Old Testament 2022
May 30–June 5. Judges 2–4; 6–8; 13–16: “The Lord Raised Up a Deliverer”

“May 30–June 5. Judges 2–4; 6–8; 13–16: ‘The Lord Raised Up a Deliverer,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)

“May 30–June 5. Judges 2–4; 6–8; 13–16,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022

Deborah with armies

Illustration of Deborah leading Israel’s armies, © Lifeway Collection/licensed from goodsalt.com

May 30–June 5

Judges 2–4; 6–8; 13–16

“The Lord Raised Up a Deliverer”

The scriptures testify of Jesus Christ. Ponder how the stories you read in Judges help you come closer to Him.

Record Your Impressions

We all know what it’s like to make a mistake, feel bad about it, and then repent and resolve to change our ways. But in some cases we forget our earlier resolve, and, when we face temptation, we may find ourselves making the mistake again. This tragic pattern is typical of the Israelites’ experiences described in the book of Judges. Influenced by the beliefs and worship practices of the Canaanites—whom they were supposed to drive out of the land—the Israelites broke their covenants with the Lord and turned away from worshipping Him. As a result, they lost His protection and fell into captivity. And yet each time this happened, the Lord gave them the chance to repent and raised up a deliverer, a military leader called a “judge.” Not all of the judges in the book of Judges were righteous, but some of them exercised great faith in delivering the children of Israel and restoring them to their covenant relationship with the Lord. These stories remind us that no matter what has led us away from Jesus Christ, He is the Redeemer of Israel and is always willing to deliver us and welcome us back to Him.

For an overview of the book of Judges, see “Judges, book of” in the Bible Dictionary.

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Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

Judges 2:1–19; 4:1–16

The Lord offers deliverance when I stray.

The book of Judges can serve as a warning to us: even after we experience the Lord’s power in our lives, it is always possible to fall away. The book can also provide encouragement to those who do fall away, for the Lord offers a way back. For instance, as you read Judges 2:1–19, look for actions that led the Israelites away from the Lord and how the Lord delivered them. What do these verses teach you about the Lord? What can you do to remain more consistently faithful to Him?

You will find the pattern of rebelliousness, sorrow, and deliverance repeated throughout Judges (see specifically chapters 3, 4, 6, and 13). As you read the book of Judges, ponder what the judges did to deliver Israel and how the Savior helps you when you need deliverance.

One noteworthy example of someone who helped deliver Israel is Deborah. Read about her in Judges 4:1–16, and note the influence she had on people around her. What words or actions of Deborah show you that she had faith in the Lord? What do you feel Deborah meant by her question in verse 14: “Is not the Lord gone out before thee?”

See also Alma 7:13; Doctrine and Covenants 84:87–88.

Judges 2:13

Who were Baal and Ashtaroth?

Baal was the Canaanite storm god, and Ashtaroth was the Canaanite fertility goddess. The worship of these two gods indicates how important the fertility of the land and of the people was to the Canaanites. The ways the people worshipped these and other false gods—including, at times, sexual immorality and the sacrifice of children—were especially offensive to the Lord.

Judges 6–8

The Lord can work miracles when I trust in His ways.

To receive the Lord’s miracles in our lives, we must trust in His ways, even when His ways seem unusual. The story of Gideon, found in Judges 6–8, is a good example of this. How did the Lord work an unlikely miracle when Gideon’s army defeated the Midianites? What do you feel the Lord is trying to teach you? How have you seen the Lord do His work in ways that seem unlikely?

See also Russell M. Nelson, “With God Nothing Shall Be Impossible,” Ensign, May 1988, 33–35.

Judges 13–16

Strength comes from faithfulness to my covenants with God.

Samson lost both his physical strength and his spiritual strength because he violated his covenants with God, including those that applied specifically to Nazarites (for information about the Nazarites, see Numbers 6:1–6; Judges 13:7). As you read Samson’s story in Judges 13–16, ponder each covenant you have made. How have you been blessed with strength because you have kept those covenants? What do you learn from Samson’s story that inspires you to stay true to your covenants with God?

Samson pushing pillars

Samson Puts Down the Pillars, by James Tissot and others

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Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

Judges 2:10.After Joshua died, the next generation of Israelites “knew not the Lord.” Talk with your family about how they know the Lord and “the works which he [has] done” for them. How will you ensure that this knowledge will be preserved for future generations?

Judges 3:7–10.These verses summarize a pattern that occurs often throughout the book of Judges. As your family members read these verses, they could identify what Israel did to stray from the Lord and what the Lord did to deliver them. What might lead us to forget the Lord? How can He deliver us? How can we be more consistently faithful to Him?

Judges 6:13–16, 25–30.Gideon showed great courage in obeying the Lord, even though his actions were not popular. What has the Lord asked us to do that others might not agree with? How can the Lord’s words to Gideon in verses 13–16 inspire us to do the right thing?

Judges 7.Could you use a role play or other creative activity to help your family learn from the experience of Gideon’s army described in this chapter? How can the Lord’s words in this chapter (see, for example, verses 2 and 15) apply to our lives?

Judges 13:5.Samson’s covenants with the Lord gave him strength, just as our covenants give us strength. Your family might enjoy doing some physical exercises and discussing how those exercises can help make us strong. What can we do to help us become spiritually stronger? For some ideas, family members could read Mosiah 18:8–10; Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79. How does keeping our covenants give us spiritual strength?

For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.

Suggested song: “Redeemer of Israel,” Hymns, no. 6.

Improving Personal Study

Act on what you learn. As you study, ask yourself how you can apply what you are learning, and then commit to do it. Let the Spirit guide you. (See Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 35.)

Gideon and army

Gideon’s Army, by Daniel A. Lewis