Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Book of Judges’

How to Confuse the Enemy.


So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets…. And the people shouted with a great shout, [ and ] the wall [ of Jericho ] fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
Joshua 6:20

Recommended Reading
Judges 7:15-23 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%207:15-23&version=NKJV )

In 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, Paul says the people of God do not “war according to the flesh.” Our weapons are “mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” A classic example of fighting differently was when the “stronghold” of Jericho was taken by the Israelites (Joshua 6).

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

The world is not used to seeing God’s people act unexpectedly. So when the armies of Israel marched around Jericho for six days, and on the seventh day blew their celebratory trumpets and gave a shout of victory, they likely didn’t know what to think. Israel rushed over the collapsed walls and took the city. The same thing happened when Gideon used torches, pitchers, and trumpets to completely confuse his enemies (Judges 7). The armies were thrown into confusion and fled the scene.

Satan is the author of fear. When God’s people are courageous instead of fearful, their enemies — spiritual or human — are confused. Trumpets and shouts of praise are signs of victory by faith!

We should be always wearing the garment of praise, not just waving a palm branch now and then.
Andrew Bonar

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Acts 24-26

By David Jeremiah.

Advertisements

Give Thanks to the One Who Remembers.


Give thanks…to the One who remembered us in our low estate. —Psalm 136:3, 23

God made a choice to remember, and He wants us to choose to remember! He wants us to hold Him to His own Word. Nehemiah prayed this way (Neh. 1:8). The psalmist prayed the same way: “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope” (Ps. 119:49). Hezekiah prayed much the same way (Isa. 38:2). With His own Word we can pray so as to give God “no rest” until He grants our request. (See Isaiah 62:7.) We likewise pray with Habakkuk: “In wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2).

The most depressing book in the Bible (to me) is the Book of Judges. The unthinkable things that are described in this book show that there is a precedent for the worst kinds of sin and wickedness. The bottom line of the Book of Judges is, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit” (Judg. 21:25). But there is an ominous explanation that lay behind this folly—an even greater folly: (1) They “did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies,” and (2) they “failed to show kindness” (Judg. 8:34-35).

God’s promise to remember His Word is recounted again and again:

God remembered Rachel. —Genesis 30:22

God … remembered his covenant. —Exodus 2:24

For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. —Psalm 105:42

In other words, God keeps His promise to remember. He puts us on our honor to remember to be grateful. God kindly cautions us not to forget to be grateful. He puts it succinctly: give thanks.

Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).

By R. T. KENDALL.

Deborah—Leadership Model.


[To learn more about the annual Evangelical Sunday School Lesson Commentary, visit www.pathwaybookstore.com.]

INTRODUCTION

Deborah provides a picture of leadership that wasn’t normally seen in the society of her time. Very few women in Scripture rose to positions of national leadership. Deborah stands out due to both her spiritual and civil leadership. She was the only woman who served as a judge during those extended years of turmoil.

For the most part, the Book of Judges reflects a negative picture of God‘s people drifting away spiritually and then eventually experiencing God’s judgment. This comes through His allowing other nations to come in and dominate their existence. At times they pillaged Israel‘s crops, as seen in the account of Gideon and the Midianites. Other people, such as the neighboring Philistines, dominated the nearby areas of Israel. Each time the Israelites woke up spiritually and repented, God provided leaders who made a difference in their situation.

Apparently the oppression of the Israelites wasn’t always throughout the entire area of Canaan at the same time. Likewise, the reigns of the judges overlapped in time. For that reason, we should not add up the time periods of each judge and assume that number represents the entire era of the judges.

This lesson focusing on Deborah’s leadership is a contemporary topic. Our society is currently in a second cycle of leadership emphasis within about a 25-year period. Leadership first came to the forefront in the early ’80s. A number of books on leadership were written. Some Christian titles highlighted the leadership principles found in Nehemiah’s actions in building the walls of Jerusalem. The current emphasis on leadership often draws from secular sources drawing from business concepts and principles.

It is rare to hear anyone project Deborah as an example of spiritual and civil leadership to follow. However, as will be seen in the following pages, Deborah’s actions and attitude deserve careful attention.

I. WISE AND AVAILABLE (Judges 4:4-7)

A. Service as a Judge (vv. 4, 5)

4. And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.

5. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.

