The Genesis To Revelation Bible Course
By WILLIAM M. GROOM, Th.M., D.D.
Lesson No. 08 – Judges
COPYRIGHT, 1921 BY THE BIBLE STUDY PUBLISHING CO.
The Book of Judges
* KEY VERSE–Jg 17:6 (Mentioned five times).
* KEY PHRASE–“ISRAEL’S BACKSLIDING FROM GOD.”
Whole of Judges or:–
* Sunday–Incomplete Victory,–Jg 1:21-28.
* Monday–Institution of Judges,–Jg 2:16-23.
* Tuesday–Deborah and Barak,–Jg 4:4-24.
* Wednesday–Gideon’s Victory,–Jg 7:16-25.
* Thursday–Jephthah’s Vow,–Jg 11:30-40.
* Friday–Samson’s Work,–Jg 15:14-20.
* Saturday–Micah’s Self-Will,–Jg 17:1-6.
NAME–The name was given to the 15 judges who ruled Israel from the death of Joshua to Saul the first eking of Israel. Two of them, Eli and Samuel, are not mentioned in this book but in First Samuel. Since coming out of Egypt Israel had been under the leadership of two great men–Moses and Joshua. The tribes had common in-treats and met their common dangers unitedly. After the two great leaders died, the tribes were scattered over the land and faced their problems and foes separately. Then as emergencies arose God would raise up Judges who would rally the people against their enemies. The Judge was a combination of a military leader and religious reformer. Often he led just a few of the tribes, sometimes more than one Judge ruled at the same time. In this book, the tribes rather than the nation are the view.
AUTHOR–Samuel. Time of writing about 1100 B. C. Events cover period 1425-1100 B. C., or 325 years.
PURPOSE–To give the history of Israel during the Dark Ages and to prove that the troubles through which the people went were the consequences of their unfaithfulness to the covenant. Judges also sets forth the readiness of God to accept repentance and to grant deliverance.
Two facts stand out–the frequent backslidings of Israel and the constant grace of God.
Great Fact I. Omission.
Jg 1; 2; 3.
Six times it is declared that Israel drove not with the Canaanites. Through a lack of vigorous effort and strict obedience to the command of God, they failed to exterminate these wicked people of the land. They tolerated their corrupt life, habits, and religion, although they were out of harmony with God’s law. Toleration was followed in a few years by admiration, which was in turn followed by imitation. The Canaanites were a cause of future trouble and a constant temptation to idolatry and immorality. Israel went to the land like a farmer establishing himself on the uncleared soil. He clears just enough to support himself at first, leaving the rest as it was. When a tribe was caught off its guard, these natives swept down taking it captive and placing it under bondage.
LESSON–We must not neglect God’s will for worldly conveniences. It is dangerous to associate with evil company when we can avoid it. Psalm 1:1. The Canaanites remaining in the land are a type of sins remaining in the heart of the Christian. They lurk in the corners of life. By the Holy Spirit’s -presence and help let us drive them all out.
Great Fact II. Commission of Sin of Idolatry.
Jg 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; Jg 10; Jg 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16.
The sin of omission is followed by the sin of commission, for the book records seven backslidings, seven servitudes and seven deliverances. Israel intermarried with the heathen, worshipped their idols and practiced their vices. The one land that should have been free from idol groves and (heathen altars and corruption was in danger of being engulfed.
The very people who were called out by God to end these abominations were perpetuating them.
LESSON–Social failure is rooted in religious backslidings. Israel’s abandonment of God was punished by God’s abandonment of Israel. This may seem a small thing at first sight, but we see that within a short time their enemies overran the land and had them completely at their mercy. We do not recognize as we should that we are guided and guarded by Divine goodness hour by hour.
Great Fact III. Discipline in Servitude.
God’s discipline of Israel was severe. The highways were deserted, lawlessness abounded, so that men had to find their way by stealth to evade the highway robbers who filled the land. Some took refuge in the caves, some were hunted upon the mountains. Israel had bent its neck to the low religion of the heathen, now it was compelled to bend its neck to the rule of the heathen.
LESSON–God’s punishments are always curative, aimed at bringing people back to a consciousness of sin and of God. It is said of the eagle, that when her young ones are full-fledged and yet would prefer to linger in downy ease, she breaks up the nest twig by twig, to urge her young to leave the nest and soar high amid the sunshine of heaven. Thy must fly or die. Thus God takes away our comforts when they lead to our spiritual loss.
Great Fact IV. Deliverance from Foes.
The Judges were rough and rugged heroes. The seven greater were:–
* Othniel who delivered the Israelites from the Mesopotamians.
* Ehud, who delivered the Israelites from the Moabites.
* Shamgar, who delivered the Israelites from the Philistines.
* Deborah and Barak, who delivered the Israelites from the Canaanites.
* Gideon, who delivered the Israelites from the Midianites.
* Jepthah, who delivered the Israelites from the Ammonites.
* Samson, who delivered the Israelites from the Philistines.
Gideon was afraid of himself but when assured that God was on his side he then with 300 men, lamps and pitchers and trumpets, gallantly triumphed over the great army of his enemies.
Samson was the Hebrew Hercules. His birth was announced by an angel. He was a Nazarite who constantly broke his separation vows. He was called by God to judge Israel yet did no abiding work because of his lack of consecration. He was, however, a man of mighty faith in difficult times.
LESSON–Repentance always brings deliverance. Over every dark chasm swings the rope of salvation.
Deliverance is the keynote in the “New Song” of all the blood-bought
millions on earth and in heaven.
Questions on the Lesson.
1. Why was this name given and how many judges were there?
2. Who were Israel’s two great leaders?
3. What was a judge?
4. Who wrote the book and how many years do the events cover?
5. Give the purpose of the book.
6. Give the key word and key verse.
7. How much of the book did you read last week?
8. Name the great facts.
9. What did Israel fail to do?
10. Of what were the Canaanites a cause?
11. Of what were the Canaanites remaining in the land a type?
12. How many backslidings and the results?
13. In what is social failure rooted?
14. What do we often fail to recognize
15. At what are God’s punishment aimed?
16. What always brings deliverance?
17. Why did Samson fail to do any abiding work?
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. — Isaiah 53:6 KJV