Summary: God will use a few good but flawed men and a woman to deliver the nation from its cycle of sin, servitude, supplication, and salvation!
• SLIDE #1
• Have you ever done something that had repercussions in the future? Maybe what happened impacted even future generations of your family?
• The nation of Israel when commanded to take the Promised Land made a couple of mistakes that impacted several generations into the future.
• As a matter of fact of the roughly 330 years which make up this period of Israel’s history, about 111 of those years are spent in oppression or about a third of their history.
• In The Story we come to a roughly 330 year period known as the period of the Judges.
• This period begins just before the death of Joshua and runs another 300 plus years.
• When we think of a judge today we think of a person in a robe who presides over a trial. Maybe Judge Judy comes to mind? This is not what the book is about.
• The book of Judges is about a vicious cycle the nation of Israel was following during this period in their history.
• The people are in the Promised Land, the sacrificial system existed for forgiveness of sins, God was present in the tabernacle, the Law was there as a guide for them to live and know how to please God.
• The nation had a lot of reasons to feel blessed. But there was an ever-present problem, a problem that still exists today, SIN!
• During this period in history, God would eventually get tired of the people following the false gods, and then after the nation would be in the throes of oppression, God would hear their cry and would send one of the judges to deliver the people from their oppression.
• The book of Joshua demonstrated what Israel did right, while the book of Judges shows what they did wrong.
• Today we will be covering a lot of ground, my prayer is that we can learn from some of the failures of the nation so that we will not repeat their mistakes on our lives today.
• Going back to my opening remarks, the ones about doing something that has long and far reaching repercussions, we will start with one of the root of their problems Israel would be facing.
• SLIDE #2
I. Israel’s two mistakes after conquering the land.
• God had commanded the Israelites to purge the land of ALL the inhabitants. The reason for this command was the fact the inhabitants were extremely evil.
• In the days of Joseph, God needed to get His people out of Canaan because at some point God’s people would be polluted by the people of Canaan.
• So the first mistake made was…
• SLIDE #3
A. They did not drive out all the Canaanites.
• What Gods knew would happen, did happen. Because the Israelites did not out the inhabitants problems arose.
• SLIDE #4
• Judges 2:11–13 (NIV) Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. They forsook the LORD, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the LORD’s anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
• The inhabitants of the land help Israel down the path of sin and idolatry.
• If those influences were not there, the chances that Israel would have followed the false gods would be been significantly less.
• When they started down the path, they awoke God’s anger. You need to remember that God LOVES them, yet He was very angry with them.
• We need to always understand that our environment can always influence us toward doing wrong.
• Think of many of the times you got in trouble, it was usually with someone else, it was usually some influence in your environment that contributed to your fall.
• It is so important that we are aware of our surroundings.
• The second mistake the nation made was…
• SLIDE #5
B. They failed to teach their children about their great God.
• During the life of Joshua God had done so many wonderful things for the Israel that you would think the people would have been eager to tell their children the great victories that God had given them.
• Clear back in Deuteronomy God commanded that His word be shared with the children
• SLIDE #6
• Deuteronomy 6:6–7 (NIV) These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
• God told Joshua to always meditate on the Law that is should not depart from His mouth. (Joshua 1:8)