Summary: Introduction to the threads of deliverance in Judges teaching us about our deliverance story.
Stepping into our Story
Introduction to the Book of Judges
Imagine for a moment that you are invited to a royal banquet by a king named Adonibezek.
1) Almost any food you could hope for on the table.
2) Over to one side you notice a strange sight.
a. A group of men chained to a table begging for food.
b. You see the king throw a piece of meat to the group of men and watch as they scramble and fight for the food to the delight of the king.
3) You notice something particularly strange about each of these men as they try to pick up the food.
They are missing their thumbs. They are missing their big toes.
Who are these men? They are 70 kings who king Adonibezek has conquered in battle. The reason for this is found in the meaning of his name, Adonibezek--"My Lord Lightning." With great speed he would conquer his enemies.
T.S. There is hardly any book of the Bible that can compare to Judges in color and intrigue.
You will perhaps wince as you read how Ehud the judge went to visit the king in his summer palace and slid his dagger between the firth and sixth ribs of the king so that the fat closed around it and he couldn’t draw it out again.
Perhaps you will cringe when Jael drives the tent stake through the skull of Sisera and pins him to the ground -- and worry with Gideon when God cuts his army down from thirty-two thousand to three hundred, and sends him into battle.
As you go through the book, you watch the terrible prophecy of the orphan Jotham fulfilled in God’s strange and mysterious workings against Abimelech, the false judge.
Perhaps your heart sinks with mine when Jephthah’s daughter comes out to meet him coming back from the battle and he remembers the vow that he had made that the first person he met as he came home he would sacrifice to God, and he has to fulfill that vow.
Perhaps you glory with Samson as he wreaks havoc among the Philistines with that tremendous God-given strength of his, and yet wonder at his naive folly in allowing the Philistine maiden to worm the secret of his strength out of his heart, and finally destroy him.
Perhaps you turn with revulsion from the story of the Benjaminite perversion that marks perhaps the darkest and blackest chapter in all the history of Israel.
All these are contained within the 21 Chapters of the Book of Judges. With book containing so many difficult unglamorous stories, why would God allow such a book to be included in the canon of Scripture? One of our values at NAC is communicating the word with power and relevancy to everyday life. How do we living in the 21st century relate to this book filled with strange and even perverse tales of the people of Israel.
For the Next four and ½ months, with just two short tangents for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we are going to explore this book. We are going to seek to discover how it relates to us today. What does it teach us? What examples to we find to follow? How will the Holy Spirit change us, convict us, lead us as we study it?
1. God has a timeless purpose in including Book of Judges.