Good morning again American readers. We hope we can offer you a little inspiration again this week as we take some time to study from the Word of God.
This past Lord’s Day, we, along with all our friends (John 15:14-15), “Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.” (3 John 1:14) at the East Ridge church of Christ (Romans 16:16) opened the scriptures and examined some of the great events found in the Word of God.
Today we are going to focus our study from the book of Judges. There are various time periods of the Old Testament. With the death of Joshua ends the Conquest Period where Joshua and Israel work together to drive out all the nations who have taken over the land of Canaan. Next comes the Judges Period.
An appalling thing happens, however, at the transition of these two periods. When the days of Joshua and his generation end, the inspired writer chronicles that “there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10).
It is a difficult time, indeed, when a nation forgets the true God. Often we that are Christians take the blessings and privileges of being God’s people for granted or sometimes we become too attracted by the world to follow God and His scriptures. So it was with Israel. They became enamored with the nations around them and begin to worship their gods, forgetting the true God of Israel. Each time they stray, God allows Israel’s enemies to subdue them; and each time the Israelites subsequently cry out for God’s help.
Each time Israel falls, and it happens at least seven times in the Judges period, God raises up a “judge,” a warrior, who delivers them from the oppression of their enemies. Great men emerge, such as the ones the apostle mentions over in the New Testament, men such as Gideon, Barak, Samson, Samuel, and Jephthah (Hebrews 11:32).
A great story of faith accompanies each of these men:
For Barak, his faith is demonstrated in his desire to be sure the Lord is with him before he acts (Judges 4:8). As Peter would instruct us centuries later, “make your calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10).
Gideon’s faith allows him to trim an army from 32,000 to 300 men to go into battle against the Midianites (Judges 7). He learned the lesson we need to remember today: The Lord is not impressed with numbers or their appearance (Deuteronomy 7:6-14; 1 Kings 19:9-18; Matthew 7:13-14). Today God is looking for that Excellency in those with the knowledge of Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:8; John 6:38; Mark 16:15-16).
Samson’s faith may have been the weakest of all the judges, but even he learned that “when I am weak, then am I strong” as the apostle Paul chronicles in 2 Corinthians 12:10.
Then from Samuel we learn the need to dedicate ourselves to the Lord completely, even as Samuel’s mother Hannah vowed him completely to the Lord even before he was born (1 Samuel 1:11).
But I guess my preferred judge of all is the little-known Jephthah who once was thrown out of his home by his brothers because they considered him unworthy to be part of their family (Judges 11). Yet Jephthah stays true to the Lord and, by faith and great perseverance, delivers the Lord’s people.
If you would like to study the Bible or have questions, call me at 254-405-4884, if needed, leave a message.
May God bless you all this week as you continue to study God’s word and examine its great lessons. We look forward to visiting with you in person this Lord’s Day.