Because of the sins of the people, they were under the oppression of Jabin. He ruled over the northern portion of Canaan with Hazor being his capital city. The name Jabin may be a title likeCaesarPharaoh, or the Philistine Abimelech. The military power of this enemy of Israel was significant. He had 900 iron chariots under the command of Sisera (v. 3). Such a force would be very difficult, if not impossible, to defeat under normal circumstances.

The domination over Israel may be seen in verse 2, where Sisera’s base of operation is noted.Harosheth means “woodcutting.” Some have surmised the possibility of Sisera’s forcing the inhabitants to serve as woodcutters. Regardless of the specifics, the length of time is definite. For 20 years God’s people bowed under Jabin’s oppression. Surely it must have appeared unending to them.

Then we read of Deborah’s coming to the position as a judge in Israel. As can be seen in verse 1, after the death of Ehud the people had drifted into sin with its resulting consequences. Deborah faces a difficult challenge. We have no record of the circumstances or scenario in which God brought her to the judgeship; this was a divine appointment. One can only wonder what her thoughts were when God initiated this action.

Let’s pause to look specifically at her task. In the Hebrew language the title judge indicates someone who will bring others into a right relationship. This points to the spiritual dimension even though the specific tasks were of a civil nature. The three basic functions were administration, the settlement of disputes, and military leadership. However, these tasks must not provide a picture of having sovereign authority over a geographical area. There appears to be a sense of limitation in terms of being like a king or governor.

The description of Deborah in verses 4 and 5 provides a brief picture of this, the only woman chosen to be a judge in Israel. It begins with her spiritual position as a prophetess. This distinguishes her from all the other judges. None of them were given this designation. It also speaks of her spiritual character. We also see she was a married woman with the responsibilities of being a wife. Since her age is not given, we cannot state what phase of family life she might have been experiencing.

Her location for fulfilling her duties as a judge is very specific. The cities of Ramah and Bethel were about four miles apart on a line north of Jerusalem. This is the same area where the prophet Samuel later judged Israel (1 Samuel 7:16). Deborah held court under a palm tree.

B. Messenger of the Lord (vv. 6, 7)

6. And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?.

7. And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.

In these verses we see the prophetic ministry of Deborah operating within her position as a judge of the area. The directives and results did not originate from the sharp mind of a military or civil leader. They stemmed from the Lord himself speaking through the mouth of the prophetess.

We know little about Barak, but he was God’s chosen military leader for the task at hand. He lived in the city of Kedesh within the tribal lands of Naphtali. His father’s name is given. But other than that bit of information, we can only make assumptions. Some have suggested his abilities and reputations as a warrior/leader had traveled southward, thus making him known to Deborah. This may or may not be true. Keep in mind that God can simply direct us to the right person even though we have no prior knowledge.

Once Barak arrived, notice the specifics of Deborah’s message for him. There are no generalities which could lead to insecurity or to wrong actions. She lays out God’s plan for him. Victory is guaranteed. Barak simply needs to fulfill it.

Notice the specifics. Deborah begins by identifying the source of her message. It is not self-generated. These words come from the Lord God of Israel. The direction Barak is to take is toward Mount Tabor. This mountain is distinct because of its flat top with a circumference of nearly one mile. It could serve as a fortified stronghold or as an excellent lookout post. The instructions further state the size of the fighting force and from which tribes they are to come. Since the regions being oppressed are Naphtali and Zebulun, it’s only logical they should be the ones to participate in the deliverance.

In order for Barak to muster a force this size, it would appear he was known to the men of this region and trusted. After all, it would seem to be suicidal for a ground force to go against the mobilized chariots of Jabin. Of course, if Barak announced the promise of God in verse 7, the people would be foolish not to accept God’s wanting to work on their behalf.

Deborah gave the specific plan of the Lord. Sisera would be lured into a situation which would bring about his defeat. In order to attack Barak’s forces, the enemy chariots would need to cross the plain through which the river Kishon flowed. In the original language of these scriptures, the word for river literally means “torrent bed.” The Kishon would flow when flash flooding took place.

The message of the Lord clearly states this location to be where victory would take place. This victory would not be due to their superior forces. It would come from God’s giving Sisera and his mighty forces into Israel’s hands.

