Last week we finished our study of Joshua. Two things that stick with me are:
1. The faithfulness of God to keep His word – therefore,
Joshua 1:7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (ESV)
2. Serving God is a daily choice:
Joshua 24: 14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (ESV)
This week, we begin the study of the book of JUDGES. Following the death of Joshua, Israel plunges into a 350-year Dark Age. Judges opens with a description of Israel’s deterioration, continues with seven cycles of oppression and deliverance, and concludes with two illustrations of Israel’s depravity. Time after time in Judges, we see the grace of God as He forgives His people and sends a deliverer in the form of a judge. These judges come from all walks of life.
Judges contains several of the more dynamic women in the Old Testament. Many scholars see a parallel between the general decay in Israel and the treatment of women as the Book of Judges progresses. Early on we find Deborah and Jael (Chapters 4-5), who are both strong and courageous. But they are followed up by the daughter of Jephthah, who allows herself to be sacrificed (11:35), Delilah, who seduces and betrays Samson (16:4-22), and the most troubling of all–the unnamed concubine in Chapter 19.
We will cover the first 5 chapters this week and see how history repeats itself unless we learn from the mistakes of the past.
I think you may be amazed at how applicable the lessons from Judges are for us today. Please join us online or in class.
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