Judges, Delivering God’s People
We are taught much about the History of the World we live in. We here in America are also taught the history of our Great Nation.
BUT, we should ask ourselves one question. Does History Repeat Itself?
What are the 3 steps throughout history that have caused the downfall of every nation that has fallen?
1.) They suffer through spiritual apostasy!
2.) They suffer through moral awfulness!
3.) They suffer through political anarchy!
The History of this world we live in does not record one single time of any nation that was subject to moral decay that have not passed into political and economic decline.
These are the signs of a nation that is about to cease being a nation!
The Book of Judges marks a transition period in the history and the government of Israel. Because they had failed to follow the Word of God they had also failed to drive out the people of Canaan land. They settled among these people and it was not long before they inter-married, began following their idolatrous practices, and then became degenerate!
The Bible uses this time period to point out to the “Body of Christ” the results of apostasy but more important the work of those that had “faith” and what “faith” can accomplish.
Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Heb 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Heb 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
There are two things that we know for sure that happened:
1.) The generation of Joshua had been so busy in trying to gain physical possessions that they forgot to teach their children the Word Of God.
2.) The new generation had refused to submit to the Word of God and the Ways of God.
SO, The nation of Israel quickly decayed once the new generation took over.
“The whole fight for salvation must be fought over and over from start to finish with each incoming soul and with each new generation”.
*****Jdg 2:7 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.
When Joshua was Israel’s leader, all the tribes worked together in obeying God’s Word.
BUT, What we will not find in the Book of Judges is a nation that is working together as a unit.
We will see that just as God had called out Moses, when God needs someone to deliver His people, He will call one from the tribes of Israel.
God had called Moses, Joshua had been appointed to follow Moses but no successor was named after Joshua to lead the nation.
Israel was to follow the Word of God and Jehovah God was to be the leader of this nation.
Just as in the Church, the Body of Christ, when Jesus returned to the throne room in Heaven, He did not appoint a successor on Earth.
We are all to follow the Word of God!
In fact in this time we live in we are all to follow the Words of His Son!
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 [Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son], whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Jehovah God has exalted His Word even above His name:
Psa 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: [for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name].
We also know that in these last days we are to follow the Word of Jesus as commanded:
And it is Jesus Christ Our Lord who the world is to follow:
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 [That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow], of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
The world is in turmoil because the World has tossed out “THE ONLY” Savior and Redeemer and is suffering for this reason.
*****Jdg 2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
Jdg 2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
Joshua could probably have taken any place he wanted to be his inheritance but he was given this place by the children of Israel.
Jos 19:49 When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them:
This is a lesson that all leaders, including our own presidents should learn from.
Joshua was the last of the great men of Israel until the Kings. Yet he chose to to honor the Word of God and live in a place decided by his nation.
Men in great public places should learn to prefer a common welfare “afforded to all people” before their own private satisfaction!
The whole land had been given to Joshua, Eleazar, and the princes as joint trustees. They were to act for the good of the people, so Joshua could take nothing but their gift to him!
*****Jdg 2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: [and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel].
If there was a verse that describes this America we live in, this is one of them!
The death of Joshua marked a perilous time for the nation of Israel. This new generation refused to have an intimate relationship with the Lord.
They had forgotten what their elders had done and seen. They had forgotten Moses and Joshua. They had forgotten the miracles that had gained them ownership of the land.
They had ignored the Word of God!
BUT, They had the five Books of Moses.
Joshua had written everything down since Moses for them to read and study but they were to busy enjoying the pleasures of their new world.
History was repeating it self again!
*****Jdg 2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
Jdg 2:12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
Jdg 2:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
The children of Israel had done evil before the Lord on many occasions but this was even more evil.
What or who is this Baalim?
Baalim is the plural form of Baal. Baal means “lord”.
Baal is the name of the Sun god worshipped by the people of Canaan Land. By using the name Baalim in this verse, it means this false deity had other names but all referred to the Sun god.
A form of this name appears 81 times in the Bible.
Some titles that we may know are, Jupiter, Hercules and others.
Who or what is this Ashtaroth? Ashtaroth means “the blessed ones”.
This title is referring to the Moon god. In a lot of cases it represents the female god of fertility but it can be a male deity as that one still worshipped by the Muslim.
To the Greeks it was Astarte, who drove the “moon chariot”.
As Baalim means there were many by different names, so Ashtaroth means there were many by different names. This false thing is referred to many times as the “groves” or a “grove”.
Not wooden trees but wooden images. The images of Baal were for the most part made from stone but some were possibly made of metal as Chemosh or Moloch.
Some titles of Ashtaroth that we may know are, Juno, Venus, Diana.
Since these also relate to “Idols”, this is why so many false religions will go into a riot when some movie, or some cartoon, or some depiction that places their god in a bad way, as we have just witnessed throughout the Arab world and other places.
