Judges

Judges

Suggestion on How To Read

Judges has 21 chapters altogether. It retells the story of God’s people, right after Joshua’s leadership and the land they had conquered ~ the Promised Land. What happens when one generation passes on? What happens when one strong leader passes on? What happens when a nation is left on its own?

We seemingly have to wade through mud and mire as we journey through the book of Judges. We meet one by one, human leaders (‘saviour’) raised by God to rescue His treasured people who were falling into sin, and into enemy hands. Here in Judges we encounter 13 of them. Israel had no ‘king’ then, because God was her king.

A good way to read Judges would be:

1. Judges 1
2. Judges 2:1 – 3:6
3. Judges 3:7 – 31
4. Judges 4 – 5
5. Judges 6 – 8
6. Judges 9
7. Judges 10 – 12
8. Judges 13 – 16
9. Judges 17 – 18
10. Judges 19
11. Judges 20
12. Judges 21

 

As you read, use a flash card for each ‘judge’. Record how each judge is portrayed. It would be good to read the book, and try to complete each ‘judge’ in one sitting or at most two.

Record on a separate flash card the sins you recognize Israel is falling into.

Savor the book of Judges, learning from the men and women God used as His instruments, weak though they were.

Savor the book of Judges, witnessing a God who could not let His people drown. Judges is God jolting a new generation who did not know Him, into knowing Him and His awesome power to deliver!

As you read, ponder, do you know this God whom we worship?

Reflection

The book of judges tell the history of the Israel people after they entered the Promised Land. One would have hoped that the continuation of that story was one of “happily ever after” but Judges points a grim picture of the realities of the people in the land over a period of 325 years that followed.

Israel’s disobedience and failure to completely drive out the pagan nations from the land led to their downfall. Their compromise of godly values allowed the pagan nations in their midst to lead them into idolatry. As the following generations were led further away from God, they totally forgot about God and all that He had done doe them in the past. They begin to do whatever seemed right in their own eyes and this led to the downward spiral of Israel’s national and spiritual life into chaos and apostasy.

Is there anything in my life (sin, pride, anger, etc) that needs to be ‘driven out’ completely so that sin does not grow and lead me further away from God? Is there anything that I have compromised and need to repent from?

When Israel was suffering and being oppressed by her captives, they cried out to God in their desperation. In his faithfulness to his promises and out of his loving kindness, God would raise up a judge to deliver his people. However the time of peace is short lived as complacency and disobedience would set in again and the cycle of disobedience, oppression and deliverance would begin again. Despite  seeing history repeat itself, the people did not learn from their history and kept repeating the same mistakes.

Is there any situation (personal, family, campus, national or in the world) that you feel a burden for and need to cry out for God’s intervention and help? Are there any patterns in my life that I need to “break” so that history does not repeat itself?

Despite the people’s unfaithfulness and disobedience, God continued to raise up different judges from among the people and used them as the means to deliver the people from their oppression. The judges were ordinary people who came from all walks of life and different family backgrounds. Though each had weaknesses and flaws, God used them to achieve his purposes, when they were willing to submit themselves to obey Him and depended on Him.

Are they any weaknesses or flaws in my life that I need allow God to change or grow?

What will it cost me if I am willing to be used by God is “deliver” my people from their hopeless situations (in my family, campus, country)?

When the people followed and obeyed God, there was peace in the land. May we continue to follow God and bring peace to our land.