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Today we begin the book of Judges! Coming up in this book, we’ll be reading about Deborah, Gideon, Samson, Delilah, and Micah - to drop a few names. Below is a great map of the judges in Israel that we'll be reading about:
Date: Eleventh century B.C.
Content: The book of Judges covers a period of several hundred years following the conquest of Canaan, during which time the people were ruled by individual leaders called judges or saviors. Their task was primarily military, being to expel the enemy from the land. Throughout this period of Israel’s history there is a tragic cycle to be observed - that of rebellion against God, followed by the judgment of God, usually in the form of foreign invasion. The children of Israel then cry to God for help and a “judge” is sent to save them. This cycle is repeated numerous times throughout the book. Tragically, the people never seem to learn that rebellion against God is a sure road to disaster.
Theme: The grim lesson of Judges is that “the wages of sin is death: (see Romans 6:23). Sin takes many forms, from the sophisticated sins of kings to the barbaric events that close the book, but the net results is always the same: when everyone does his own thing, chaos and destruction are the inevitable outcome. Through it all, however, God in his faithfulness saves the people when they truly repent and turn to him. (Above commentary is from “The One Year Bible Companion” p. 4)
More commentary on Judges is at these 3 links:
Really interesting commentary is at this link titled “The Role of Women in the Book of Judges." (below is an image of Deborah)
An image is below for Judges chapter 1 verses 14 & 15 today: "When Acsah married Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for an additional field. As she got down off her donkey, Caleb asked her, "What is it? What can I do for you?" She said, "Give me a further blessing. You have been kind enough to give me land in the Negev; please give me springs as well." So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs."
Today in Judges Chapter 2 verses 1 & 2 we will read these words from the angel of the Lord – “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?”” The Israelites disobeyed God back then. Why? Do we disobey God in our lives today? Why do we do this? I have a hunch that maybe sometimes we are simply afraid. Afraid of fully following and trusting God. We may think that God really won’t live up to his promises. At these moments our faith is weak. And we end up disobeying God. Fortunately our inconsistencies do not affect God’s perfect consistency. God never changes. We do. And we can allow ourselves to either be changed by God such that we live in obedience to him – or, we can continue to disobey God and live tumultuous lives. It’s a pretty simple choice. One decision brings an amazing peace that surpasses all understanding and the other decision – grief and frustration. Do we disobey God in our lives today? Why have we done this? Can we instead choose to obey God in our lives? An image is below for Judges chapter 2 verses 4 & 5 today - "When the angel of the LORD finished speaking, the Israelites wept loudly. So they called the place "Weeping," and they offered sacrifices to the LORD."
Today in Judges we read about Israel forgetting about God and worshiping other gods. Sad stuff! Judges chapter 2 verse 19 stood out: "But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They followed other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them. And they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways." I wonder if we are so different today from the Israelites in the time of the Judges? Do we maybe shape ourselves up for short amounts of time - but then go back to our corrupt ways? Do we ultimately refuse to give up our evil practices and stubborn ways? Why is this? What is the remedy to this problem? Or - perhaps I should ask - Who is the remedy to this problem? Who can literally rescue us from this problem? Who can rescue us from ourselves? Will you allow Jesus to rescue you from any evil practices and stubborn ways?
Worship God: Today's readings in Judges reminded me of Tait's song "Lose This Life:"
Have you lost your life? Click here and find True Life!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "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." Judges 2:19 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you will never ever follow nor serve other gods. Pray that you will never take back up evil practices nor stubborn ways.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our Chronological Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.