Cycle

Cycle

After Joshua settled the people into the Promised Land, the people failed to finish the task of removing idolatry from the area.  The people got stuck in a cycle of sin which God would alleviate through the hands of judges.

OVERVIEW OF JUDGES

  • In between Joshua’s leadership and the establishment of King Saul, Israel was led by a line of judges.
  • These judges addressed the consequences of the people brought on by their own sin.
  • Each flawed judge revealed the need for national revival and godly leadership.
  • Through each episode focusing on a particular judge, a common cycle is repeated.

MAJOR THEMES

  • Left unchecked, people will continue to spiral down into greater spiritual chaos and rebellion.
  • The failure to rid the land completely of idolatry would continue to corrupt the devotion of Israel and require punishment.
  • In contrast to Israel’s constant unfaithfulness, God continually portrays faithfulness to His people.
  • Even the heroes of these stories are flawed individuals who often accelerate the cycle.
  • The book shows the need for a leader who will seek approval in God’s eyes rather than doing what is right in one’s own eyes.
    • How the Book Begins: Judges 2:6-19
    • How the Book Ends: Judges 21:25

Judge Gideon [Judges 6-8]

  • God is the only one able to make a coward into a hero (Jud. 6:12).
  • God sees potential where man sees inadequacies.  
  • God’s promise to Gideon is that he will be “with him” reminiscent of Moses (Ex. 3:11) and Joshua (Josh. 1:5, 9).
  • Gideon destroys the altar of Baal and the Asherah at nighttime (Jud. 6:28-34).
  • Gideon tests God (Deut. 6:16) with the sign of the fleece (Deut. 6:36-40).
  • Just because Gideon did this doesn’t mean we should.
  • There is a difference in prescriptive sections of the Bible and descriptive sections of the Bible.
  • God reduces Gideon’s army size through two unique tests to ensure he gets glory for he victory (Judges 7).
  • Great description of Gideon: “exhausted yet pursuing” (Jud. 7:4).

JUDGE SAMSON [JUDGES 13-15]

  • Samson’s mother was barren until she was promised a child by God (Jud. 13:3).
  • Samson was commanded to take the Nazirite vow (Numbers 6): 1) abstinence from wine, 2) no cutting of hair, & 3) no contact with the dead.
  • His impressive strength was able to subdue the Philistines.
  • He became “unequally yoked” with a Philistine.
  • Delilah was the 3rd Philistine woman he pursued.  She was a prostitute.
  • She finds the source of his strength, and he is overtaken.
  • His dying effort is destroying the Philistines in an attempt for redemption.