Raising Up Deliverers
Introduction, Judges 2
Introduction: In this series, Raising Up Deliverers, we will look at lives of Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah and Samson, and receive the keys of perseverance of faith. Perseverance is one area of growth in our spiritual lives in Christ, that is a catalyzing force for greater favor of God in our lives, greater spiritual authority, and spiritual maturity.
James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
The spiritual themes that we see in the book of Judges is as follows:
1 – Perseverance of faith contrasted to loss of faith
2 – Israel’s obedience leading to blessing and favor, or their disobedience leading to oppression from their enemies.
3 – God’s grace and faithfulness to His people
4 – God co-labors with imperfect, but willing people to fulfill His purposes
5 – When things look hopeless in a nation, God has a holy prescription for its healing
1 Corinthians 10:11 – These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.
As we look at Judges, we can learn from all the examples of the Judges who began well and finished well, who began well and ended poorly, or who began broken and ended even more broken. Each character we will study will unlock deep discipleship lessons for each one of us, so that all of us will walk in undivided devotion to the Lord.
According to Jewish tradition in the Talmud, the last Judge of Israel, Samuel complied the book. The date for the book is between 1086-1004BC. Although the author is anonymous in the text, we can trust Jewish rabbinic tradition because of their commitment to preserving history by oral tradition, and their zeal for accurate scholarship through scribal traditions.
The style of Judges follows a “blessings for obedience” and “curses for disobedience” cycle as described in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. Judges is an appeal to the future generations of God’s people to avoid sin cycles in their lives. If we carefully observe some the strongholds we have overcome, often we will see patterns. Judges shows us the same type of theme throughout the book as a warning. The verses below describe the sin cycle the Israelites were in.
a) It is the responsibility of one generation to give next generation an opportunity to encounter the Lord. The experiential knowledge transfer of things about God protects the coming generation from the oppression of sin, and devastation in society.
b) There is a two-way responsibility. One is the current generation needs to give the coming generation an accurate narrative of God, and coming generation needs to respond to the truth about God.
c) The Israelites were in covenant with the Lord, and therefore were bound by the conditions of their covenant with Him. The key here was that they did not “know” the Lord. Hebrew – know – yada` – to know by experience, to discern or see, to learn to know, to no one carnally (sex), i.e. Adam “knew” his wife – Genesis 4:1
d) 2 Peter 1:3 – His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
a) Deuteronomy 28 describes complete success in every area of personal and national life because the Lord is with them. The oppression from their enemies, and their inability to overcome them, was an indicator of their spiritual condition.
b) Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.
c) In a similar way, the more agreement we have with the flesh and the world, the more access the enemy has to afflict our lives. See 1 John 5:18 – We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.
d) Romans 8:12-13 -Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
e) They were in great distress – Even in the midst of deep sin and rebellion against the Lord, He remained faithful and merciful to respond to the distress of His people. The fruit of repentance is a speedy deliverance. The Lord was faithful to raise up people who deliver his people from their troubles.
f) Judges – Hebrew – shaphat – to judge, govern, vindicate, punish, to act as lawgiver or judge or governor (of God, man) – The definition of this word implies much more than a natural ability to lead. It indicates a God given supernatural grace/anointing to rule, make divine decrees and administrate justice for the people.
g) Saved – Hebrew – yasha` – to save, be saved, be delivered, to be liberated, be saved, be delivered, to be victorious, to save from moral troubles –
a) These verses show us the grace, mercy and patience of the Lord towards His people. Nehemiah 9:31 – But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
a) The favor of covenant blessings is conditional. The great mercy, grace and patience of the Lord were always available to the Israelites in the time of the Judges. However, the favor of God is empowered by relational obedience to His heart.
b) Compromise is always an avenue for temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
c) Prophetic promises are conditional and the measure of their fulfillment depends on the measure of our agreement.