Here are my sermon notes from this high-speed look at several of Israel’s judges. It was a rough time as the whole nation turned into all of the nations around them.
Judges part 1
Israel not Acting like Israel in Israel
They mixed in and chased after all of the foreign people that they were supposed to stay separate from.
2:1 The LORD’s angel went up from Gilgal to Bokim. He said, “I brought you up from Egypt and led you into the land I had solemnly promised to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you,
End of Joshua’s influence
2:6 When Joshua dismissed the people, the Israelites went to their allotted portions of territory, intending to take possession of the land. 2:7 The people worshiped the LORD throughout Joshua’s lifetime and as long as the elderly men who outlived him remained alive. These men had witnessed all the great things the LORD had done for Israel. 2:8 Joshua son of Nun, the LORD’s servant, died at the age of one hundred ten. 2:9 The people buried him in his allotted land in Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 2:10 That entire generation passed away; a new generation grew up that had not personally experienced the LORD’s presence or seen what he had done for Israel.
This is the summary of what is going to happen throughout the rest of Judges:
2:11 The Israelites did evil before the LORD by worshiping the Baals. 2:12 They abandoned the LORD God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods – the gods of the nations who lived around them. They worshiped them and made the LORD angry. 2:13 They abandoned the LORD and worshiped Baal and the Ashtoreths.
Judges 3:9 When the Israelites cried out for help to the LORD, he raised up a deliverer for the Israelites who rescued them. His name was Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 3:10 The LORD’s Spirit empowered him and he led Israel. When he went to do battle, the LORD handed over to him King Cushan-Rishathaim of Armon and he overpowered him. 3:11 The land had rest for forty years; then Othniel son of Kenaz died.
Judges 3:15 When the Israelites cried out for help to the LORD, he raised up a deliverer for them. His name was Ehud son of Gera the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. The Israelites sent him to King Eglon of Moab with their tribute payment. 3:16 Ehud made himself a sword – it had two edges and was eighteen inches long. He strapped it under his coat on his right thigh. 3:17 He brought the tribute payment to King Eglon of Moab. (Now Eglon was a very fat man.)
It’s not just saying he is a fat man here because he was fat, it is pointing out that he is fat on the taxes contributes of the Israelites. Later in the corruption of the priesthood of Eli and his sons, in first Samuel, they will point out that Eli was fat and it was the same sort of reasons. Being fat represented being unjust and sinful.
3:18 After Ehud brought the tribute payment, he dismissed the people who had carried it. 3:19 But he went back once he reached the carved images at Gilgal. He said to Eglon, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” Eglon said, “Be quiet!” All his attendants left. 3:21 Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled the sword from his right thigh, and drove it into Eglon’s belly. 3:22 The handle went in after the blade, and the fat closed around the blade, for Ehud did not pull the sword out of his belly. 3:23 As Ehud went out into the vestibule, he closed the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.
3:24 When Ehud had left, Eglon’s servants came and saw the locked doors of the upper room. They said, “He must be relieving himself in the well-ventilated inner room.” 3:25 They waited so long they were embarrassed, but he still did not open the doors of the upper room. Finally they took the key and opened the doors. Right before their eyes was their master, sprawled out dead on the floor! 3:26 Now Ehud had escaped while they were delaying. When he passed the carved images, he escaped to Seirah.
3:27 When he reached Seirah, he blew a trumpet in the Ephraimite hill country. The Israelites went down with him from the hill country, with Ehud in the lead.
With Israel it was one revolution after another. They would rebel against their oppressor, thank God for their victory, turn away from God again, and then become oppressed.
It really is a caution to us too becuase you become a slave to whatever you serve. Anytime you turn away from God to serve other things, it will become your master.
Judges 3:31 After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath. He killed six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. So he also delivered Israel.
Seriously, this is all we get. You can find 30 minute long sermons on this one verse on Youtube. That’s just silly. It is what it is. It’s awesome, but let’s not make up too much extra about it, ok?
Judges 4:4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. 4:5 She would sit under the Date Palm Tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the Ephraimite hill country. The Israelites would come up to her to have their disputes settled.
4:6 She summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali. She said to him, “Is it not true that the LORD God of Israel is commanding you? Go, march to Mount Tabor! Take with you ten thousand men from Naphtali and Zebulun! 4:7 I will bring Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to you at the Kishon River, along with his chariots and huge army. I will hand him over to you.” 4:8 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go. But if you do not go with me, I will not go.” Judges 4:9 She said, “I will indeed go with you. But you will not gain fame on the expedition you are undertaking, for the LORD will turn Sisera over to a woman.” Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh.
Judges 4:17 Now Sisera ran away on foot to the tent of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite, for King Jabin of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite had made a peace treaty. 4:18 Jael came out to welcome Sisera. She said to him, “Stop and rest, my lord. Stop and rest with me. Don’t be afraid.” So Sisera stopped to rest in her tent, and she put a blanket over him. 4:19 He said to her, “Give me a little water to drink, because I’m thirsty.” She opened a goatskin container of milk and gave him some milk to drink. Then she covered him up again. 4:20 He said to her, “Stand watch at the entrance to the tent. If anyone comes along and asks you, ‘Is there a man here?’ say, ‘No.’” 4:21 Then Jael wife of Heber took a tent peg in one hand and a hammer in the other. She crept up on him, drove the tent peg through his temple into the ground while he was asleep from exhaustion, and he died. 4:22 Now Barak was chasing Sisera. Jael went out to welcome him. She said to him, “Come here and I will show you the man you are searching for.” He went with her into the tent, and there he saw Sisera sprawled out dead with the tent peg in his temple.