Like a good detective, let's examine this book.
The book of Judges chronicles the time between Joshua and the first kings of Israel. It also chronicles why kings were needed and eventually called for by the people of Israel. The book of Judges reminds me of a burning house. You don't want to look at someone else's misfortune and hope everyone came through it okay. However, you still find yourself looking and watching the devastation. Judges is full of the worst times in the nation of Israel's history and highlights what happens when we turn away from the Lord.
🔍 Things to Notice
- It happened likely over about a 200-year time frame.
- Several judges performed extraordinary exploits to secure freedom for the nation of Israel.
- One of the judges is a woman named Deborah.
- The book of Ruth happens toward the end of the book of Judges.
🙏 Jesus in this Book
(Every book reveals the glory of God, displayed in Christ Jesus)
- Jesus is our True Judge and King.
- Don't be stupid, follow God.
- The cycle of sin.
- There was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.
- The strongest wins the day.
- Everyone will serve someone.
Who wrote it: Likely Samuel.
Who is the original audience: The nation of Israel.
Where are we: The Promised Land. This is in modern-day Middle Eastern regions in the land of Canaan.
When was it written: Immediately following the events of Joshua. Check the chart above. (1350-950)
What is the big idea: Judges show the nation of Israel going through a cycle of sin. They would forget God. God would lift His hand of blessing. Enemies would overrun them. They would be miserable. They would then cry out to God, who would deliver them. It continues again and again. The easy thing to say would be, "Why don't the nation of Israel learn from their mistakes?" I ask myself the same question every time I make the same mistake.
Cycle of Sin:
- Forget God
- Overrun by enemies
- Cry out to God
- God delivers
Why is this book important: As stated above, the most striking part of Judges is the cycle of sin the nation of Israel continues to fall into. The biggest challenge is most would not like to admit we see ourselves in this book. We see how easy it can be to talk, but walking the walk is hard. How often have we said we would never make the same mistake twice, only to do just that? This book is essential because it shows what happens when someone forgets God. It also shows what can happen if we return to Him.
How can I apply it?: Judges are full of cautionary tales. Like all such stories, the goal should be to do what we can to learn from the mistakes of others so we can make better decisions. As you read the book of Judges, remember these were real people. These stories happened due to their unwillingness to follow God completely. Most of us can identify with that. Therefore, we understand their pain but choose to do something different. We choose to follow God wholeheartedly.