“May 30–June 5. Judges 2–4; 6–8; 13–16: ‘The Lord Raised Up a Deliverer,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“May 30–June 5. Judges 2–4; 6–8; 13–16,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2022
Record Your Impressions
Write on the board the names of some of the judges found in Judges 2–4; 6–8; 13–16 (such as Deborah, Barak, Gideon, and Samson). Give class members a few minutes to review these chapters and write under one of the names on the board a truth they learned from that person’s experience.
Examining Israel’s cycle of rebellion, sorrow, repentance, and deliverance can help class members recognize God’s power of deliverance in their own lives. Class members could work in small groups to find the cycle described in Judges 2:11–19; 3:5–12. How were the children of Israel delivered from their cycle of sin and suffering? What do we learn from the book of Judges about how we can escape from sin and suffering? What are some ways God delivers us? You could also invite class members to find and share scriptures that testify of the Lord as our Deliverer and Redeemer (for example, 2 Samuel 22:1–3; Psalm 40:16–17; 1 Nephi 1:19–20; Mosiah 23:21–23; Doctrine and Covenants 138:23).
Judges 2:19 records that the Israelites repeatedly turned away from God toward idolatry. Perhaps class members could summarize this verse in the form of a warning for themselves. In what ways do we sometimes “bow down” to “other gods”? How can the Lord help us change our “stubborn way”?
To begin a discussion about how Deborah and Barak delivered Israel from the Canaanites, you could ask a class member to summarize the story for the class (it might help to contact the class member a few days in advance so he or she can be prepared). The class could talk about qualities Deborah had that impress them. How did Deborah inspire the children of Israel to follow the Lord? Perhaps you could read together Judges 4:14 and discuss the meaning of Deborah’s faithful declaration: “Is not the Lord gone out before thee?” How does the Lord go out before us? (see also Doctrine and Covenants 84:87–88).
Studying Gideon’s call to serve can inspire class members in their own service. You might ask them to read and discuss Judges 6:11–16. What can we learn from this experience? To help them learn from Judges 7, you could invite one or more class members to pretend to be Gideon’s soldiers and tell the story from the soldiers’ perspective. Other class members could ask them questions about the soldiers’ experience. What parallels do we see between this story and what is happening in our lives? What do we learn about the Lord from this story?
How can you help class members discover both the inspiring truths and the important warnings from the story of Samson? One way could be to invite half the class to review Judges 14–16 looking for verses that show that the Lord was with Samson. The other half could look for verses that show that Samson was not fully committed to the Lord. Ask class members to share what they found. What does Samson’s life teach us about keeping the covenants we make with God? The statement by Sister Ann M. Dibb in “Additional Resources” may be helpful.
Sister Ann M. Dibb taught: “Samson was born with great potential. His mother was promised, ‘He shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines’ [Judges 13:5]. But as Samson grew, he looked more to the world’s temptations than to God’s direction. He made choices because they ‘pleaseth [him] well’ [Judges 14:3] rather than because those choices were right. Repeatedly, the scriptures use the phrase ‘and he went down’ [Judges 14:7] as they tell of Samson’s journeys, actions, and choices. Instead of arising and shining forth to fulfill his great potential, Samson was overcome by the world, lost his God-given power, and died a tragic, early death” (“Arise and Shine Forth,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 118).