READING THROUGH THE BIBLE: 2008
THE BOOK OF JUDGES
June 2-8

Judges has 21 chapters.
If you read 3 chapters a day
you will finish the book in 7 days.
 
 
Praise the Lord ladies. We've now come to the book of the Judges of Israel. This book makes it very clear from the first few chapters the predicament the children of Israel were in.
 
Instead of one man to lead them, God sent them a number of deliverers or judges to preserve them.  More important God puts them on trial.
 
No matter how many times God delivers them they continue to fall into sin and the influences of the nations and people around them. They repent and promise to serve the Lord again and again. God is ever merciful. He wants to bless them contiually but only if they learn as a people to follow in His ways and obey His commands.
 
Moses told them to "remember" the Lord their God. In Deuteronomy...
 

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: 2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.

3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

He counseled Joshua to "meditate in His Word" day and night

Joshua 1:5-9

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

The people of Israel failed to do the one thing that would seal their deliverance from their enemies time and again. They refused to remember the Word of God and to make His Word their meditation day and night and teach it to their children.

The only way to have the success God promises is to keep a vigil of His Word day and night. There is a powerful message in this for us today.

The promise was that they would be able to obey His Word--"that thou mayest" if they would meditate in it day and night. It is worth repeating to ourselves.

Israel could not overcome their enemies because they failed to keep the Word before them day and night.

We will find later in Psalm 1 God escalates the promise and gives us the defining factor of what separates the righteous from the wicked:

Psalms 1:1-6 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The book of Judges is a time of God trying and testing Israel using His Word as the witness against them or--- to bless them through it.

In the fourth chapter there is a monumental change. The first woman to judge Israel is chosen by God: Deborah the Prophetess. We find her sitting under a palm tree ministering the book of the Law before her people.

We may delight to see God choose a woman as one of Israel's leaders but I pray we do not miss the message God is sending through her appointment.

Israel had fallen so low that God was hard pressed to find a man to appoint to stand against Sisera, a formidable enemy of Israel. He chose Barak though he was slow in answering the call. 

God later sent a severe message in chapter 5 after the victory over Sisera.

Judges 5:23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.

God chose two very different types of women, but both were noble, brave and of a good courage to bring down Sisera. When God cannot find a man who will stand he will certainly choose a woman. But make no mistake, it is to show the shame that so few men of the tribes of Israel would fully trust and obey the Lord to stand against his enemies.

As a note of all fairness many answered the call. In the book of Hebrews chapter 11, Barak is given honor because, although slow to obey God and making a deal to fight only if Deborah would go with him, He did in fact answer the call and fought against Sisera's armies with great courage and faith.

Judges 3:1-4 - The Central point in Judges...

1 Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;

2 Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;

3 Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.

4 And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

These are still Israel's greatest enemies to this day because they did not completely drive them out of the land as God had commanded them so long ago.

All Scripture is given for our instruction among other things. Christians are not instructed to try to live according to the law but to recieve instruction from it (1 Timothy 1:9).

The book of Judges ends on a sobering note. I will share it because it is the telling testimony of the entire book of Judges. It provides a sound reason for Christians today to meditate on the instruction God provides in the Old Testament to learn from it. It is the state of many today in the churches of our Lord Jesus Christ and why there is so great a call for repentance.

God never meant for His people to replace the headship of men with women. Reading through the Bible leaves no doubt about this.

Judges 21:25 -
In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.