May 2022

In May we are reading Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges.

Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy is a “copy” of the law, Numbers, given to the Israelites right before they crossed into the Promised Land. Deuteronomy starts with a history lesson from Moses about how the people found themselves at the edge of the River Jordan.

It might be tempting to glance at Deuteronomy instead of reading it word for word; after all, how many times must we read the rules and regulations of an ancient society? As we read you’ll likely come across some of the laws that made you feel uncomfortable in Numbers-that’s ok.

Joshua

Joshua tells the story of the Israelites entering the Promised Land.  You might be familiar with some of the stories in Joshua: Rahab and the spies, crossing the River Jordan, and the battle at Jericho. Even if you are familiar with these stories, take the time to read and think about them. As we read through Joshua we’ll notice that for the most part the Israelites “conquer” land without any problems.

The author of Joshua wants the audience to understand that this was because God had ordained how the Israelites would come into and thrive in their new home. Joshua is a blend of law and story- all to remind the people of their covenant with God. As you read you’ll also notice that Joshua is presented as the new Moses.

Judges

Judges tells the story of the judges of Israel. In the Jewish canon Judges is the second book in the section known as “former prophets” and in the majority of Christian canons is the second historical book. The modern use of the word judges is associated with interpretations of the law, but in Judges the judges didn’t only deal with legal matters.

The judges were also military leaders, religious leaders, and warriors. I know we are reading the Bible in chronological order, but please note that Judges isn’t written in chronological order. You’ll want to pay attention to what is going on in the narrative as you read. 

Questions

Below are a few questions to help guide you as you read. There are no right answers to any of these, they are here to help us reflect.

Questions to Guide Us Throughout This Practice 

  • What stood out to you in the readings?
  • What did you notice about God?
  • Did anything in the readings make you feel uncomfortable?
  • How does what you read impact your life and your faith?

Questions to Guide Us Through Deuteronomy

  • What can we learn about life in community from Deuteronomy?
  • Be honest with yourself (and your reading partner if you have one), do you think we should ignore texts like Deuteronomy because they are centuries old or can we find something of value in them?
  • If you don’t think we should dismiss Deuteronomy, how do you think we could apply Deut. 4:9 to our lives? Both in community and individually?

Questions to Guide Us Through Joshua

  • Did anything in Joshua make you feel uncomfortable? If so, why? 
  • What parallels do you see between Moses and Joshua? 
  • If you wrote an Exodus story when we read Exodus, did you add events that are in Joshua? If so, what did you include? Go back and revise your retelling if necessary.

Questions to Guide Us Through Judges 

  • What is the role of women in Judges?
  • What is the relationship between God and the Israelites in Judges?
  • What stories in Judges were you familiar with? 
  • What surprised you about Judges?

Questions to Guide us Through Psalms

  • What is the role of community in Psalms?
  • How do we use the Psalms in our community?
  • As we read through Psalms, think about which themes you resonate with. Why do you think you resonate with that theme?

The hyperlink for the reading will take you to Bible Gateway. The hyperlink “podcast” will take you to the podcast that matches the reading. The hyperlink “YouTube” will take you to a video recording of the Podcast.

May 1 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 2 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 3 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 4 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 5 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 6 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 7 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 8 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 9 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 10 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 11 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 12 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 13 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 14 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 15 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 16 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 17 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 18 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 19 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 20 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 21 | Reading | Reading |Podcast | YouTube
May 22 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 23 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 24 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 25 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 26 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 27 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 28 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 29 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube
May 30 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube*
May 31 | Reading | Podcast | YouTube*
*videos not available for these days