Think about putting yourself in Barak’s shoes. There is a double trust issue here. He had to trust Deborah to be a true prophetess. And he must believe God would fulfill His word regardless of how impossible the task might appear.

In this case, God gave very specific directions and the results that would follow. Most of us do not experience this type of guidance in our life decisions. Yet, God is still directing us. Our faith should be no less than if everything were spelled out.

II. SUBMISSION TO GOD’S PLAN (Judges 4:8-24)

A. Personal Availability (vv. 8-13)

8. And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.

9. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding, the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.

10. And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.

11. Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh.

12. And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor.

13. And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon.

Barak’s response to Deborah’s message indicates he accepted the plan. But he did not want to do it by himself. As we feel at times, he wanted the comfort of another human with him before fulfilling God’s guaranteed plan. Moses did the same thing when God appeared to him in the desert (Exodus 3-4). He came up with various excuses until God said Aaron, his brother, was on the way and would be his spokesperson. Though having been given verbal assurance and a miraculous demonstration, Moses resisted until he had a family member with him.

Barak made Deborah’s presence with him to be the deciding issue as to whether or not he would fulfill God’s plan. Without hesitation or rebuke of Barak, Deborah agreed to accompany him. She did, however, point out there would be no personal honor in the victory for him. In spite of his being the leader and gathering the forces, there would be no acclaiming his name after Sisera’s defeat. This did not seem to bother Barak. We can only speculate as to why he accepted this so readily. Probably the might of the enemy loomed before him. Or, it could be he valued the defeat of the enemy above his own personal acclaim.

In response to Barak’s call for a military force, 10,000 men joined him. The engagement was not long in coming. Hearing of the gathering of rebel forces, Sisera activated his chariots and soldiers.

Here the family of Heber the Kenite enters the narrative (v. 11). Normally the nomadic Kenites lived in the wilderness south of Judah. Heber, an independent person, moved his family to the north. They were camped in a plain near Kedesh. When Sisera and his forces came where the family camped, they showed him the path that Barak’s forces had taken up the mountain. Exactly as Deborah stated, Sisera moved his forces to the river of Kishon (v. 13).

B. Proper Timing (vv. 14-16)

14. And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the Lord gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.

15. And the Lord discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.

16. But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.

When God says “now,” timing is everything. In verse 14, Deborah gives the signal. Today is the day of deliverance. In complete obedience, Barak leads his force down the mountain to meet the enemy. Their victory is overwhelming. It’s not because of their tactics or fighting skill. Rather, God enters the battle and Sisera’s forces are utterly confused and destroyed. According to Judges 5:21, it appears God sends a flash flood which turns the plain into a muddy quagmire. The chariots are rendered useless.

Barak’s army kills all of Sisera’s forces. Only the leader escapes after abandoning his chariot. He literally runs for his life, hoping to find some shelter of escape. Deborah’s prophetic announcement to Barak is fulfilled exactly as stated.

C. Misplaced Trust (vv. 17-24)

(Judges 4:17-22 is not included in the printed text.)

23. So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.

24. And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

Looking for a safe haven, Sisera comes to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. She invites him to come in and find safety. To enable him to rest, Jael covers him with a quilt or rug and gives Sisera milk when he requests a drink of water. Assuming his hostess will redirect anyone looking for him, Sisera goes to sleep. He never wakes again due to Jael’s brutally killing him.

Jael’s actions are debatable. On the one hand, Sisera knows the custom of never going into a woman’s tent without her husband being there. Anyone who does can be killed. On the other hand, Jael’s action of inviting him to come in without fear covers her intention. She doesn’t hesitate to commit cold-blooded murder after having offered hospitality, which always included protection.

The end of the story results in Jael’s receiving the honor of having overcome the enemy leader. “Though predicted by Deborah, the act was the result of divine foreknowledge, not of divine appointment or action” (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown). When Barak finally catches up with Sisera, it’s by Jael’s coming out to meet him and showing him the body.

III. HUMBLE AND GRATEFUL (Judges 5:1-31)

A. Song of Praise (vv. 1-5)

1. Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,

2. Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.

3. Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

4. Lord, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.

5. The mountains melted from before the Lord, even that Sinai from before the Lord God of Israel.

When reading through the Book of Judges, this is one chapter which we could easily bypass in favor of reading about the next judge. In doing so, we miss a poetic description of the preceding events as they recap God’s deliverance. Also, failure to spend some time in this chapter robs us of reading one of the masterpieces of Hebrew poetry.

The “Song of Deborah” begins with the historical past. She calls for a remembrance of God’s marvelous manifestations. It goes back to Mount Sinai where God demonstrated His power and spoke verbally to them. Then it covers the overall journey to Edom. This part of history includes God’s punishment for sin as well as His provision. It also points to God’s revelation of Himself.

It is easy to think of the specific events referred to here and miss the key point—praise. Deborah and Barak knew what their response needed to be. God deserved all the honor and glory. The tremendous victory over superior forces came through divine intervention. In themselves, Barak and his foot soldiers could never have accomplished such a feat.

B. Years of Peace (vv. 6-31)

(Judges 5:6-30 is not included in the printed text.)

31. So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.

To fully appreciate the present, it is important to review the past. As Deborah continues her song or war ballad, as some call it, she reviews selected events of the past. The dire conditions that brought about the need for deliverance arose from the people’s turning from God and selecting other gods (v. 8). Not only had they become defenseless spiritually, but also militarily. They had no weapons with which to defend themselves.

Hope came only when a new spirit gripped the people. They, the leaders and the people, turned to the Lord (v. 9). Though verse 7 speaks mainly of Deborah, it does emphasize the role that spiritual women play in bringing individuals, families, and even nations back to their rightful relationship with God.

Deborah’s song recounted how the forces of select Israel tribes were gathered and how the Lord came to fight their battle (vv. 13, 14, 18). Listed are the tribes who did not help their brothers in this encounter because they weren’t asked to participate (vv. 16, 17). She sang about the death of Sisera at the hand of Jael, recounting with specifics the manner of the death (vv. 24-27). Normally the Bedouin women pitched the family tent. Tent pegs and mallets would be familiar tools to Jael.

To emphasize the misery that came upon the Lord’s enemies, Deborah’s song includes a picture of Sisera’s mother anxiously awaiting the return of her son. Attempting to reassure, those women around her suggested the dividing of the plunder was the reason for the delayed return (vv. 28-30). But later we know she would find the true reason. Her anxiety then would turn into mourning.

Verse 31 provides a contrast between those who serve the Lord and those who are His enemies. While the enemies perish, His servants will live in strength. The key is loving God and Him alone. Though the enemies of the Lord and His people appear to be triumphant, it is only temporary. There comes a point when they will be destroyed. Sometimes we do not live to see it. Nevertheless, it will take place.

As a result of Israel’s turning back to God and following Him, they enjoyed an extended period of peace. We do not know how much of this Deborah saw, since her lifespan isn’t part of the narrative. Yet, it really doesn’t matter. Her leadership in a time of crisis benefited the people of the area for 40 years. What a legacy!

CONCLUSION

The distinctive of Deborah’s work as a judge stands firmly in the battle event. As a woman she would not be expected to be on the battlefield. However, she did not allow cultural norms to hinder her leadership and thereby enabled others to bring victory to God’s people.

GOLDEN TEXT CHALLENGE

“THEN SANG DEBORAH AND BARAK . . . PRAISE YE THE LORD FOR THE AVENGING OF ISRAEL, WHEN THE PEOPLE WILLINGLY OFFERED THEMSELVES” (Judges 5:1, 2).

Verse 2 calls for praise to be given to the Lord. Israel, especially the northern section, had been under severe oppression for 20 years. No doubt, the only songs the people could sing were filled with frustration and mourning. Now, however, they had cause for rejoicing in the Lord. In the same way, the first response of the believer when surveying the redemption and deliverance of God should be one of praise.

The reason for praise is given next. The Lord had avenged Israel. The Hebrew word for avenge in this verse actually meant “to break or set loose by delivering from oppression.” Deliverance from the oppression and bondage of the enemy is always cause for praise to the Lord.

The timing of their release is also given in verse 2. They were set free when they “willingly offered themselves.” There are a number of words in Hebrew translated offer, presenting varied insights into the concept of giving an offering. The particular Hebrew word used here for offeringemphasized the freewill nature of giving. In this verse it means the people “freely urged and gave themselves” to the Lord.

