1. God used Israel’s enemies to turn them back to himself. Have you ever had a painful or dangerous experience that led you back to God? What do you see looking back on those experiences?
2. Deborah’s military leader was named Barak. Deborah trusted that God would go before the Israelites and fight, Barak was fearful. Describe a time when fear held you back from trusting in God.
3. In the evil days after Joshua, “every man did what was right in his eyes” instead of following God’s simple and clear commands. What commands from God have you ignored and what happened? How did that affect others?
4. The angel of the Lord greeted Gideon as a mighty warrior though he was from the weakest clan and of the least in his family (p.107-8). God demonstrated abundant victory through Gideon and a stripped down army. How has
God provided for you through overwhelming odds, when everything seems to be against you? Do you tend to define yourself by your weaknesses or by the potential God sees in you because He is with you? Why?
5. Samson tended to rely on his own strength instead of acknowledging God as the source. What strengths or resources do you tend to rely on more than entrusting your life into God’s care?
6. Look at some of the prayers in this chapter, such as Gideon’s (p. 108-10) or Samson’s (p. 118). What does this tell us about prayer?
Give me the wisdom to recall Your saving and healing work in my life. Give my trust in Your faithfulness so I might put away fear. When fear overtakes me, help me cry out to You for deliverance. Fill me with Your Spirit so I might not forget you, and always follow your ways, which are good. Amen.