Summary: Will He meet you at Bochim, or Gilgal?
The first thing I want to bring to your attention today, is where the book of Judges is located in the Bible. We have the first five books, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; then Joshua, and then Judges.
God has created, raised up the nations, brought about a people for Himself from one man, a nation through which He would bless the world, first with the revelation of Himself through His word, and then by sending His Messiah through this same nation.
He has delivered them from bondage by amazing miracles, and has kept them through their wanderings in the desert for 40 years, and has given them the land promised to them.
The world itself is still very young. It’s only about 2,580 years old at the time of this writing. This is only the seventh book of the Bible. The people of God, the children of Israel, at this point, have quite a legacy. Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. Joseph. Moses. Joshua.
Great men of God who served faithfully, and served as an example of the blessings of God on the righteous.
God’s promises have always been kept, His warnings have always proved to be accurate, His goodness has been poured out on them abundantly, and His dealings with unbelief and disobedience have been swift and certain, and leaving no room for doubt in anyone’s mind, that the wages of sin is death.
But now we come to this book of the Judges. And it seems to start out very good. Joshua has passed away, so, we’re told, ‘…the sons of Israel inquired of the Lord…’
Now that’s a good start, isn’t it? They could have done many things. They could have inquired of each other. They could have formed a committee and inquired of the committee. They could have cast lots or they could have fought amongst themselves for leadership, or they each could have simply gone their own way and tried to get by on their own.
But they inquired of the Lord, and He gave them direction. He referred to the tribe of Judah, And He said, right there in verse 2 of chapter 1, “…I have given the land into his hand”.
And indeed, we read down through these verses and see the Lord delivering these godless cultures of people into the hands of the sons of Israel. They capture kings. They capture and burn cities. Now I want you to be assured that God told them to do this.
They were to drive out these people from the land completely, as the Lord went before them, and purge the land of all ungodly idols and ungodly people, and dwell in peace and safety in a land that the Lord gave to them. That was the plan.
But suddenly we arrive at verse 21 of chapter 1, and the tone begins to change just slightly.
“But the sons of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem; so the Jebusites have lived with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.”
And as you read down through these following verses, you see the same sad story repeated again and again!
Now before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s back up just for a moment and read some words in the final chapter of the book of Joshua. Just turn back a page or two, to Joshua 24:16, and witness what this same generation of the sons of Israel is saying, in response to Joshua’s challenge to remain faithful to the God of their fathers.
“And the people answered and said, ‘Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way in which we went and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed. And the Lord drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. We also will serve the Lord, for he is our God’.”
Ok, now go back to the first chapter of Judges, and from verse 22, just let your eyes scan down the page to the end of that chapter, and please be cognizant of the grave error that is being made here.
The man from Bethel was allowed to live because he gave them information, and he went to the land of the Hittites and built a city called Luz.
Then Manasseh failed to take possession of Beth-shean and Taanach. And Ephraim failed to drive out the Canaanites from Gezer; and Zebulun kept the inhabitants of Kitron and Nahalol; and Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco or Sidon or Ahlab or Achzib or Helbah or Aphik or Rehob.