Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Rash Decision With Terrible Results (Judges 11)

What is the worse promise you have ever made? Why did you make it? How did it turn out?

Talk about a promise you have made that you ended up breaking? Did you feel like you NEEDED to break it, or just that you WANTED to break it?

Judges 11 tells another story of Israel falling away from God and coming under captivity from a foreign king. This time, the deliverer raised up by God is Jephthah. He has an interesting back-story which is worth reading in Judges 11:1- 28. The enemy Israel is battling in this story is the Ammonites.

Read Judges 11:29-40. How do you feel about this story?

(These kind of vows and sacrifices weren't uncommon in the ancient world. According to the Canaanites, their god, Molech, demanded that children be occasionally sacrificed to him)

Was Jephthah right to make this vow to God? Was he right to keep the vow? Why do you think this story is in the Bible?

Is the story of Jephthah given to us as an example? Why or why not?

Sometimes we make promises (or vows) too quickly. What causes people to make rash decisions? When have you made a decision too quickly and later regretted it?

Read Proverbs 20:25. What do you think this verse means? How does it apply to Jephthah? How does it apply to you?

Read Psalm 119:9-16. These verses give a recipe for making wise decisions. Using your own words, make a list of the pieces of advice given here. How can following this advice help you to avoid foolish promises and decisions?

What difficult decision do you need to make in the coming days? What bad decision do you know you need to avoid? How will you approach this decision from a biblical perspective? How can this group help you?

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