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This book of the Judges records the history of thirteen Judges, of which twelve were called by God, and one is a usurper of the power. The reason for the office of the judge was to ensure that justice was maintained in all the land and in every community. The governmental rule of the people of Israel then was handled from this office. Twelve of these Judges were men and one was a woman called Deborah. Many commentators and teachers exclude Deborah because she was a woman, however, their hang-ups do not exclude the fact that she was there and she ruled as a Judge, and she was one of the best. She was the Judge for her time. Probably the hardest reason for these critics to accept, is the fact that not only was she a good Judge, but she was a prophetess also. She has to be one of the favorite women of the Bible
The book of Judges deals with the first generations of the children of Israel after Joshua passed away, right up to the time of the start of the monarchy of king Saul. Once God cleansed the tabernacle for Joshua, God said He would not cleanse the tabernacle any more for them. Then after just one generation of cleansing the children of Israel from their wickedness, we read in Judges 1 that these people fell right back into their sin, and turned to idolatry. This first generation is the generation that did not witness the miracles that God had preformed, for their fathers had all died off, and it is the start of the period that is called the time of the Judges
In time people will drift away from God, and they will pick up the actions and doctrines from the heathen around them. In fact it takes very little time (1 or 2 generations) to where they don't even know the difference between what is from God, and the traditions of men. As we saw in chapter two, our heavenly Father was very angry because His children did not drive out the heathen that were in the land, and do as He commanded them. The falling away of apostasy of today is caused by the same thing and brings about the same results, no matter what generation you live in. When the young people see the heathen and their own parents believing and acting a certain way, they pick up on those traditions and carry them into their adult lives
We learned from Chapter three that God was going to prepare the children of Israel to learn of war, and the way God did this was to leave their enemies scattered in the lands where they lived. The point to made of this was that if you were to win, you must have God on your side, and when you did not have God on your side, you lost. It is God that gives the victory. So the message was that you win with God on your side, when you follow His instructions from His Word, then He clears the way for your success. God will deliver the enemy into your hands, and get rid of them for you.
The "song of Deborah" which is also called "the Deliverers song" for it tells us how God protects His own. This chapter goes much deeper into exactly what happened in the field down in the valley to those men and their chariots. We will see that God was in complete control of everything that happened on that day of Deborah's victory. God has always been in control, and He is in control today. Before you communicate with God, it is important to first communicate with Him through His Word. To understand what God is trying to say to you, you must first come to know His general plan from His Word, then He will speak to you and reveal what He wants you to do
Remember the time of the judges was prior to the time that God gave the Israelites kings. There was the four hundred year period from the coming out of the wilderness, to the time when Samuel anointed Saul to be king over all Israel. During this time of the judges, the people wanted something that they could see and touch before they could believe in it, and God was not that, so the people would continually drift off into the worship of heathen gods, and build their heathen altars.
Our people have always wanted someone to rule over them that they can see, touch and hear. God wanted Israel to lean on him, yet the Israelites ran to the different heathen forms of religion that man would produce for them, that they could bow down to, and touch. It never mattered much to the Israelites if those idol or religious forms ever gave them anything in return, or if the idol had to be propped it up to keep from falling on its face. So because of this desire to be led by anyone, God has allowed them, each time, to hit rock bottom and cry out to him before He would respond to there needs.
We saw in chapter 7 that God chose three hundred men to go against the multitude of Midianites, and chase them from their lands. We saw that God had the victory through conditioning the Midianites to the point that at the name of Gideon, they went into a stampede, and in terror ran from the land of the Israelites. So in this chapter, Gideon and his three hundred men are going to pursue after the Midianites until they have been completely destroyed and their two kings taken captive.
This 9th chapter starts out after the death of Gideon, who was also known as Jerubbaal. Gideon left behind seventy children, and one that was an illegitimate child named Abimelech. There is a difference between a "mamzer" [bastard child], and an illegitimate child, for the "mamzer" is a mongrel, a child of a Israelite father and an heathen mother. It is important that you know what the word "Abimelech" mean, for it means "son of the king". It is also important that we keep this Abimelech separate from all the other "Abimelechs" named in the Bible, because there were many Philistine kings with this name.
The "judges" ruled over Israel before kings were appointed over them. This was the way that God selected to rule His people, and the judge was the intercessor between God and His people. The government of the Israelites, therefore, was a theocracy, where by the control of the people was directed from these judges and the religious leaders. Gideon and his family are no longer in control of Israel, for Gideon or as his name was changed to Jerubbaal, was dead, as was Abimelech, as well as his seventy other children which Abimelech and his mother's family had murdered.
Jephthah was a strong man loved and blessed by God. Jephthah was an illegitimate child. The name "Jephthah" in the Hebrew means "God will deliver". The problem with what happened to Jephthah was only a problem in the eyes of men, and not God's eyes. The other point that should be brought out, is that just because his mother is called an harlot in this English translation, does not make her a harlot. For we have seen in another passages where Rehab was called a harlot because of her merchandising in flax. Men do the translating and qualifying, and many times through the translation the person is misrepresented. Because Rehab was a sharp business woman, men tagged her a harlot. It is no different today with some of the things men say of women who show them up to be inferior, and excel in a man's world. So be careful how you handle the Word of God. Watch out how you judge other people.
