Today we begin Judges. Chapters one and two introduce the need for judges. The first chapter repeats much of Joshua, so scan through it if you are behind or are short on time.
Thought to Guide Your ReadingIsrael ignored God's commands to tear down the altars to the false gods of the people in Canaan even though He repeated it so often.
Summary in 100 Words or LessAfter Joshua died God told Judah to fight the Canaanites. Judah and Simeon teamed up to conquer their lands.
Eventually Israel failed to drive out the Canaanites and made them slaves.
Though God never broke His Promise Israel did not keep their promise. Because they did not tear down the alters in Canaan God allowed the Canaanites to stay. They would cause Israel to worship other gods.
When Israel worshiped other gods they were punished. God raised judges to redeem Israel but they would not listen and remained in sin. The nation of Israel would not be wholly for God.
How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right
The first chapter of Judges sets the background for the book.Each book of the Bible was circulated on its own for thousands of years. This meant it needed to tell background information to set the stage for what would happen in its contents. This is why the first chapter repeats much of Joshua. People reading or listening to the text would need this chapter to remember what they read or heard a few months/years ago when they read the other book.
Israel fails to obey God's most-repeated law.It what may be the saddest part of scripture so far, God reprimanded Israel for not following the law that was repeated more times than any other law—destroy any and every trace of the gods of the Canaanites. Because they would not do this God would no longer protect them. Canaan's unholy influence would overtake them and they would be punished. When God's Chosen People do not make themselves wholly for God (holy) then they will eventually forsake God completely.
Israel's new generation does not follow in its predecessor's footprints.Disobeying another oft repeated law, Israel fails to pass on faith in God to their children. Whether this is the fault of the parents or of the children God does not say—most likely because it is not important. Parents must pass on to their children that that God is setting all things right on this earth or they will not be wholly for God (holy).
God provides Israel's judges.Even though Israel is not willing to obey God, He still sends them judges to call them back into a right relationship with Him. God is willing to call His Chosen People even when they are not willing to obey Him. How wonderful is our God!
God uses the Canaanites to test Israel's faith.Since Israel was not willing to destroy the idols of the Canaanites God would no longer drive the Canaanites out of the land. This meant Israel would not only have to fight them when they wished for revenge but they would also tempt Israel to worship their gods. When we are not holy, God allows us to keep temptations around.
In what ways has God not driven out your Canaanite temptations?
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