April 16, 2021

RE:CYCLE

Judges 1–5

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The Continuing Conquest of Canaan

After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel inquired of the LORD, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” The LORD said, “Judah...

The Continuing Conquest of Canaan

After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel inquired of the LORD, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” The LORD said, “Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand.” And Judah said to Simeon his brother, “Come up with me into the territory allotted to me, that we may fight against the Canaanites. And I likewise will go with you into the territory allotted to you.” So Simeon went with him. Then Judah went up and the LORD gave the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand, and they defeated 10,000 of them at Bezek. They found Adoni-bezek at Bezek and fought against him and defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites. Adoni-bezek fled, but they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and his big toes. And Adoni-bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and their big toes cut off used to pick up scraps under my table. As I have done, so God has repaid me.” And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.

And the men of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire. And afterward the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who lived in the hill country, in the Negeb, and in the lowland. 10 And Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron (now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba), and they defeated Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai.

11 From there they went against the inhabitants of Debir. The name of Debir was formerly Kiriath-sepher. 12 And Caleb said, “He who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter for a wife.” 13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter for a wife. 14 When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 15 She said to him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have set me in the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

16 And the descendants of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the city of palms into the wilderness of Judah, which lies in the Negeb near Arad, and they went and settled with the people. 17 And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they defeated the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath and devoted it to destruction. So the name of the city was called Hormah.1 18 Judah also captured Gaza with its territory, and Ashkelon with its territory, and Ekron with its territory. 19 And the LORD was with Judah, and he took possession of the hill country, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain because they had chariots of iron. 20 And Hebron was given to Caleb, as Moses had said. And he drove out from it the three sons of Anak. 21 But the people of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem, so the Jebusites have lived with the people of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.

22 The house of Joseph also went up against Bethel, and the LORD was with them. 23 And the house of Joseph scouted out Bethel. (Now the name of the city was formerly Luz.) 24 And the spies saw a man coming out of the city, and they said to him, “Please show us the way into the city, and we will deal kindly with you.” 25 And he showed them the way into the city. And they struck the city with the edge of the sword, but they let the man and all his family go. 26 And the man went to the land of the Hittites and built a city and called its name Luz. That is its name to this day.

Failure to Complete the Conquest

27 Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages, for the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. 28 When Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not drive them out completely.

29 And Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them.

30 Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Nahalol, so the Canaanites lived among them, but became subject to forced labor.

31 Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon or of Ahlab or of Achzib or of Helbah or of Aphik or of Rehob, 32 so the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, for they did not drive them out.

33 Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-anath, so they lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became subject to forced labor for them.

34 The Amorites pressed the people of Dan back into the hill country, for they did not allow them to come down to the plain. 35 The Amorites persisted in dwelling in Mount Heres, in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim, but the hand of the house of Joseph rested heavily on them, and they became subject to forced labor. 36 And the border of the Amorites ran from the ascent of Akrabbim, from Sela and upward.

Israel’s Disobedience

Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” As soon as the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept. And they called the name of that place Bochim.2 And they sacrificed there to the LORD.

The Death of Joshua

When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land. And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the LORD had done for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110 years. And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. 10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel.

Israel’s Unfaithfulness

11 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the LORD to anger. 13 They abandoned the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. 14 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. 15 Whenever they marched out, the hand of the LORD was against them for harm, as the LORD had warned, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were in terrible distress.

The Lord Raises Up Judges

16 Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. 17 Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so. 18 Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them. 19 But whenever the judge died, they turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them. They did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways. 20 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he said, “Because this people have transgressed my covenant that I commanded their fathers and have not obeyed my voice, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died, 22 in order to test Israel by them, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the LORD as their fathers did, or not.” 23 So the LORD left those nations, not driving them out quickly, and he did not give them into the hand of Joshua.

Now these are the nations that the LORD left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods.

Othniel

And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth. Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 The Spirit of the LORD was upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11 So the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

Ehud

12 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the LORD. 13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of the city of palms. 14 And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

15 Then the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, and the LORD raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. The people of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 And Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubit3 in length, and he bound it on his right thigh under his clothes. 17 And he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back at the idols near Gilgal and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And he commanded, “Silence.” And all his attendants went out from his presence. 20 And Ehud came to him as he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he arose from his seat. 21 And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. 22 And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not pull the sword out of his belly; and the dung came out. 23 Then Ehud went out into the porch4 and closed the doors of the roof chamber behind him and locked them.

