Summary: A overview of the book of Judges based on Judges 1.22-3.6
What if everyone did whatever they wanted? – Week 2:
Incomplete Obedience is Disobedience
Text: Judges 1.22-3.6.
1. The passages of the Scripture before us today are still part of the introduction to the book of the Judges. This introduction is not chronological in it’s treatment of events but repeats certain things over for emphasis. The death of Joshua is repeated three times in these early chapters, the next generation and their partial obedience is repeatedly referred to, an d the third generations total disobedience is also mentioned in detail. This is because the writer of the book of Judges is trying to set us up to understand the book as a cyclic book. There is a cycle to be repeated over and over again throughout the book. We will see what that cycle is today…and a very similar cycle has occurred in our nation.
2. These verses indicate for us that the decline of Israel began under Joshua and the “great generation” we spoke about last week. It is true that there was a great generation, but their children and their grandchildren slipped a bit farther away until by the time the elders, those around Joshua’s age died….the nation as a whole had left the truth; they were apostate.
3. Let’s take a few moments to read the entire text today before we make some pertinent observations.
4. Read Judges 1.22-3.6.
First, let’s think about the cyclic nature of this book indicated by the introduction we are reading …
I. The Cycle of the Book of Judges –
A. There is an old Chinese proverb “Fu bu guo san dai”. Translated it means “Wealth does not pass three generations”. This proverb has found it’s way into the modern world as follows: The first generation builds wealth, the second generation spends wealth, and the third generation loses wealth.
B. In a spiritual sense this is the cycle of the book of Judges. The first generation (e.g. Joshua’s) was characterized by obedience, the second generation was characterized by incomplete obedience, and the third generation was characterized by disobedience.
C. Here is the progression in these opening chapters…Joshua’s generation obeyed, their children partially obeyed, and their grandchildren disobeyed. This third generation was described in Judges 3.10 (read).
D. These opening chapters of Judges introduce us to the cycle that will be repeated over and over throughout the rest of the book. This cycle is:
Obedience Incomplete Obedience Disobedience
II. A Breakdown of the cycle –
A. What was this first generation like? We talked about this generation last week but let me remind you and expand a bit. This generation was obedient; they believed God’s Word, they respected Him and obeyed Him. They were courageous, committed, decisive, sensitive to the difference between right and wrong…these were people who truly followed the Lord wholeheartedly.
B. What was the second generation like? Let’s look at Judges 1.27-36 to see 3 characteristics. This generation, the children of Joshua and his leadership circle, were…
1. They partially obeyed God (v. 26, 29, 31).