Term 1 – Week 8
Big Idea – God’s people repeatedly turned from the LORD.
Judges 1-3 (Judges 3:7-31)
- See the repeated failure of Israel and understand the comparison with how often and regularly we turn away from God into sin.
- Belief – believe that sin is a big problem that we can do nothing to fix without God’s help
- Behaviour – spot the areas in our lives where we are in a cycle of sin, pray to God for forgiveness and help to fight our sin. Thank God for his patience with us and for giving us the perfect judge Jesus.
Following Joshua’s death, the Israelites were without a leader. They fell into a cycle of sin that can be seen during each reign of the judges. The cycle is marked by an A-B-C-D-E pattern. We will look at the first judge, Othniel (Judges 3:7-11) to see this pattern:
A – Abandon – They forget God, turn to sin and often serve other Gods (v7)
B – Bondage – God is angry with the Israelites and gives them over into oppression (v8)
C – Cry – The people cry out to God, often in realisation and repentance of their sin (v9)
D – Deliverer – God sends a ‘judge’ to come and save them from their oppression. (v9-10)
E – Ease – They have a period of ease in the land in right relationship with God (v11)
The cycle usually begins again once the judge dies and they forget their previous experiences.
The pattern continues as the Israelites forget the LORD and enter into 18 years of oppression under the Moabites. After crying out to the LORD, He raises up Ehud, a left-handed man from a lesser tribe. His left-handedness enables him to smuggle a sword into the presence of King Eglon of the Moabites, and plunge the sword into the King’s belly. Eglon is disembowelled and is killed. Ehud leads the Israelites to turn to God and defeat the Moabites, beginning a period of 80 years of peace. Shamgar again was another judge raised up to save Israel, this time from the Philistines.
Judges is stark diagnosis into the failures of God’s people to serve God as they should, just as Joshua predicted in Joshua 24:19. This book serves as a warning to us of how God’s people can wander away in forgetfulness and turn to sin. We must realise our sin and turn to God into repentance (1 John 1:9).
Most of all however, Judges points to the need for a perfect ruler and King wo can lead his people. Some judges are successful, but their success is limited by their death. Some Judges are plain useless. We can praise God that we follow Christ, our perfect and eternal Judge, and ask that we keep in step with His ways.]
‘I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”’
God’s people in God’s place – Awesome Cutlery
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