Gideon: Coward, Conqueror, & Charlatan

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? As the cycle of rebellion, oppression, and deliverance continues, a new deliverer is introduced: Gideon, the farmer. The Midianites and Amalekites raids of Israelite farmlands caused Gideon to hide in a winepress to beat out his wheat, which certainly makes him look like a coward. However, when the angel of the... Continue Reading →

When Every Man Creates His Own Religion

Micah and His Personal Priest:  When every man creates his own religion. (Judges 17:1-18:31)WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Micah, whose name ironically means, “Who is like Yahweh,” ignores the religious precepts revealed by God and attempts to establish his own cultic system. First, he had idols built with money that had been dedicated to the LORD.... Continue Reading →

Theological Themes of the Book of Judges

1. The sovereignty of God[1]: As the One who empowers both the oppressors and the deliverers, the LORD demonstrates His unquestionable control over human history. The contemporary reader may struggle with the notion that God uses unbelievers to discipline His people or, worse, that He would allow and instruct Israel to go to war against... Continue Reading →

Abimelech: Gideon’s Arrogant & Abominable Son

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Although Abimelech’s father, Gideon, initially resisted the offer of kingship, his actions betray him and reveal his true intentions. He may not have used the royal title, but Gideon lived like royalty. Abimelech, whose name means “my father is king,” provides further evidence of the failures of Gideon. Upon his father’s... Continue Reading →

Ehud: An Unlikely Hero (Judges 3)

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Israel’s deliverance from Moab would come through an unlikely source: Ehud, the “lefty.” Whether Ehud was disabled (lacking the use of his right hand) or a trained assassin who was ambidextrous, he represents an improbable deliverer. If Ehud was selected because of a disability and therefore posed no obvious threat to... Continue Reading →

Othniel: The Prototype & Pattern

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Othniel, the nephew of Caleb, is portrayed as a conquering warrior, a family man, and a faithful servant of the LORD. His tenure as a judge (deliverer) of Israel will be the pattern that each successive judge will be weighed against. Although his story may be viewed as boring and lacking... Continue Reading →

Jephthah: A Foolish Father

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? The downward progression of Israel is illustrated in the weakening character of each successive deliverer. The theological ignorance and adulterated worship of Israel are displayed in Jephthah’s life. His rise from obscurity, military and political skill, and role as a deliverer are rightly overshadowed by his foolish vow, the alleged sacrifice... Continue Reading →

From Conquest to Chaos (Judges 1:1-3:6)

The downward spiral of a people who refuse to listen to GodWHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? The opening chapters of Judges are divided into two sections. First, the author bridges the partial conquest of the Promised Land to the multi-generational cycle of rebellion and deliverance that characterized the era before the monarchy. Israel’s disobedience and failure... Continue Reading →

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