God responds to a freewill offering of ourselves. A child of God might be able to give many things to the Lord. However, God desires the believer to freely give himself or herself to the Lord. Faith brought on by manipulation and coercion is not a substitute for a genuine, voluntary giving of oneself.

To learn more about the annual Evangelical Sunday School Lesson Commentary, visitwww.pathwaybookstore.com.

By Jerald Daffe

Give Thanks to the One Who Remembers.


Give thanks…to the One who remembered us in our low estate. —Psalm 136:3, 23

God made a choice to remember, and He wants us to choose to remember! He wants us to hold Him to His own Word. Nehemiah prayed this way (Neh. 1:8).

The psalmist prayed the same way: “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope” (Ps. 119:49).

Hezekiah prayed much the same way (Isa. 38:2). With His own Word we can pray so as to give God “no rest” until He grants our request. (See Isaiah 62:7.) We likewise pray with Habakkuk: “In wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2).

The most depressing book in the Bible (to me) is the Book of Judges. The unthinkable things that are described in this book show that there is a precedent for the worst kinds of sin and wickedness. The bottom line of the Book of Judges is, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit” (Judg. 21:25).

But there is an ominous explanation that lay behind this folly—an even greater folly: (1) They “did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies,” and (2) they “failed to show kindness” (Judg. 8:34-35).

God’s promise to remember His Word is recounted again and again:

God remembered Rachel. —Genesis 30:22

God … remembered his covenant. —Exodus 2:24

For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. —Psalm 105:42

In other words, God keeps His promise to remember. He puts us on our honor to remember to be grateful. God kindly cautions us not to forget to be grateful. He puts it succinctly: give thanks.

Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).

By R. T. KENDALL.

Gideon – The Reluctant Warrior.


Profile of Gideon, a Doubter Raised Up by God.

GideonEngraving ‘Gideon and the Pitchers’Image: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Gideon, like many of us, doubted his own abilities. He had suffered so many defeats and failures that he even put God to the test–not once but three times.

In the Bible story, Gideon is introduced threshing grain in a winepress, a pit in the ground, so the marauding Midianites did not see him.

God appeared to Gideon as an angel and said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12, NIV)

Gideon prepared a meal for the angel.

The angel touched the meat and unleavened bread with his staff, and the rock they were sitting on spewed fire, consuming the offering.

Then Gideon put out a fleece, a piece of sheep skin with the wool still attached, asking God to cover the fleece with dew overnight, but leave the ground around it dry.

God did so.

Finally, Gideon asked God to dampen the ground overnight with dew but leave the fleece dry. God did that as well.

God was patient with Gideon because he had chosen him to defeat the Midianites, who had impoverished the land of Israel with their constant raids. Gideon gathered a huge army from the surrounding tribes, but God reduced their number to only 300.

There would be no doubt that victory was from the Lord, not from the army’s might.

That night, Gideon gave each man a trumpet and a torch concealed inside a pottery jar.

At his signal, they blew their trumpets, broke the jars to reveal the torches, and shouted: “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” (Judges 7:20, NIV)

God caused the enemy to panic and turn on each other.

Gideon called out reinforcements and they pursued the raiders, destroying them.

When the people wanted to make Gideon their king, he refused, but took gold from them and made an ephod, a sacred vestment, probably to commemorate the victory.

Unfortunately, the people worshipped it as an idol.

Later in life, Gideon took many wives and fathered 70 sons.

His son Abimelech, born to a concubine, rebelled and murdered all 70 of his half-brothers. Abimelech died in battled, ending his short, wicked reign.

Gideon’s Accomplishments:

He served as a judge over his people.

He destroyed an altar to the pagan god Baal, earning the name Jerub-Baal, meaning contender with Baal.

Gideon united the Israelites against their common enemies and through God’s power, defeated them.

Gideon is listed in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11.

Gideon’s Strengths:

Even though Gideon was slow to believe, once convinced of God’s power, he was a loyal follower who obeyed the Lord’s instructions.

He was a natural leader of men.

Gideon’s Weaknesses:

In the beginning, Gideon’s faith was weak and needed proof from God.

He showed great doubt toward the Rescuer of Israel.

Gideon made an ephod from Midianite gold, which became an idol to his people.