24 When he had gone, the servants came, and when they saw that the doors of the roof chamber were locked, they thought, “Surely he is relieving himself in the closet of the cool chamber.” 25 And they waited till they were embarrassed. But when he still did not open the doors of the roof chamber, they took the key and opened them, and there lay their lord dead on the floor.

26 Ehud escaped while they delayed, and he passed beyond the idols and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he arrived, he sounded the trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim. Then the people of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he was their leader. 28 And he said to them, “Follow after me, for the LORD has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” So they went down after him and seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites and did not allow anyone to pass over. 29 And they killed at that time about 10,000 of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped. 30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest for eighty years.

Shamgar

31 After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.

Deborah and Barak

And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD after Ehud died. And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the LORD for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?” Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.

12 When Sisera was told that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera called out all his chariots, 900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. 14 And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the LORD has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the LORD go out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 And the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. And Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.

17 But Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 And Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me; do not be afraid.” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. 20 And he said to her, “Stand at the opening of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, ‘Is anyone here?’ say, ‘No.’” 21 But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died. 22 And behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he went in to her tent, and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his temple.

23 So on that day God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan before the people of Israel. 24 And the hand of the people of Israel pressed harder and harder against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

The Song of Deborah and Barak

Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day:

  “That the leaders took the lead in Israel,
    that the people offered themselves willingly,
    bless the LORD!
  “Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes;
    to the LORD I will sing;
    I will make melody to the LORD, the God of Israel.
  “LORD, when you went out from Seir,
    when you marched from the region of Edom,
  the earth trembled
    and the heavens dropped,
    yes, the clouds dropped water.
  The mountains quaked before the LORD,
    even Sinai before the LORD,5 the God of Israel.
  “In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath,
    in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned,
    and travelers kept to the byways.
  The villagers ceased in Israel;
    they ceased to be until I arose;
    I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel.
  When new gods were chosen,
    then war was in the gates.
  Was shield or spear to be seen
    among forty thousand in Israel?
  My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel
    who offered themselves willingly among the people.
    Bless the LORD.
10   “Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys,
    you who sit on rich carpets6
    and you who walk by the way.
11   To the sound of musicians7 at the watering places,
    there they repeat the righteous triumphs of the LORD,
    the righteous triumphs of his villagers in Israel.
  “Then down to the gates marched the people of the LORD.
12   “Awake, awake, Deborah!
    Awake, awake, break out in a song!
  Arise, Barak, lead away your captives,
    O son of Abinoam.
13   Then down marched the remnant of the noble;
    the people of the LORD marched down for me against the mighty.
14   From Ephraim their root they marched down into the valley,8
    following you, Benjamin, with your kinsmen;
  from Machir marched down the commanders,
    and from Zebulun those who bear the lieutenant’s9 staff;
15   the princes of Issachar came with Deborah,
    and Issachar faithful to Barak;
    into the valley they rushed at his heels.
  Among the clans of Reuben
    there were great searchings of heart.
16   Why did you sit still among the sheepfolds,
    to hear the whistling for the flocks?
  Among the clans of Reuben
    there were great searchings of heart.
17   Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan;
    and Dan, why did he stay with the ships?
  Asher sat still at the coast of the sea,
    staying by his landings.
18   Zebulun is a people who risked their lives to the death;
    Naphtali, too, on the heights of the field.
19   “The kings came, they fought;
    then fought the kings of Canaan,
  at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo;
    they got no spoils of silver.
20   From heaven the stars fought,
    from their courses they fought against Sisera.
21   The torrent Kishon swept them away,
    the ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
    March on, my soul, with might!
22   “Then loud beat the horses’ hoofs
    with the galloping, galloping of his steeds.
23   “Curse Meroz, says the angel of the LORD,
    curse its inhabitants thoroughly,
  because they did not come to the help of the LORD,
    to the help of the LORD against the mighty.
24   “Most blessed of women be Jael,
    the wife of Heber the Kenite,
    of tent-dwelling women most blessed.
25   He asked for water and she gave him milk;
    she brought him curds in a noble’s bowl.
26   She sent her hand to the tent peg
    and her right hand to the workmen’s mallet;
  she struck Sisera;
    she crushed his head;
    she shattered and pierced his temple.
27   Between her feet
    he sank, he fell, he lay still;
  between her feet
    he sank, he fell;
  where he sank,
    there he fell—dead.
28   “Out of the window she peered,
    the mother of Sisera wailed through the lattice:
  ‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
    Why tarry the hoofbeats of his chariots?’
29   Her wisest princesses answer,
    indeed, she answers herself,
30   ‘Have they not found and divided the spoil?—
    A womb or two for every man;
  spoil of dyed materials for Sisera,
    spoil of dyed materials embroidered,
    two pieces of dyed work embroidered for the neck as spoil?’
31   “So may all your enemies perish, O LORD!
    But your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might.”

