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 3 Inductive Bible Study


  1. Israel was snared by the evil nations around them and fell into idol worship (1-7)

  2. God let them become slaves of the king of Mesopotamia (8)

  3. God saves them after Israel cries out for His help (9-11)

  4. Israel again does evil (12)

  5. God again lets them become servants of a foreign people (12-14)

  6. God saves them again after they call for help (15-30)

    1. The Lord raised up a deliverer for them (15)

    2. Ehud kills the king of Moab (16-25)

    3. Ehud leads them to defeat all of Moab (26-30)

  7. Shamgar saves Israel from the Philistines.

Discussion Questions:

How many times is “the cycle” repeated in this chapter?

Why were these nations left?

Did Israel pass the test?

What command was Israel violating in verse 6?

Where is this command found?

Why was this command given?

Are we under any similar commands today? What? Where is it given?

What is the purpose of not being yoked with unbelievers?

What happened to the Israelites because of their sin?

What do you think will happen to a believer if they marry an unbeliever?

Are there any exceptions?

What should you do if somehow you are “attracted” to an unbeliever?

What should you do if you are getting older and older and aren’t married yet?

How did God punish them for their sin? Why?

When did God deliver them? Why did He choose then?

When will God save people now? (When they cry out to Him and repent of their sins.)

What does it mean that the “Spirit of the Lord came upon him?”

What Spirit is this?

Does He do the same thing today?

If not, how is it different? Where can we read about the Holy Spirit’s ministry today?

What does this tell us about the difference between the OT and NT times?

When did the Lord discipline them the next time?

When did He save them? See any pattern? (Negative and positive reinforcement)

What is a Benjamite?

What other famous guys were Benjamites?

Why was Ehud paying tribute?

What do you think of what Ehud did here?

Do you think he was following God’s will?

Why or why not?

Any lessons we can learn from this today? (Do God’s will even when it is dangerous. Be courageous to serve God. Don’t be scared of man. Know that God’s power is enough to overcome even the greatest obstacles.)

Why do you think there are so many kind of nasty details given about this and other things in the Bible? (Real history. Doesn’t gloss over things.)

Why does Ehud say Israel was able to have victory?


Numbers 13:30-14:9 – Caleb trusts in the Lord to give them the land.

Psalms 22:5, 78:34 – After they cry to God, He will save them. And when He slew them then they turned to Him.

Being brave like Ehud

Joshua 1:6-7 – Be strong and courageous.

Psalms 27:14- Be strong and hope in the Lord. Wait for Him.

1 Corinthians 16:13, Ephesians 6:10 – Be strong in the Lord. Stand firm in the faith and keep guard.

Deuteronomy 31:6-7- Do not be scared of them for the Lord is with you wherever you go.

Psalms 118:6 – The Lord is with me. What can man do to me?

Verse by Verse Commentary:

As we discussed last week, the Lord was willing to drive out the nations, but the people disobeyed and lacked faith. The result was God left them and still intended to use it for good as a test to remind them to rely on Him. Even when we sin, God uses it as an opportunity to teach us a lesson.

It was also important for the younger generation to learn war or they might be wiped out later on.

See cross-references. They explicitly disobeyed a direct command from God. Go over questions. The result was exactly what God said would happen. They turned very fast to serving their gods. God doesn’t give these kinds of warnings for no reason. His purpose isn’t to deprive them of a good thing. His purpose was to protect them from harm. People might throw out all kinds of excuses and reasons to disobey God, but it comes down to our heart. Are we going to obey Him or disobey Him? It is that simple. Go over modern day comparison, dating/marrying unbelievers. Discuss from below points for as long as necessary. Ask if any are doing that. Talk in depth about it. Why do we mention this point again and again? Because it is extremely important! We don’t just create the idea out of thin air. It comes up right here in the passage, Judges 3. Exodus 34:16 – Implied command not to intermarry with them.

Deuteronomy 7:3-4 – A clear command not to intermarry with them.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 – Central teaching on not dating/marrying an unbeliever.

In verse 6 they intermarry with pagans and start to do idol worship. In verse 7 their morals greatly deteriorate as they do evil in God’s sight. Then they forget God completely. It is a process. There is no “balance” and you can’t serve both. Matthew says you can’t serve God and money. Replace “money” with anything and it is true. You can’t serve God and girl friend. You can’t serve God and wife. You can’t serve God and career. Does that mean money or girl friend or career is bad? No! It means that God has to be first. If haven’t yet, go over notes on priority of God in the believers’ life. God must have the priority in our lives! This is so basic, but so important.

Psalms 85:1-7 – God can show favor or anger depending on what we do.

Deuteronomy 32:30 – If the LORD is against a people, He can destroy them no matter how much numerical advantage they have.

As we discussed last week, God is angry with sin. This is a righteous anger that we should also emulate. If we are never angry, then our conscience is not sensitive enough. God punished them. God is just and righteous. Although He is very patient, He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. Because of His love, He cannot allow His people to keep sinning without disciplining them. This discipline was a form He used to turn them back to Him. Every time it worked. When they repented, He was ready to save them again.

Read part of passage about Caleb. Othniel obviously had many of his same characteristics. He was a leader. He was brave. And he surely had faith. Joshua 15:13-17. Othniel was a warrior who had already had a military victory during the original conquest.

Spirit of the Lord came upon Him. For Spirit of the Lord came upon

Judges 6:34, 11:29, 13:25, 14:6, 1 Samuel 10:6, 11:6, 16:13

Psalms 51:11 – Do not take your Holy Spirit from me.

NT principle on Holy Spirit

Ephesians 1:13-14 – Sealed with whom who is a pledge of our inheritance.

2 Corinthians 1:22 – Put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit.

Ephesians 4:30 – Sealed with the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption.

Read cross-references, ask questions, and discuss.

11-12 When Othniel died, once again Israel did evil in God’s sight. The Lord now raised up nations against them. Instead of raising up the people of Israel against the evil inhabitants, God is raising up others against them. It is not because the others were now better than Israel, just as it wasn’t because Israel was inherently better than them before. Each time it simply fit in with God’s purpose in how He wanted to deal with that group at that time.

Study Judges 4-5
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