Gideon: A Review - Reading List

Gideon: A Review

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The story of Gideon leading a tiny army of three hundred against the Midianite army and then defeating them without using any real weapons is one that stands out in the Bible. However, I've never done much beside read through it quickly, probably because it's in the middle of Judges in the Old Testament, and seriously I am not an OT Bible Study person.  It is just too much for me!

So when my church group put this up for the study last session, I was sure I would never make it through the entire study.  I would be bored, or in way over my head and give up.  Surprisingly enough I loved it!  Priscilla Shirer's Gideon: Your Weakness, God's Strength was an amazing study that truly reached in deep into scripture to force participants to reevaluate their relationships with God.

Priscilla is down to earth and knows the pressure of raising kids while keeping up a home and caring for a husband, not to mention keeping up with a career for the Lord.  She admits to times when she's messed up or when sin and the broken world have overwhelmed her, which allows the participant to feel a real connection to a teacher in a forum that could alienate the participant.

There is so much in this study, I could do a whole series, but then you might not set up this study for your own group, and that would be a shame. So here's my review, and let me know if you are a Priscilla Shirer study fan also.

Study Overview

This is a video lead group study that focuses on the three chapters in Judges that tell the story of Gideon.  The study has seven video sessions with six weeks of daily homework. The study is taught by Priscilla Shirer.

The homework takes about fifteen to twenty-five minutes a day, five days week. So while there is a considerable amount of time needed to complete, you do not leave the study without being stretched spiritually, which is a great thing!

Priscilla does a great job of incorporating historical information along with a verse breakdown of the events shown in these three quick chapters. No matter where you are in your faith journey, she will make a point that will make you stop and really think about your relationship with Jesus. 

Personal Likes

This was my second study that Priscilla Shirer taught, and I'm still a fan.  She is a great Christian woman for women today. She has a spunk in her voice as she shares what she has gleaned through the Word and is passionate in helping others dig in deep.

The study really did pull so much out of three chapters that many people know in some form. It's the great underdog story of the Bible, second probably only to David and Goliath.  I certainly was well acquainted with the bargaining with God where Gideon asks for the dew to be on the grass one night and then the next night asks for the dew to be on the mat only... So it was nice to see all the details of the whole story flushed out and presented in a light I'm not sure I would have seen otherwise.

I also enjoyed the digging deeper sections where Priscilla had some great details on the historical nature of equipment, status and such to help add to the Bible's account.

Ordinary is often the disguise of the divine.   Gideon: A Review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

I know I've said this over and over, but man there was a ton of homework!  I have three little ones underfoot and more responsibility than I'd care to count, so to take a good thiry-ish minutes to work through the study homework always seemed daunting.  Yet I pulled through and it was rewarding.

Also I struggled with the end of each section recap question. The question never seemed to directly follow the study in a way that lead me to think over it throughout the day.  I'm sure for some it was perfect though, just a personal issue.

Another minor point was with the video - the filler music of the menu screens was this campfire/wilderness noise. It just grated me, mostly because it filled the background during the group meeting times. I know that isn't really a major fault... 

Reasons to Read

This study is great at making you really dig into your own belief system and make sure you are allowing God to be the rightful leader in all aspects of your life.  It is so easy to see success while following God and then we lose our humble spirit and pride creeps in because we've tasted a small bit of success. Even paying lip service to God is not enough. We have to have the right heart attitude. This study helps you dig in deep and see where you're only paying lip service and not really following His lead and plan. 

Reading List Rating

I'm giving this study five hearts, because I really did glean so much from it.  And to be honest, if you do the work and stick with it, I don't think anyone can walk away from this study without being changed at least a little.

My Suggested Audience

I'd say this is a great large group study. Since there are videos, you would need to be able to invest some money into it, but in a large group that isn't so hard to do.  Plus there are many discussion questions and topics through out the study and more minds always make those discussions more rich.

Also I would say that mothers, of any age, would get the most out of Priscilla's personal stories and vantage point. 

Do you enjoy being part of large Bible studies? Does homework keep you involved, or is it a hurdle that keeps you from taking part?

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

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