Judges

200+ years in 3 chapters!

Tomorrow we will read 3 chapters but I wanted you to have this BEFORE you read so that you understand how many years we are going to cover in those chapters. The Judges we will read about are:

1. Othniel – Judah
2. Ehud – Benjamin
3. Shamgar
4. Deborah – Ephraim

Click here for a printable copy

Solution to the Chronology of the Book of Judges!

For a Chart (cheat sheet) that gives you a graph of the Judges Click here also. (Sorry, it was a pdf so I couldn’t show a preview)

Judges

Judges 1-2

The Israelites were given instructions to destroy the Canaanites and take possession of their land.  Israel begins by asking the Lord which tribe should lead the way, and Judah is chosen.  Judah naturally asks the Simeonites to join them since Judah is allowing them to live in their land (Simeon lost his right to own land when he plotted vengeance on the Shechamites after they tricked them into getting circumcised and then attacking them) (click here if you want to re-read Genesis 34)

“Adoni-bezek” meaning “lord of Bezek” was the title of the king of Bezek rather than his proper name. The Israelites cut off this man’s thumbs so he could not wield a sword, and his big toes so he could not run away, as well as to humiliate him.

The Military failure: What do verses 1:21, 1:27, 1:32, and 2:23 all have in common? DID NOT DRIVE OUT followed by “Nor did” “Neither did”.  They did not follow through driving out their enemies.


Chapter 2:The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you,  and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? And I have also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; they will become traps for you, and their gods will become snares to you.”

Yes.  Yes they will!

The next generation of Israelites now grows up who did not know the Lord nor the might acts he had don’t for their parents in battles (2:10).  Remember the “Shema” verse in Deuteronomy 6:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Well, they ignored this too.

  • Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals (Canaanite gods of rain and agriculture) and the Astoreths (the mother god of love, war, and fertility) They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them.
    • They aroused the Lord’s anger, in his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them.
    • He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 
    • Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.

Look at the cycle the Americans Israelites they are in:

Click here to print this

If you read in a Bible rather than on-line, go back and underline the cycle: V.16-19

Then the Lord raised up judges,who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.  Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands.  Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.

This became a cyclical pattern BECAUSE their crying out was not an act of repentance, simply a cry for help (wrestle with that application in your own life, I do that ALL the time)  Look at verse 19: when the judge died, the people returned to the ways even MORE corrupt than those of their ancestors.

Have you ever struggled with scriptures like this:

  • Deut: 5:9 “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,”

Now you get it.

So now begins the cycle.