And the land had rest for forty years.

Footnotes

[1] 1:17 Hormah means utter destruction
[2] 2:5 Bochim means weepers
[3] 3:16 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
[4] 3:23 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[5] 5:5 Or before the Lord, the One of Sinai, before the Lord
[6] 5:10 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; it may connote saddle blankets
[7] 5:11 Or archers; the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[8] 5:14 Septuagint; Hebrew in Amalek
[9] 5:14 Hebrew commander’s

RE:CYCLE



Key Verse | Judges 3:9

But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them . . . .

Bio | Ann Holford

Hi, friends! I'm Ann. God has consistently taught me that it's better to turn toward Him, not away from Him, in my sin and my struggles. God has been faithful over and over to hear me when I cry out to Him, even in messes I've created myself! He is always there, even in the consequences.

I am married, have children and grandchildren, love spending time with family and friends, and love hearing stories of God's faithfulness! If you have a story of God's faithfulness in your life, I'd love to hear it!

Central Truth

Without God's help, we are destined to repeat the same sin over and over. But God is faithful despite our failure.

Devotional | Judges 1–5

Do you find yourself in the same messes over and over? That's what happened to Israel in this dark time in its history. After Joshua died, there was a leadership vacuum. No one stepped up so it was ...

Do you find yourself in the same messes over and over? That's what happened to Israel in this dark time in its history. After Joshua died, there was a leadership vacuum. No one stepped up so it was  every man for himself—each person just doing what seemed right in his own eyes. Sound pretty current? How's that working out for our culture? For you?

Here's the cycle we'll see over and over in Judges:

  1. The Israelites would sin, influenced by the idol-worshipping people living among them;
  2. Their sin would lead to bondage, as God allowed those idol-worshipping people to oppress them;
  3. Then the Israelites would cry out to the Lord in their self-induced misery;
  4. God would raise up a deliverer, a "judge"; and
  5. Once the crisis was over and peace returned, they'd go back to their default, forgetting God and sinning again. Then the cycle repeats.

Have you noticed that cycle in your own life? I have. I used to beg God for second chances until I realized I would just mess it up again. When I try to fix my messes my way, I am destined to fail. When I don't deal with the root of the problem, identifying the sin, asking God to help me, I'll just do it again—re:cycle. The root is my heart. An old Hank Williams song says, "[Y]our cheatin' heart will make you weep." It's our cheatin' hearts that make idols out of things that draw us away from God.

And believers in Christ are given His Spirit to enable us to follow Him instead of our cheatin' hearts.

Something that stood out to me in this crazy story that's unfamiliar to most people is that God takes our sin seriously. There are consequences for our sins. But God is with us even in those consequences. 

This cycle repeats seven times in Judges. Over and over they sin and disregard God, and over and over He delivers them. What kind of God puts up with that? A God whose faithfulness never fails. The kind of God who says, "You cry out to Me? I will answer."

God is faithful despite our failure.

See Comments

Discussion Questions

1. Do you take your sin seriously? Or is it not that big of a deal? How can you see your sin the way God sees it?

2. What sins do you find yourself repeating again and again? Could it be that you just want the consequences to go away rather than identifying the sin, asking for God's help, and stopping the cycle?

3. What consequences of your sin are you currently living with? How have you experienced God's presence with you, even in the consequences?

4. In what situation are you doubting God's faithfulness to you? Cry out to Him! He delights to remind us of His faithfulness.

5. Our tendency to repeat the same sin shows us that WE NEED A SAVIOR! If you don't know Jesus, read Romans 3:23, 6:23, and 5:8 and Ephesians 2:8-9 to see God's provision for you.

9 Comments available

Patricia Simmons 25 days ago

So good to see your smiling face this morning, friend! You have just summed up the problem of humanity. When we sin, we don’t hate that we have disobeyed God, but we sure hate the consequences. Thanks be to our Lord that He is with us during the sin and the consequences, wooing us back to Himself. What’s even crazier is this is the same thing he did with the Israelites throughout scripture. If I were Him (and it’s a good thing I’m not) I would get tired of a people who readily disobey and complain when things don’t turn out the way we’d like. Like you, I am forever grateful to our Heavenly Father who is faithful despite our failures. He truly is our good, good Father.

