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. This was an act of disobedience from the Israelites. The Israelites were commanded to completely destroy them, not torture them.
Bezek is in the region of Manasseh.
(Put this name in your pocket for a short time:13 Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage.)
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 (a theophany) 😁 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.”
Unfortunately 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 are in:
Click here to print this (I put several handouts in the overview last night)
If you read in a Bible rather than on-line, go back and underline the cycle in the second half of Chapter 2. You will see it.
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.
20: Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22 I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their ancestors did.” 23 The Lord had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua.
So now begins the cycle.