Digging in Deeper: Judges 20:27-28

“And the people of Israel inquired of the Lord (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, and Phineas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, ‘Shall we go out once more to battle against our brothers, the people of Benjamin, or shall we cease?’  And the Lord said, ‘Go up, for tomorrow I will give them into your hand.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

The people were surely confused by now. They felt they were doing their righteous duty by punishing the people of Benjamin militarily for not condemning the terrible acts of the evil men of Gibeah, but also for refusing to turn them over so the rest of the nation could hold only them accountable. Their refusal amounted to a defense of their actions which essentially made the whole tribe guilty of them. But now, even after seeking the Lord together for direction twice and feeling assured of His presence to guide them, they had lost in battle against the Benjaminites twice…badly. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Judges 2:4

“As soon as the angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Do you remember a time as a kid when you were misbehaving, knew it, but weren’t doing anything about it? You just kept right on down that path figuring that you’d deal with the consequences when that time came. And eventually, the time did indeed come. Your parent or teacher or some other authority finally caught you and sat you down and basically said, “You’ve had your fun, but what were you thinking? Now it’s time to pay the Piper.” Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Judges 2:14

“So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them.  And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

The Lord is a father and the people of Israel were His children.  (He’s also a bridegroom and they were His bride which is kind of an odd mixing of metaphors, but both are nonetheless appropriate at different times to describe our relationship with Him.)  When they refused to stay on the path down which He was leading them, He disciplined them.  What this summary description of how the rest of the book of Judges is going to go reveals is that once the people were settled in the land they struggled mightily with faithfulness. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Judges 1:19

“And the Lord was with Judah, and he took possession of the hill country, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain because they had chariots of iron.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Starting here and six more times in this chapter we see this phrase, “And he did not drive out…”  The command was to drive out completely or else you are going to pay for it, but they did not obey.  They did not obey, and as the rest of the story of Judges makes clear, they did indeed pay for it.  They stopped doing what the Lord had commanded, so He stopped helping them do it, so the peoples of Canaan remained in the land.  The Lord had told them that if the peoples of Canaan were allowed to remain in the land, they would trip them up and lead them astray.  If the people went astray, they were going to lose the blessings of obedience and gain the Lord Himself as their chief opponent.  And it all happened. Read the rest…