Read Judges 2-5
Let’s start today’s reading and say, “God teach me something.”
Straight away in Judges the angel of the Lord appears to Israel and reminds them what HE did. ‘I lead you out of Egypt’ and the LORD reminds them of his faithfulness, I will not break covenant with you. A direct question hits hard, ‘why have you done this?’ Judges 2:2
THE LORD is crystal clear. God is full of loving kindness (Ex. 34:6), so we can infer to be unclear is to be unkind. The Lord is painfully direct, ‘they will become traps for you, and their gods will become snares to you’. Judges 2:3
What one generation fails to confront becomes the snare to the next generation. God is clear. He will no longer drive out before Israel any of remaining ‘ites” and makes it abundantly clear it is to teach them warfare. What is God allowing in my life to teach me how to fight? The fight of faith is the fight worth fighting! (1 Timothy 6:12)
“Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.” Judges 2:16
The rise of JUDGES, occurs when Israel cries out to the LORD halting and sometimes reversing their decline into spiritual adultery. It only takes ONE SPIRIT-FILLED man like Othniel or woman like Deborah to change the tide of the nation.
Othniel, a nephew of Caleb is the very first Judge (Judges 3:9-11). We are still a long time off from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the upper room, yet here is the Holy Spirit falling on and making JUDGES (Judges 3:10).
Next up is Ehud who is both strong and cunning. (Judges 3:15) And what a story around the fire it is, for all the children in Israel. A knife, a fat man, and the revolt, would be a good title! His leadership brings peace to the land for 80 years. Shamgar and the oxgoad are next up and then third in the line is Deborah who rises as a mother in Israel. Mothers in God’s Kingdom are a real force of good and peace for God’s children. (Judges 5:7)
Some scholars suggest Judges was written by Samuel. The song of Deborah, a victory hymn is from the earliest Israelite period. When Israel lacked moral faithfulness to God the Lord kept his covenant and soon war was at their gates. They cycle is predictable. Oppression leads them back to their need for God. AND GOD HELPS. His character of mercy and faithfulness can not be missed. Deborah belongs to not only group of judges, but prophets, and song writers as well. The song of Deborah is a tribute to an astounding victory and the death of General Sisera. Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, and Mary are the company of women who write songs as a responses to God’s sovereign victory, fulfillment of promise, or gift.