He also took a foreigner for a concubine, fathering a son who turned evil.

Life Lessons:

God can accomplish great things through us if we forget our weaknesses and follow his guidance.

“Putting out a fleece,” or testing God, is a sign of weak faithSin always has bad consequences.

Hometown:

Ophrah, in the Valley of Jezreel.

Referenced in the Bible:

Judges chapters 6-8; Hebrews 11:32.

Occupation:

Farmer, judge, military commander.

Family Tree:

Father – Joash

Sons – 70 unnamed sons, Abimelech.

Key Verses:

Judges 6:14-16

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” (NIV)

Judges 7:22

When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. (NIV)

Judges 8:23

But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you.” (NIV)

By .

Give Thanks to the One Who Remembers.


Give thanks…to the One who remembered us in our low estate. —Psalm 136:3, 23

God made a choice to remember, and He wants us to choose to remember!

He wants us to hold Him to His own Word.

Nehemiah prayed this way (Neh. 1:8).

The psalmist prayed the same way: “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope” (Ps. 119:49).

Hezekiah prayed much the same way (Isa. 38:2).

With His own Word we can pray so as to give God “no rest” until He grants our request. (See Isaiah 62:7.)

We likewise pray with Habakkuk: “In wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2).

The most depressing book in the Bible (to me) is the Book of Judges.

The unthinkable things that are described in this book show that there is a precedent for the worst kinds of sin and wickedness.

The bottom line of the Book of Judges is, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit” (Judg. 21:25).

But there is an ominous explanation that lay behind this folly—an even greater folly:

(1) They “did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies,” and (2) they “failed to show kindness” (Judg. 8:34-35).

God’s promise to remember His Word is recounted again and again:

God remembered Rachel. —Genesis 30:22

God … remembered his covenant. —Exodus 2:24

For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. —Psalm 105:42

In other words, God keeps His promise to remember.

He puts us on our honor to remember to be grateful.

God kindly cautions us not to forget to be grateful.

He puts it succinctly: give thanks.

Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).

By R.T.KENDALL.

Book of Judges.


Introduction to the Book of Judges

The book of Judges is alarmingly relevant to today.

It records the Israelites’ descent intosin and its terrible consequences.

The 12 heroes of the book, both male and female, seem larger than life at times, but they were imperfect, just like us.

Judges is a stern reminder that God punishes sin but is always ready to take the repentant back into his heart.

Author of the Book of Judges:

Possibly Samuel, the prophet.

Date Written:

1025 B.C.

Written To:

Israelite people, and all future readers of the Bible.

Landscape of the Book of Judges:

Judges takes place in ancient Canaan, the Promised Land given by God to the Jews. UnderJoshua, the Jews conquered the land with God’s help, but after Joshua’s death, the lack of a strong central government led to infighting among the tribes and periodic oppression by the wicked people who lived there.

Themes in the Book of Judges:

Compromise, a serious problem with people today, is one of the main themes of Judges. When the Israelites failed to completely drive out the wicked nations in Canaan, they left themselves open to their influences—chiefly idolatry and immorality.

God used the oppressors to punish the Jews. The Jews’ disloyalty to him had painful consequences, but they repeated the pattern of falling away many times.

When the Israelites cried out to God for mercy, he delivered them by raising up the heroes of the book, the Judges. Filled with the Holy Spirit, these valiant men and women obeyed God—although imperfectly—to demonstrate his faithfulness and love.

Key Characters in the Book of Judges:

Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Abimelech, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, SamsonDelilah.

Key Verses:

Judges 2:11-12
And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. 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. (ESV)

Judges 2:18-19
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. 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.(ESV)

Judges 16:30
And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life. (ESV)

Judges 21:25
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (ESV)

Outline of the Book of Judges:

• Failure to conquer Canaan – Judges 1:1-3:6.

• Othniel – Judges 3:7-11.

• Ehud and Shamgar – Judges 3:12-31.

• Deborah and Barak – Judges 4:1-5:31.

• Gideon, Tola, and Jair – Judges 6:1-10:5.

• Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon – Judges 10:6-12:15.

• Samson – Judges 13:1-16:31.

• Abandoning the true God – Judges 17:1-18:31.

• Moral wickedness, civil war and its consequences – Judges 19:1-21:25.

Tag Cloud