When we forget the Word of God and do not teach it to our children, we are in danger of forsaking the “God Of The Word”.
This why people turn to false gods and false worship!
*****Jdg 2:14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, [so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies].
The reason Israel could never drive out the remaining Canaanites was because they fought their battles without Jehovah.
And without the Lord we can do nothing!
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
*****Jdg 2:15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.
The enemies of Israel from time to time became their “masters”.
There lives in the new land became miserable!
Ecc 8:6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.
Ecc 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; [neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it].
*****Jdg 2:16 [Nevertheless] the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
In other words because Jehovah is full of mercy, He will raise up a deliverer!
But, Israel is still under judgment rather than “Grace”!
To spoil means they were being destroyed and robbed.
This is exactly what Satan does to everyone he makes contact with!
God explains this to us in this way:
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, [knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world].
Satan will use every means given to him to complete this task and fulfill “his” agenda.
This is the thought behind every ungodly national leader!
*****Jdg 2:17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: [they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in], obeying the commandments of the LORD; [but they did not so].
In other words Israel again and again would commit spiritual adultery and again and again, would break their covenant with God.
But we know the Lord never changes and He will continue to save His people:
Joe 2:18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.
Over and over again these people wasted their suffering. We can be so foolish, when we are suffering and Our Lord provides that relief and we go again against His Word and welcome that suffering back into our lives.
It is no wonder God refers to us a sheep.
Sheep are the dumbest animals in the world. They are always in need of a shepherd!
I have great concern for my nation as I study these things of the Book of Judges. I know America has fallen away from the Lord.
It is also evident that the evil in this world is loosing it’s fear of our nation and we are becoming a laughing stock to the world!
Psa 106:39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
Psa 106:41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.
We should be returning to the Lord just as Israel must do!
Psa 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
The Bible teaches us that Israel will return to The Lord but only a remnant of all other nations will be a part of this salvation after the time of “Grace”, which is this Church Age we are now living in.
*****Jdg 2:18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, [then the LORD was with the judge], and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
That word “judge” can be used in other ways beside to sit in judgment. There were a select group of men in this Book of Judges that were handpicked of God to be leaders, somewhat like a king but not exactly as they did not have very much authority.
The Hebrew word translated as “judge” also means “to save, or to rescue”.
These judges were great deliverers who won military victories, but only with the help of the Lord.
They also had the function of settling disputes between the people of Israel.
Most all these judges came from different tribes and functioned more on a local level than on a national level.
*****Jdg 2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, [that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way].
Israel continued in a cycle of disobedience, discipline, despair, and deliverance. Sadly we still see this same cycle in the Body of Christ today.
The Bible teaches us:
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Heb 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Right now in America there is a generation that was raised under the schooling of evolution.
They have not been taught the things of Jehovah! They hear the word “god” used worldwide not understanding that this word is a generic word for most any deity.
It is [Jehovah our Holy Trinity] that is the God of the Bible and this is the God who will sit in judgment and that judgment by His Word given to us.
This the same one that will chastise all His children to keep us all on the right track.
Hebrews 12:8 tells the whole story. “If you can live in sin, without chastisement than you are not a child of God”!
But a “bastard” son of the devil!
Jeremiah wrote of the children of Israel:
Jer 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
This can also be said of some of the Church!
*****Jdg 2:20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, [Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice];
Jdg 2:21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
Why could Israel not drive out the rest of the people of Canaan Land? Why does Israel sit in the middle of such turmoil even in our day?
It is because they have transgressed the covenant they had with the Lord!
It is because they refuse to listen to the Word of God!
How could they ever be witnesses for Jehovah if they became like the people of Canaan Land.
How can God’s people be witnesses to the Almighty Jehovah Our Holy Trinity, when we get more and more like the world everyday?
God tells the Church:
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
When we refuse to do this it will cause Anger in The Lord Our God!
Again God tells us if we are not obedient to His Word then we have never accepted Him as Our Savior:
1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, [but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us]: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
*****Jdg 2:22 [That through them I may prove Israel], whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
Jdg 2:23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.
There can be no Testimony unless there has first been a real test.
Israel until this day has “no testimony” for the Lord God of the Bible.
The Book of Judges is the inspired record of the failures of Israel and of God’s “faithfulness”.
This book is much more than a past history!
THIS BOOK IS ABOUT GOD’S PEOPLE OF TODAY!
Do we want to know how God feels about disobedience in His Children?
Psa 106:40 Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
Psa 106:41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; [and they that hated them ruled over them.]
We of the Church have allowed the Church, The Body of Christ, to sink so low in disobedience to Our Father in Heaven, that because of His anger, He is allowing the world to rule over the Church.
We have only one option left:
Psa 106:47 [Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen], to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
It is called prayer!