Well, you’ve made it this far. 🙂 May we not turn back like the people of Judges did.
The book of Judges is a book I tend to overlook. Tucked away near the front of the Bible, but not quite the beginning.
However, this book is anything except plain.
The book of Judges covers about 400 years in only 21 chapters. Can I just say, “WOW!”
That’s quite a feat. But unfortunately, that’s because we are going back to back in cycles of the people sinning, God leaves them, them being rebuked and being saved again. In fact, there are seven cycles of this in the book of Judges.
In Hebrew, the name Judges is Shophetim meaning judges, rulers, deliverers or saviors. In fact, Shophet also refers to liberating. The book of Judges is about different people set as a judge to deliver the people and also rule and administer justice.
With Joshua and the past leaders who knew him also gone, the people steadily keep falling away from God. Yet, through it all, God is still God, and He makes His name known. For those who do seek Him, He encourages them to heed His voice.
No matter how far we stray, God is at the core of everything.
Ch. 1 – Many Inhabitants Not Driven Out
After Joshua’s passing, Judah is chosen as the next leader to defeat the Canaanites. He does in fact. However, many tribes that were told to defeat a variety of different inhabitants and villages did not.
Ch. 2 – New Generation Doesn’t Know God
Ch. 2:01-06– The Angel of the Lord tells the people He kept His covenant, but they did not. They were suppose to drive out the inhabitants, and they didn’t. As they were told, now the people that weren’t driven out would become thorns in the side of Israel, and the gods of the lands would become snares.
Ch. 2:07-10– Joshua dies, and when the generation died with him, the next generation did not know God or everything that He did for Israel.
Ch. 2:11-23– These people, not knowing God, turned away. Worshipping Baals and playing the harlot. God was against them in His anger. The people can’t stand against their enemies. But God also rose up judges to help the people, to warn them. Unfortunately, the people didn’t heed them one bit, continuing in harlotry.
Not only that, but once the judge died, the people only continued in their wicked way more.
Arousing God’s anger only more, the Lord decided not to continue to drive out the nations Joshua left when he died. Instead, these nations would be left to test Israel, to see if they would keep the ways of past generations and walk in them or not. (Judges 2:22)
Ch. 3- Three Different Judges For The People
Ch. 3:01-11- The children of Israel continue to commit evil in the sight of God, forgetting Him, and serving other gods. God had the people be sold into slavery for eight years. When the people cried out, God rose up the first judge we see, Othniel. The Spirit of the Lord was with him, and he judged Israel. God also put a number of enemies into his hand.
Israel rested for forty years, and then Othniel died.
Ch. 3:12-31– Back to square one, the Israelites again turn back to wickedness. Therefore, God allowed them to fall into the hand of a Moab king. The children of Israel served him for 18 years, and then they cried out to God.
God heard their cry and rose up the judge Ehud. If you want to read about the acts of Ehud, check out Judges 3:12-30 for full details, it gets slightly gruesome. Ehud defeats the king of Moab, and the children of Israel defeat Moab. Israel has rest once again, for 80 years.
Shamgar is the next judge and he defeated the Philistines.
Ch. 4- Deborah, First Female Judge
Deborah was a prophetess as well, and it stands to show we see few female prophets and females in leadership positions, but God certainly used women as well for His plan.
A man called Barak talks to Deborah and is too afraid to go against Sisera. In fact, Deborah tells him (paraphrase), “God, will put this in your hand. Go and do it.”
And he’s like, “Nah, that’s not good enough, but if you go with me, I’ll go.”
She agrees but instead tells him the glory will not go to him, but God will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.
And it was so. Sisera fled to a tent of the woman Jael. He asks for water, and she gives him milk. Jael waits till he falls asleep and then she strikes him in the head. He dies. When Barak reaches where Jael was, she shows him a now dead Sisera.
Ch. 5 Deborah’s song
This whole chapter is somewhat of a retelling. Quite enjoyable, especially if you understand what she is speaking of, by knowing these summaries you will.
For those of you who like older pieces of literature played in the song, you’ll probably enjoy this piece especially.
Next week we will begin Ch. 6 and start with Gideon’s journey to trusting God.
Did you learn or enjoy any part of today’s summary?
(Need to catch up? Check out all of the summaries here.)