We will start the story of the Judges with the last line of the Book of Judges.
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what he thought best. Judges 21:25
But they did have Judges. Moses had appointed the first ones. With the passing of Joshua, Judges became God’s primary way to communicate with His people.
God instructed the Judges, through Moses, to …
Listen to complaints among your kinsmen, and administer true justice to both parties even if one of them is an alien. In rendering judgment, do not consider who a person is; give ear to the lowly and to the great alike, fearing no man, for judgment is God’s. Deut 1:16-17
Israel served the Lord during the entire lifetime of Joshua … Joshua 24:31
But once … a later generation arose …, the Israelites offended the Lord by serving the Baals.
(the false gods)
Abandoning the Lord … Judges 2:10-12
[The Israelites] took [Canaanite] daughters in marriage, and gave [Israelite] daughters to [Canaanite] sons in marriage, and served [Canaanite] gods. Judges 3:5
This was exactly what God had warned them about when God said to conquer and destroy all the inhabitants of Canaan. So, God patiently built the Israelite’s faith and hope, the ONLY way they would learn. By experience – in war.
Because the Israelites had offended the Lord by forgetting the Lord, their God, and serving [false gods] … the Lord … allowed them to fall into the power of … the king of Aram … But when the Israelites cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a savior, Othniel … who rescued them. The spirit of the Lord came upon [Othniel], and he judged Israel. … The land was then at rest for forty years, until Othniel, … died. Judges 3:7-11
Again the Israelites offended the Lord, … Eglon, king of Moab, … attacked and defeated Israel … But when the Israelites cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a savior, … Ehud … who was left handed. Judges 3:12-15
… and the land had rest for eighty years. Judges 3:30
After Ehud’s death, however, the Israelites offended the Lord. So the Lord allowed them to fall into the power of the Canaanite king … At this time the prophetess Deborah, … was judging Israel. …Judges 4:1-4
The entire [enemy] army … fell…Judges 4:16
And the land was at rest for forty years Judges 5:31
The Israelites offended the Lord who therefore delivered them into the power of Midian… Judges 6:1
The spirit of the Lord enveloped Gideon Judges 6:34
The LORD said to Gideon, “By means of … three hundred [soldiers] … I will save you and will deliver Midian into your power. So let all the other soldiers go home.” Judges 7:7
The Midianites, Amalekites, and all the Kedemites lay in the valley, as numerous as locusts. Judges 7:12
[Gideon] told [his 300 soldiers] … blow horns all around the camp …Judges 7:17-18
They blew the horns … Judges 7:19
… and throughout the camp the Lord set the sword of one against another.
(God had the enemy army get so confused and panicked, they killed each other.)
The [enemy] army fled … Judges 7:22
And the land had rest for forty years, during the lifetime of Gideon. Judges 8:28
But after Gideon was dead, the Israelites again abandoned themselves to the Baals,
(the false gods)
This was the pattern. Over and over during the time of the Judges, the Israelites went through this cycle of abandoning God, needing God, and being saved by God. These experiences served to build their hope, their well founded trust, in God.Next Start of Story of Adam to Jesus Home