer. Our sins upset and grieve Him. What’s more continued sin forces God, as a just God, to act.
How did He act? He punished them for their sin. Why? Because He cared for them. The consequences of their sin were used by God to remind them of Himself and encourage them to repent and turn to Him for help. The simple truth is this: when we obey God He will bless us. When we disobey Him, He will discipline us.
Psalms 73:27 – Those far from God will perish.
Joshua 24:15-25 – The people agree before Joshua to serve the Lord. Joshua says God will bring disaster to them of they don’t.
IV. Verses 16-18
Did God forget about them?
Why did He help them?
What can we learn about God from this?
What is a “judge”?
Why were the judges able to deliver them?
Did Israel normally follow God while the judge was alive?
God is always a merciful God. He is just and punishes sins as well as disciplines the believer. But He is ready to save and forgive again if only His people will turn to Him. God has never forsaken Israel throughout millennium of their disobedience. At times He punishes them, even severely, but He always preservers a remnant, and He is always ready to forgive those who will turn to Him. He was moved to pity. He is compassionate and gracious.
God often uses people. This is just the way God works. People ask how God works in the world. What is God doing? Often times He works through humans of great faith who believe in Him. As we will see in the book, these humans were full of their own weaknesses. They were sinners and imperfect. But they did have great faith and they had a desire to serve the Lord and see change. Thus God blessed them and used them mightily. If we have faith in Him and are willing to serve Him with our whole hearts, He will also use us in great ways too. It doesn’t take someone of exceptional intellect or ability. It takes someone dedicated to the Lord.
The highlights of sin and grace that will be seen throughout the book are shown here.
Psalms 106:34-43 – A Psalmists review of Israel, largely of this period. Describes their rebellion and God’s repeated deliverance.
Romans 1:18, Colossians 3:5-6 – The wrath of God is coming against the sinner.
V. Verses 19-23
What did Israel do when the judge died? Why?
Why did God not drive out the people before them?
Whose fault was this?
So often people will turn to God when things are bad and they are desperate for help, but when He helps them and things are smooth they will forget what He has done for them and turn back to their old ways. When everything is smooth they forget the need for God and become prideful. They get caught having a false sense of security. This is entirely the wrong view of God. What kind of friend is someone to us if we just call them when we are in big trouble and need help? God is not just someone to bail us out when we need help. We need to pray to Him during the good times and the bad. We need to thank Him during the good times and the bad. We need to rely on Him when we are healthy (so that we won’t get sick) and when we are sick (asking to be healthy again). Don’t only ask for things, thank Him for what He does give. Remember God all the time because He is always there whether you see it or not.
The cycle not only kept repeating, but it kept getting worse and worse. That is the nature of sin. If true repentance doesn’t take place, the next stumble will probably be worse than the first and so on. Why? Because you have to do an increasing amount of sin to reach the same level of temporary satisfaction. (Give drugs as example).
God was perfectly willing to drive out the nations before them and had promised to do so if they followed Him faithfully. It was a conditional promise and they failed to keep up their end of the bargain. The direct consequence was God was not obligated to drive them out and didn’t. Sin brings bad results. Even in this, God was still sovereign and used the continued presence of those nations to test His people. Through the judges He continually warned them not to follow the people around them, but to follow Him wholeheartedly. What is the difference between test and temptation (turn to James)? God doesn’t tempt anyone, but He tests them. A test is intended to help someone learn or improve or make the right choice. Example: A teacher gives a test to her students. She wants the students to do well. A temptation is something intended to bring out the bad in someone and encourage them to make the wrong choice. Example: Moses’ unbelieving friend knows he struggles with getting drunk so he brings out some alcohol and keeps encouraging him to drink it. He wants him to get drunk and return to his old ways of life. Satan tempts. God tests.