Linda Green 25 days ago

Am with you, Ann- God is good and loving in spite of my sin and failures.

Here is a verse a friend and I memorized that speaks directly to me in Ezekiel 20:43-44 (NLT): You will look back on all the ways you defiled yourselves and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. You will know that I am the LORD, O people of Israel, when I have honored my Name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign LORD have spoken!

So thankful for the mercy Jesus died to give me. Am blown away that God considers His mercy toward me as honoring His Name! That flies in the face of the harsh picture I had of God for most of my life. His love has changed everything.

Carlos Sepulveda 25 days ago

Psalm 117 is very concise bring comprised of only 2 verses and right on point for this devotional!

Psalm 117 (NIV) 1 Praise the LORD all you nations; extol Him, all you peoples. 2 For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the Lord.

Observation: “forever” is a really long time and for those who have trusted in Jesus, “forever” includes today!

Liese Semans 25 days ago

Thank you for your devotional!

It is EXACTLY what I needed to hear.

Knowing God is there even amidst the consequences! Powerful!

Sue Bohlin 25 days ago

Hi, Ann! Thank you for another always-wonderful devo!

I had to smile in reading today’s section because of a Twitter thread where someone suggested that a great idea for a book on biblical femininity should have a cover with a drawing of a woman’s hands holding a hammer and a bloody tent spike, surrounded by a garland border of flowers. That just cracks me up!

Earlier in the passage, though, I had to stop and think about the repeated phrase that “the Lord was with” His people. It’s so easy to take this for granted, since Jesus promised that He would be with us ALWAYS, but in the OT the Lord didn’t stay with people. His “withness” came and went.

Thank You, Lord for the grace of Your permanent indwelling and permanent presence with us!

Greg Jones 25 days ago

May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.”So Jacob took an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.Genesis31:53

Joshua said,“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says:‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods.Joshua24:2

I sense a tension. The writer of Hebrews 4:8 senses it too.

Joshua seems to view Jacob as worshiping the god of doormats. Hebrews seems to view Jacob as one who worshiped a golden hammer and never rested.

In my life God, limited and attached only to my opinions and perspectives can become my doormat to clean my feet and my golden hammer whom I work for. I need internal conflict to see that. I don’t mind that conflict in my Bible.

Hugh Stephenson 25 days ago

When I was struggling with a task my dad would often say, “When all else fails follow the directions”.

God has told them to go into the land and “take possession”. Perhaps taking license, I read this as, “Just go get it”. As an old friend used to say, “Easy work. No heavy lifting”.

Failure. Miserable. Tragic.

I am focused on verse 2:2b “But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done?”

The second sentence is translated in the ESV EXACTLY the same as Genesis 3:13 when God speaks to Eve.

After Eve’s disobedience, chaos reigned. They lost the garden. The example of Adam’s passivity and lack of leadership seems to correlate exactly with the same failures and outcomes in Judges.

I am taught to “make war on my sin”.

Passivity is sin. Leadership failure is sin. Partial obedience is disobedience; which is sin.

Michael Scaman 26 days ago

The book opens on a high note and a conquest, then problems follow, tribes not completely driving out the Canaanites and Joshua dies with mission unaccomplished.

An angel anounces the results of disobedience. First 4 of the sin cycles start. And it last for centuries.

The cycles fall to new lows and cycle downward until (SPOILER ALERT) in the time of Samsom and the Philistines they don’t even call to God but God sends help by grace anyway. The cycles will go lower depths then end tragically. Even the tribe of Samson falls into idolotry. Another tribe sounding like Sodom.

God said in Samson he was begining to deliver Israel. A greater than Samson coming to finish the job.

Michael Scaman 26 days ago

LIberation theology meet the Book of Judges.

Liberation theology says the Bible is all about oppression of any sort, redemption is through political revolution, but is it? In this book the root problem was sin and the people’s relationship with God.

Sin oppression was the root where other oppression followed and used by God to reveal deep needs and problems in the hearts of men, prone to wander. God does condemn oppresssion. God does comdemn injustice to the poor. All people are made in the image of God. But the Bible is not simply reductionistically about oppression nor is Jesus merely about political rescue from oppression or revolution. There is a transformation where mercy and justice are indeed fruits of faith working in love as we glorify God leaning on the work of Christ on the cross believing for eternal life.

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