Summary: The book of Judges is a book of Heroes and cycles. When the hero would die, the children of Israel would turn back to their sin, God would let their enemies defeat them, they would cry out to the Lord, and He would raise up another hero.
HEROES #7: THE FORGOTTEN HEROES OF JUDGES
OPENING: This morning, we are going to take a look at the lives of some of the forgotten heroes of the Book of Judges. We are all familiar with the stories of David and Goliath, Daniel and the lion’s den, and Jonah and the whale, but how many of you have heard some of these stories?
THE FORGOTTEN HEROES OF JUDGES:
1. Othniel, Caleb’s nephew, who defeated the Mesopotamians (3:7-11)
2. Shamgar, who killed 6,000 Philistines with an oxgoad (3:31)
3. Tola, the son of Puah, the son of Dodo (10:1-2)
4. Jair, the Gileadite (10:3-5)
5. Ibzan, the Bethlehemite (12:8-10)
6. Elon, the Zebulunite (12:11-12)
7. Abdon, the Pirathonite (12:13-15)
- lesson: God uses all different kinds of people!
Then, some of the more well-known ones:
8. Deborah, the prophetess who defeated Sisera and the Canaanites(ch. 4-5)
- lesson: God uses women, too!
9. Gideon, the underdog who defeated Midianites (ch. 6-8)
10. Jephthah, the son of a harlot, who defeated the Ammonite (10:6 – 12:7)
- lesson: God will use you, regardless of your past
11. Samson, the strong man who fought against the Philistines (ch. 13-16)
12. Ehud, the lefthanded man who defeated Eglon and the Moabites (3:12-30)
Before we look at the story of Ehud, let me give you some background to the book of Judges.
BACKGROUND TO JUDGES:
“So the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord which He had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:7).
· What an amazing testimony – when Joshua lived, the people served the Lord.
“When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals.” (v.10-11).
· This is why it’s important for parents to teach and train their children! “We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.” (Psalm 78:4).
“And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around.” (v.14).
· As a result of this, v.15 says, “And they were greatly distressed.”
KEY TEXT: “Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them.” (Judges 2:16).
THE BIG IDEA: The book of Judges is a book of Heroes. But it is also a book of cycles. Whenever the hero would die, the children of Israel would turn back to their sin, then God would let their enemies defeat them, then they would cry out to the Lord, and the Lord would raise up another Hero. God’s looking for a few heroes in the world today!
·A NOTE ON CYCLES: This is an example of many Christian’s lives as well. We are excited about serving God, then we fall away, then we get into trouble, then we cry out to God for help and promise to serve Him again, then He helps us, then we are excited about serving God, then we fall away, etc…