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Judges 3

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

TUESDAY, APRIL 17

SCRIPTURE:  JUDGES 3

BY: Josh Boles

Judges 3 starts off very similar to the rest of Old Testament historical narrative. If you think back to Genesis it takes just 3 chapters to tell the entire story of creation, and the fall into sin. The rest of Scripture is about mankind’s inability to obey and the dire need for a savior. This theme is especially exemplified in the Old Testament as we see here in Judges.

We are first introduced to a list of nations who were left to test Israel. The Israelites as we see later in verses 7-11 clearly did not pass this test. Believe it or not, this is not the first time something like this has happened in Israel’s history. The fact that these nations were allowed by God to be here most likely was a direct consequence of Israels previous incomplete conquests and disobedience. 

Next we are introduced to Othniel, one of the judges who rescued Israel after they had fallen into idolatry. In this chapter we are not given a whole lot of insight to this but most likely was due to the fact that the Israelites intermingled with these nations and even adopted their religions.  Othniel overthrew Cushan-Rishathaim and Israel had peace for 40 years until….. Yep, you guessed it. “Again they did evil in the eye’s of the Lord.”

Now we are introduced to Ehud, and this is where the story gets good! The Moab’s were ruling over Israel for 18 years until God appointed them a new judge, Ehud who was left handed. I’m not sure what the significance of the left-handedness is but we could just assume that left handed people were weird then just like they are now (sorry Joe). This next part of the story sounds like it came from an epic fantasy novel. We have a left handed Israelite assassin who crafted his own blade and concealed it so that he could assassinate the Moab king.

I wish I had a lot more time to dive into this text because there are some truly hysterical things in this chapter. Like Ehud getting his sword lost in the “well fed” king’s fat belly. You can’t make this stuff up. If you have not read the full chapter yet make sure you do. You will not be disappointed.

How Ehud got away is the best part of the story. He locked the door to the upper throne room and the kings servants thought he was using the bathroom. The moral of the story is that regardless, Ehud got away. He reported to the Israelites, and they wiped out the Moab’s. Because of Ehud’s obedience Israel had peace for 80 yeas until once again, they did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Thats the first thing we read in chapter 4 but I’ll let Mitch tackle that tomorrow.

Do you ever feel like the Israelites? Like you just can’t quite get it right? The entire Bible is a beautiful picture of the total depravity of mankind contrasted with the amazing and sufficient grace of God. Judges 3 is a perfect example of this. Even when we think we are completely unworthy of rescue (and we are) God still shows us favor. He sent His son Jesus to die for us. To rescue us once and for all! Because of this we are to stay in His grace. We are to fight the battles that are in front of us. The battle for us is the temptation to give in to our fleshly desires. Ehud showed faithful obedience and because of that the Israelites lived in peace for a good amount of time. If we show obedience to the Lord’s will, He will do great things in us!

Posted by Josh Boles with

Judges 2

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

TUESDAY, APRIL 17

SCRIPTURE:  JUDGES 2

This chapter begins with a most important event.  The “Angel of the Lord” appeared.  There are a couple of ways to look at this.  This Angel of the Lord could be God the Father which would make this what the theologians call a Theophany.  A Theophany is a physical appearance of God on the earth.  The other way to view this is as a Christophany.  That is a physical appearance of Jesus that predates His incarnation. 

The language of this special “Angel” in verses 1-3 tends to cause many believe this is a physical appearance of God the Father.  But more often than not the “Angel of the Lord” is a reference to a Christophany in the Old Testament.  At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter much. What does matter is we see that things had become so bad, the Lord Himself showed up to warn people.

When the Lord finished speaking, the Bible says the people lifted up their voices and wept.  The place was actually renamed Bochim which means weepers.  But the reality is all of this was just an emotional response.  Although there is nothing wrong with expressing our emotions or having an emotional response to the Lord, emotions themselves matter little and change nothing.  These folks cried a river and then went right back and lived the way they wanted to live.

What that tells us is their weeping was an emotional outburst but it wasn’t repentance.  They didn’t change.

By verse 11, they were chasing after Baal and Asheroth, two of the preeminent gods of the Canaanites.  They were agricultural gods that had to be appeased “in order for the crops to grow”.  And often what the people did to appease these so called gods was to engage in sexual orgies. 

So worshipping Baal and Asheroth may have provided sensual pleasure but it did not stop the Israelites from experiencing the pain of their rebellion and sin.  Back in Deuteronomy God had promised to bless Israel as long she obeyed him.  He also promised to punish Israel when she abandoned Him.  In verses 14-15, we see evidence of His punishment.

It is important to remember that Israel was God’s chosen people.  It would have been easy for God to have raised up an enemy that would have totally eliminated the nation of Israel.  But that would have gone against God’s promise.  Not only will God not go against His promise.  He cannot go against His promise.  The nation of Israel has been and will be God’s chosen people.  He will bless their obedience.  He will punish their disobedience.  But they are His people.

As Christ followers, we can be grateful for a God like that.  When we were born again, we were born into His family.  We are His people.  And our position in His family is secure.  He will bless our obedience.  He will punish our disobedience.  But we will always be a part of His family.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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