What happens when we turn our backs on God? Listen to the podcast, reflect on some questions, and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 11.
Once you’ve listened to the short podcast, take the time to reflect on these questions:
In what ways have you tried to do life on your own apart from God?
What comes to mind when you imagine God running toward those who return to him?
Take this moment to pray and return to God any areas of your life that you’ve held back.
If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.
The book of Judges shows us what can happen when we try to do life apart from God’s wisdom and refuse to give up our stubborn attitudes and actions. The destruction that follows hurts everyone, but the book of Judges also offers a glimpse of hope. If you worry that you’ve failed too often or wandered too far away from God, remember that it’s not too late to call out to him. God is gracious and forgiving. He runs toward those who return to him.
How did Carissa’s message challenge or encourage you today?
Review verse 10. How does the text highlight why the people “forsook,” or walked away, from God? What can you learn from this explanation?
Review verse 13. The Canaanite idol Baal was thought to be the god over the weather and nature. In an agricultural society, people served Baal in hopes that he would reward them with a wealth of crops and flocks, assets that would lead to riches. Now read 1 Timothy 6:9-11. How can a longing to be rich cause someone to walk away from the one true God? What are other things people pursue ahead of God?
How do you feel when others disregard what you say or reject you? What if you really love the person? How do your feelings relate to your love for that person?
When God’s people disregard and reject him, he feels angry. How might God’s anger relate to his love for his people? How often do you consider God’s feelings when you make choices?
Compare Judges 2:15 with what God said in Deuteronomy 4:25-31. What did God assure would happen if Israel turned to other gods (Deut. 4:25-28)? How does God assure his mercy and provide another chance for his people (Deut. 4:29-31)?
The book of Judges ends with this line, “There was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” How can this help us understand what it means to honor Jesus as the King of our lives? What is one area of your life that would change if you fully agreed with Jesus’ perspective?
Take this moment to pray and return to God any areas of your life that you’ve held back. Remember God’s overwhelming mercies and that he runs toward those who return to him (see Luke 15:20-24).