The men of Ephraim are upset when they heard that the men of Gilead [Benjamin] had gone to war, and had not asked for assistance for their tribe. Ephraim was one of the larger tribes of the twelve, and they were supposed to be the leader. This is the same thing that these Ephraimites had done to Gideon, when Gideon took only 300 men into battle and had turned their thousand men to return back home, rather then stand and fight. The only difference between Gideon's battle, and the war with the Amorites and Jephthah, was that the Amorites were soundly defeated and the king and his army were completely killed. In Gideon's battle, once the Midinites started to run, the Ephraimites joined in to capture two of the Midianite princes. Ephraim always wants to be the leader over the ten tribes of the house of Israel.
We now come to the thirteenth judge, and Samson will be the last judge before the Israelites enter the times of the monarchs, or kings. When Samson was born, his birth was by divine intervention. This is because his mother was barren and of an age that she could not have children. Then an Angel of the Lord came and touched them and made the birth of this child possible. Samson's birth was much like the birth of several others, such as Isaac and John the Baptist, where Sarah was way beyond child bearing years, as was Elizabeth; and God sent His Angel or messenger to inform the parents of the child that God would send to them.
In chapter 14 we see wgat is a no-no for the children of Israel because they were not supposed to marry out of our own race. However, we have to watch what happens very closely because God is using this relationship to bring down the Philistines. This practice of messing around with foreign women was very much against God's laws, but there was a purpose for this marriage.
This visit to his bride came after some time had passed, and Samson had time to get over his anger towards his wife, her family and the thirty guests that attended his seven day feast. Samson is now returning with a gift of a small goat, and he is now ready to go into his bride's chamber and consummate their marriage. However, when he arrives his brides father would not allow him to go in to her, for she is already married. The girl's father let Samson know that she is no longer his wife.
After the three thousand men of Judah had turned Samson over to the Philistines, Samson had broken his bands and killed over a thousand of them, and stacked their dead bodies in piles. Samson took charge over his people and judged Israel for twenty years. God was in tune with Samson, and Samson followed the laws of God. During the time that Samson ruled over the Israelites he followed the Word that God had given to Moses, and the Philistines learned to leave Samson alone. However, Samson was still a thorn in their side, and the Philistines wanted to rid themselves of him.fter the three thousand men of Judah had turned Samson over to the Philistines, Samson had broken his bands and killed over a thousand of them, and stacked their dead bodies in piles. Samson took charge over his people and judged Israel for twenty years. God was in tune with Samson, and Samson followed the laws of God. During the time that Samson ruled over the Israelites he followed the Word that God had given to Moses, and the Philistines learned to leave Samson alone. However, Samson was still a thorn in their side, and the Philistines wanted to rid themselves of him.
When we ended the sixteenth chapter of Judges, it concluded the times of the judges, for Samson was the last of the thirteen judges. So the remainder to the book of Judges is kind of an appendix to the first part.
When Joshua died, God said that he would not cleanse the sanctuary again until the end of this dispensation which is the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. On that day Jesus Christ will return to cleanse it with a rod of iron
So we will see here in these next chapters where the people themselves will drift away, and even though they want to do right, by their own ignorance they do wrong. It was no different then as it is now, the people like to play church, set their own rules, and pretend that those forms of idolatry are from God. So that is what these next chapters are about, the people forming their own system of religion and playing church with it..
Remember that God said that He would not cleanse the sanctuary again, after He had cleansed it at the end of Joshua's days, and now a few generations had passed. Can you see what is happening to God's sanctuary? Is it any wonder that God's children were sinking to their lowest point of their degradation?
This nineteenth chapter of Judges is a prophetic warning concerning the time of the end, and how it shall be just prior to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is how it shall be when the one world beast of the end time is present on the earth. We know this from the warnings that the prophet Hosea gave in Hosea 9:6-9 concerning the days of visitation and recompense are come on the house of Israel, who are the Christian nations. This time is what is known as the great tribulation or deception. Lets go there and see what it has to say
We will now see what God thinks of those that would rape, murder and Sodomize for their own pleasure. It is time for those criminal types to be tried, executed and sent back to the Father, where they will be taken care of. In this way we express our love for our families, and desire to see them protected from these types
The slaughtering of the twenty five thousand men, with the woman and children were killed because of the perversion that they had allowed to go on in their families, cities and neighborhoods. So as we enter the final chapter of Judges, the tribe of Benjamin has only six hundred men left, and they are all up in the mountains hiding out in the cliffs and caves of the rocks. The hard part to understand is that all of the women and children were slaughtered right along with the fighting men, all for the sake of protecting the few Sodomites, murderers and perverts living amongst them.