What can we ourselves learn from the story of Gideon? That is, from a story of a sometimes bold, but sometimes timid, or at least hesitant or cautious, potential leader of Israel in a difficult time? This week we’re studying Judges 6:1-27, focusing on 6:1-2, 7-16, and the question of what we ourselves can learn from Gideon’s situation, and Gideon’s example, might be the main question we’ll want to ask ourselves. But we might need to ask ourselves some other questions to get to that point. Some notes on the text are here. (And here.)
How would we describe the situation at the beginning of the story – the situation Gideon faces? What similarities do we see between Gideon’s situation and our own – whether nationally, locally, in our church, personally? What differences?
Which seem most significant to us, the similarities or the differences? Why is that? Does that pattern of similarities and differences affect what we can learn from this story, do we think?
Are there “Midianites” in our world? Who are they?
What do we notice about Gideon? How would we describe him, based on the text?
What seems important about Gideon to us? Why do we identify that quality, or those qualities, as important?
[More personal] In what ways do we see Gideon as similar to ourselves? In what ways do we see Gideon as different from ourselves? In what ways do we identify with, or perhaps empathize with, Gideon?
[Even more personal] Would we have said “yes” to God as Gideon did, do we think? Why, or why not? Can we think of a time in our lives similar to this? What did we do? How do we feel about that? What have we learned from that?
[More personal] Would we describe ourselves as having a call from God? How would we describe that call? What are we doing about it or with it? How does it seem to relate to the needs of the world around us?
Image: “Am Mittagstisch,” an image by Hermann Groeber [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons