Look how far we are into the Old Testament!!
The book of Judges is a continuation of Joshua. Now that they are in the Promised Land (Canaan) , Israel has to learn that no matter how great their leaders were (Moses and Joshua) ultimately God is in command.
When the Israelites entered Canaan they were one nation. Now they are divided into 12 groups, each responsible for driving out the remaining enemies in their own territory. Spoiler Alert: The book of Judges records their failure to do this.
It is hard for us to understand why God would command the Israelites to execute ALL the people. Seems cruel. However, God is the “ultimate” Judge, and just like he brought judgment onto the Israelites descendants to wander for 40 years and never enter the land, executing all the Canaanites is a judgment too. They are wicked people and this is God’s judgment on them. If you are still struggling with this command from a loving God, think of it as an infected leg that needs to be amputated to save a life or a disease in the body that will spread if not removed. You can’t leave just a “little” or it will still infect the body.
So why don’t the Israelites follow the commandments they have been given? Well, for the same reason, I don’t…
- They have been fighting for a long time and they are too tired
- Their enemies were strong and it would take work
- After Joshua dies, they really don’t have someone leading them (or keeping them accountable)
- They thought they could handle the temptation
Basically, they just didn’t follow through with their commitment!!
God’s agreement to help Israel conquer the land is broken BUT his Covenant to make Israel a nation whom the whole world will be blessed (through a Messiah) always remains valid!
The Judges and their Tribes:
1. Othniel – Judah
2. Ehud – Benjamin
4. Deborah – Ephraim
5. Gideon – Manasseh
6. Tola – Issachar
7. Jair – Manasseh
8. Jephthah – Manasseh
9. Ibzan – Judah
10. Elon – Zebulun
11. Abdon – Ephraim
12. Samson – Dan
We will read the WHOLE book in 1 week….so don’t fall behind just because you want to watch Netflix, scroll Facebook, or mindlessly watch TikTok. 🤪
Here are some handouts you can take a look at. Print only the ones you really like.