Week #34; Wed, 8/22/18: Judges 2:1-7:24

The term “angel of the Lord” speaks of Israel’s disobedience for not completing the total conquest of the land but promises not to break his covenant with them. The term “angel of the Lord” continues to speak with great authority; even as if it could be Jesus talking. Recall the many times this term has been used already (Gen. 16:7, etal).

JUDGES 2: The Disobedience of Israel
1. The “angel of the Lord” speaks decisively to the people of Israel condemning them for not obeying his voice to totally drive out the inhabitants of the land.
2. He will now NOT drive out the inhabitants before them, but these inhabitants will now become a thorn in their sides; their gods will become a snare.
3. When Joshua died at age of 110 and was buried at Timnath-heres in Ephraim, the people continued to follow their elders who outlived Joshua until they were gathered to their fathers also.
4. The generations after them did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.
5. So, the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and began to serve Baals and their Ashtaroth idols, the gods of the inhabitants of the land–they abandoned the Lord.
6. The anger of the Lord was kindled against the people of Israel and he gave them up to their enemies.
7. In their distress, the Lord raised up judges, who saved them.
8. When each judge died, the people turned back and were more corrupt, going after other gods to worship.
9. Because of this, the Lord refused to drive out the nations that Joshua left behind.

JUDGES 3: The Lord Raises up Judges
1. The Lord used the nations (Philistines, Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Sidonians, Hivites, and Jebusites) that were allowed to remain in the land to test the people of Israel (those generations who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan) so that they would know war and learn war.
2. The people of Israel were to be tested by these nations to determine if the people would obey the commandment of the Lord.
3. The people of Israel intermarried with the people in the land and they served their gods.
4. Because this was evil in the sight of the Lord, the people of Israel were allowed to suffer at the hands of the nations in the land and they cried out to the Lord.
5. The people of Israel did evil; they forgot the Lord and served Baals and the Asheroth; they were sold to the king of Mesopotamia who they served for 8 years before crying out to the Lord; the Lord gave them victory and rest for 40 years under Othniel; and then Othniel died.
6. Again, the people of Israel did evil; they were defeated by Moab who they served for 18 years before crying out to the Lord; the Lord gave them victory and rest for 80 years under Ehud followed by Shamgar.

JUDGES 4: Deborah and Barak
1. But, the people of Israel did evil again; they were defeated by Canaan and served them for 20 years under persecution; the Lord heard them crying out; the Lord gave them victory over Canaan under Deborah.
2. Note the utility of a tent peg and a hammer by Jael, wife of Heber, to subdue Sisera (his 900 chariots were useless against the Lord).

JUDGES 5: The Song of Deborah and Barak
1. Following victory and great searching of hearts, the land had rest for 40 years.

JUDGES 6: Oppression from Midian
1. But, again the people of Israel did evil in sight of the Lord.
2. The Lord gave them into the hand of Midian for 7 years who plundered the land, leaving no sustenance in Israel.
3. The people cried out and the Lord sent the angel of the Lord to Gideon.
4. Gideon asked the angel of the Lord for a sign and it was given, so he built an altar to the Lord and tore down the altar of Baal that belonged to his father Joash.
5. All the Midianites, Amalekites, and all the people of the East came together to contend over the altar of Baal, but the Spirit the Lord brought up the Abiezrites, Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali to Gideon.
6. Gideon asked God to show him a sign with a fleece of wool to confirm that he would be victorious against his enemies and he did, twice.

JUDGES 7: Gideon’s 300 men
1. Gideon (also Jerubbaal) and all his people rose up (about 32,000) and prepared to face the enemy at the hill of Moreh.
2. But the Lord said to Gideon that he had too many men telling him to reduce the size of his forces until only 300 were left; they were those who drew water to their mouth with their hands instead of lapping it with their tongue like a dog.
3. That night, Gideon and Purah, his servant, went to the camp of the enemy at the command of the Lord and listened to the enemy describe how one of them dreamed of their defeat by Gideon.
4. Gideon worshiped.
5. All of the enemy army ran and turned swords on his comrade when Gideon and his men surrounded them and blew trumpets, smashed jars, and lit torches.

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