JOSHUA & JUDGES
Yesterday was Mother's Day at church and my what a large crowd we had with six getting saved and two baptized. It was exciting. The music as great and the whole day wonderful. I sure enjoy Sundays! Today in an overcast Monday morning, and I have my coffee beside me. I started reading in Joshua 17 and read through Judges 13.
JOSHUA 17:13 "but did not utterly drive them out". Each tribe kept some of the Canaanites around, and they did not drive them out as was commanded by the LORD. Those they kept around in the days of Joshua, became the problems in the days of the Judges. The whole book of Judges is about dealing with those who were not driven out but now have risen to enslave the Israelites.
JOSHUA 22:22 "He knoweth". The two and a half tribes on the east side of the river Jordan helped their fellow tribes to conquer their lands, and now have returned home. The first thing they do is to build a huge altar. The other tribes see that as forsaking the LORD, so they come against them in battle, but when they get to the tribes on the east side of Jordan, they say, we built the altar not to do sacrifice, but to let our children know we are a part of the 12 tribes of Israel. So in verse 22, they say: "The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, he knoweth...." They convince the other tribes and they go home peacefully. By the way, they call the altar "Ed" (v. 34), which means "witness". I preached a message many years ago called: "What ED said!"
JOSHUA 24:29- "Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old." Joshua begins with "Moses my servant is dead" and ends with "Joshua.... the servant of the LORD, died..." Two Great Servants of the LORD and the people.
JUDGES 2:16 "Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges," Israel was departing from the LORD because the influence of Joshua stopped, but only after the next generation after him died off. But God in His mercy would raise up Judges to help the tribes of Israel. These judges were usually only judges of one or more tribes, but not the whole of Israel. The Canaanites did not attack the Israelites as a whole, but would pick at and control one tribe at a time, and every tribe had different enemies. Throughout the book the Israelites did not work together to wipe out their enemies, they acted individually to their downfall.
1. The first Judge is Othniel, the grandson of Joshua! He reigned 40 years and gave the land rest.
2. The second Judge was Ehud, who killed Eglon the king of Moab and the land had rest for 80 years.
3. The third Judge was Shamgar. We have one verse on him. (3:31) He killed 600 men with an ox goad!!
4. The fourth Judge, and the first one called a Judge was a woman named Deborah. We have chapters 4 and 5 about her. She had Barak lead the army, but Barak said if you don't go with me, I will not go. She represented God's leadership. Yes, a woman.
5. The fifth Judge is Gideon. Gideon from the small poor family of the small tribe of Manasseh, but God had chosen him. He started with 32,000, God had 22,000 who were afraid go home, and then of the 10,000 left had an obstacle course that separated 9,700 from 300, and the 300 were to be Gideon's men. This event itself would take several days in the telling, but the thing to know is that God used a few dedicated men to defeat a large multitude of men. God fights our battles. Gideon is in chapters 6,7, & 8.
6. The sixth Judge is Abimelech. He is a bad one! The son of Gideon, who killed all of the other 70 sons of Gideon, in order to reign himself. He was born of a servant in the household of Gideon, but it also shows that sin comes home to roost. Gideon's sin of having children by anyone, became the downfall of his children, they were killed. Only one escaped named Jotham. Abimelech was eventually killed by a lady dropping pottery from a wall on his head and he died.
7. The seventh Judge is Jephthah. A mighty man of war, who was born of a harlot in Gilead. His brethren rejected him, but when they needed him, they went and ask him to lead. He was used of God greatly, but he is remembered for making a rash vow. He told God he would sacrifice the first thing he saw, and going home, his dear daughter ran out to greet him. We are not sure how it happened, but we know that she was given a time to grieve and then we are left to guess that she was killed, it doesn't say what or how it happened.
8. The eight judge is Samson, and we see him in chapter 13, 14, 15, & 16. The longest of all judges, but an unusual story as well. We will look at him tomorrow.
May God bless you today as you live for Christ! Pastor Mike Mutchler
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