If you have lost your reading schedule like me, Click here to print a new one. (but it is always in the handout section)
Last night I sent out 2 visuals so that you can grasp that today’s read spans over 200 years.
Chapter 3 begins with: “These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan”. Faith is tested. The younger generation had not fought in the major battles, so they would need Faith to overcome their enemies. However, by verse 5 we read: “The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.”
This book is subdivided into 6 eras of Apostasy. Apostasy means a falling away, a withdrawal, a defection. They believed in God, but they abandoned Him.
Othiel: (Hebrew means “Lion of God” or “Strength of God”)
Was “raised up” (think of the Cross), as the first judge of the Israelites. He was Caleb’s younger brother.
- 8 years of oppression
- 40 years of rest
#2 Ehud (means union or united)
King Egon from the Ammonites, teamed up with the Ammonites and the Amalekites. (they should sound familiar). God raised up Ehud from the tribe of the Benjaminites. He was left-handed meaning Ehud could not use his right hand at all for some reason. God used this in a mighty way. Ehud was able to sneak his sword in on his right side because the guards would only have checked his left side for a weapon. He conquered this King by plunging the sword into him causing his bowels to discharge. Ther smell must have been horrible! This puts the whole scene together as to why the servants assumed he was “relieving himself” and Ehud had time to escape.
#3 Shamgar- Shamgar is one small verse but one powerful Judge. Here is what we know:
- Shamgar’s leadership followed Ehud’s
- he was the son of Anath,
- he killed 600 Philistines with an oxgoad
- he saved Israel.
Because the name Anath referred to a Canaanite goddess, some have suggested Shamgar was a son of a mixed Israelite-Canaanite marriage or had some other connection with the Canaanites.
An Oxgoad wasn’t even a weapon, it was a herding tool for animals that Ehud used as a weapon.
NOTICE: These are not just “battles”, this is God showing himself to the next generation. 600 Philistines…the weapon wasn’t the Oxgoad. The weapon was God!
#4 Deborah- (hold on a second, I need to go find my Whitney Houston cassette and blast “I’m Every Woman” while I read this.
Deborah, upon receiving instructions from God, called Barak, an Israelite warrior, to bring 10,000 troops up Mount Tabor to attack Sisera, Jabin’s commander of troops.
Barak responded by saying “If you will go with me, I will go; if not I will not go” (give me a break)
In the next verse, Deborah agrees to go to battle with Barak and the troops but says: “However, there will be no glory for you in the course you are taking, for then the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman”
Ok, a little background. Moses’ father in law was a Kenite. They lived among the people Israelites under Judah (1:16). God used this alliance to his advantage. Even though the Kenites had moved North and were friendly with Jabin’s army (well, who wouldn’t be…his army was HUGE and sophisticated with 900 chariots made of iron). Jael gives him milk and a blanket to help him sleep and then…drives a tent peg through his temple! Lord have mercy!
Chapter 5: The Song of Deborah, however, it is really not a song of Deborah: It is a song of the Lord. This song was to teach the next generations (and the enemies to come) that it was not the Judges who saved Israel but the Lord that raised up the Judges. It is a song of Praise. Verse 2 and 9…”Praise the Lord”.