Role of the Judges in Israel
Grand Canyon University: BIB-104 Old Testament Historical Perspectives
August 12, 2012
After deliverance from Egypt, inhabiting the Promised Land under the direction of God through Joshua, the Israelites had experienced a period of bliss. The people were united and fear of domination by another was no longer of consequence at least for the time being. Sadly, in spite of the love, kindness and grace displayed by God to His people, the Israelites continued their cyclical living with periods of obedience followed by periods of failure. The Book of Judges chronicles the times during the early ...view middle of the document...
. . 13They forsook the LORD, and served the Baal’s and the Ash'taroth.”
Delivered Unto Thy Enemies
The punishment for disobeying God is swift and decisive. However, as we learned throughout the Old Testament, it is not always carried out by the hand of God. In Judges 2:12-14 we see just how God responds when; “12. . .and they provoked the LORD to anger. . .14So 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 power of their enemies round about, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies.”
Prayer for Deliverance
The people of Israel like their fathers and their fathers’ before them fell to their knees praying to God for deliverance. Just like a disappointed parent, first He denies but then His heart is softened. In Judges 2:15 we find this illustrated when; “15For the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them.”
God Sends a Deliverer
Once again, in the wake of the cries from His people, the Lord establishes a new group of delivers. They will not be kings but rather judges. In Judges 2:16-17, God calls on his people to; “16Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the power of those who plundered them. . .17Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge”
A Return to Disobedience
The story remains the same. Right after deliverance, there is obedience, then adherence and then after the judge is dead it is back to defiance. In Judges 2:19-20 it is articulated; “19But whenever the judge died, they turned back and behaved worse than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them; they did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways.”
The Judges – Men and Women sent by God
Othniel (3:7-11), Son of Kenaz and the brother of Caleb. The spirit of the Lord was on him and he was able to defeat the Arameans. Ehud (3:12-30), his greatest accomplishment was the death of Eglon the king of Moab. Shamgar (3:31, 5:6) was called to judge upon his fight with the Philistines yet once again and eventually delivering the people. Deborah (4-5), the lone woman, was a tribal leader with both military and legal prowess. She campaigned against Sisera, who was the Canaanite general under Jabin. Jabin was the King of Hazor. Together with Barak, they saw victory. Gideon (6-8) who came from a family of Baal worshippers was afraid to trust God. However, God used Gideon anyway and gave him a plan to that allowed him to defeat the Midianites. There is Abimelech who was not a judge, attempted to make himself king but ultimately failed. There was Tola and Jair (10:1-5) who combined ruled for forty-five (45) years. Next came Jephthah (10:6-12:7), who God had to have found great favor in. ...