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Summary: This is the introduction to Judges which gives an overall view of the book.

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This is the start of a study on the book of Judges (week1). Slide 1

Introduction to the book:

Slide 2

21 chapters spanning almost 400 years

From Joshua’s death to the first King; Saul

The title ‘Judges’ doesn’t mean courts and jurors, more like deliverers with a military sense.

There were 12 judges, 6 minor and 6 major Slide 3

As we see during those years, Israel continued a cycle of apostasy, oppression, crying out to God, then deliverance.

Before each judge we see, ‘.and the people did evil in the sight of the Lord..’

More of a downward spiral with each judge being worse than the one before.

When they entered the promised land under Joshua they took Jericho which was central, slide 4 then made their way south towards Gaza, then up to the north

It wasn’t a single nation, but numerous states with own territories, governments and armies.

The land wasn’t going to be taken in one single entry, but by each tribe

It was theirs for the taking

After Joshua’s death the people didn’t know what to do

They were now in the land, yet didn’t have full possession

What happened to cause Israel to go into decline after such a victory at Jericho?

1. They lost their fighting spirit

2. They lost their relationship with God

3. They sought other ways of dealing with life

They were disobedient:

· They were told to drive out the enemy

· They were told to utterly destroy them

· They were told not to make any treaty with them

They were to apply ‘herem’ law

Closely related to the Arabic word ‘harim’ used to mean sanctuary, a forbidden area, off limits to others.

The Hebrew word means, separating something, reserving it for sacred use; forbidden to man and consecrated to God.

They were to make sure no one got away and all the plunder was dedicated to the Lord.

The seriousness of not using harem law is shown later in Joshua 22:20 we read: When Achan son of Zerah acted unfaithfully regarding the devoted things, did not wrath come upon the whole community of Israel? He was not the only one who died for his sin.’ "

I will speak more about this later as we go further into Judges

We have some who think the God of the OT is different from the God of the NT

Was God dealing harshly with the people there? No

He wanted no influences to come and take them away from Him

We begin in Chap 1: they didn’t drive out the enemy, why?

· They thought the battle was over

· They became comfortable now they had entered God’s promised land

· They settled in nicely with their neighbours and compromised what they could have had, so well, that they behaved like them

As Christians we get saved and think the battle is over

What else is there to do?

God has done it all!

We then settle into our Christian life and live comfortably with our neighbours.

Illust

Living with rats!

Do we allow them to live in our house?

Will we allow them to occupy one room or corner?

This is what it was like for Israel; they lived with the enemy

It was only when the enemy took over that they called on God

If we have rats and we may try to get rid of them, then we may also call someone to deal with the problem

This is what happened here

They enquired of the Lord Judges 1:1 through the priest Phinehas

We are to enquire of our high priest Jesus when we are faced with the enemy:

· Sickness

· Demon activity

· Depression

· Financial difficulties

· Lust

· Compulsive behaviour

· Greed

· Unforgiveness

· Family crisis; children away from God to name a few

He has obtained the victory, now we must take possession of the fullness that all God has given us

Where is the territory that the enemy lives in, in our lives?

Where is the real battle taking place?

Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

When the spies went in to the land was it the enemy that put fear in them or was it all in their mind?

Hadn’t God said? It is written!

Unbelief the biggest obstacle, followed by fleshly desires

When we see Jesus tempted by the devil we read how suggestions were put into his mind Luke 4

We see how the devil lied to Jesus.

I will give you all this if you worship me….Jesus would have lost everything, not gained.

He was free already, we are already free!

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