What a mixed bag sort of a way to start a book! Judah succeeds, Benjamin fails. Joseph’s house succeeds, the rest of the tribes fail. Why? Because already Israel is disobeying God, at least that’s what the Angel of the Lord says at the beginning of chapter 2.
Joshua is gone and the everyone does “what is right in their own eyes”. Have you ever heard the phrase: “Theo who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”? The book of Judges is the illustration of that phrase. Israel just can’t seem to get past this obedience thing! The book of Judges tells us the story of Israel’s inability to follow God with all their heart, soul and strength. It is a story that is pretty bleak at times.
There are some phrases that show up multiple times in the book that are important to pay attention to. They are:
“There was no king in Israel”
“did what was right in their own eyes”
“Israel did what was evil in the Lord’s sight”
“He (God) sold them/handed them to ______ (fill in foreign nation)””Israel cried out to the Lord. So the Lord raised up ___________ (fill in name of judge)”
These phrases are used to mark transitions throughout the book, but they also give you the basic outline of the pattern Israel falls into. They have no king (God was supposed to be their king), so they do whatever they want, whatever sounds good to them (that should sound familiar from our own world); what sounds good to them more often than not was not ok with God, so God gives them over to some foreign power for punishment. Israel cries out to God in their distress and God calls a leader to rescue them.
Wash, rinse and repeat.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Judges 3-5