October 14, 2013

Today you should read: Judges 1

We start a new JumpStart book today – the Old Testament book of Judges.  Let me give you a little background to catch you up…

Although the book of Judges does not specifically name it’s author, we believe that Samuel wrote it between 1045 and 1000 B.C.  This book can be divided into two sections:

  • • Accounts of the wars of deliverance in the Promised Land (Chapters 1-16)
  • •  Accounts of the times of the Judges of Israel that lead before there was a king (Chapters 17-21)

The book of Ruth was originally a part of Judges, until A.D. 450 when it was removed to become a book of its own.  The key verses of this book that give us an idea of what it’s about are…

Then the Lord raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers.  Yet Israel did not listen to the judges but prostituted themselves by worshiping other gods. How quickly they turned away from the path of their ancestors, who had walked in obedience to the Lord’s commands.  Whenever the Lord raised up a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the Lord took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering.  But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They went after other gods, serving and worshiping them. And they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.  Judges 2:16-19

But the Israelites pleaded with the Lord and said, “We have sinned. Punish us as you see fit, only rescue us today from our enemies.”  Judges 10:15

In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.  Judges 21:25

Get the picture?  Now to chapter 1.

What happens when we disobey God or only “partially obey” Him?  How does that turn out for us?  For our family?  For our church?  For our country?  I think you know the answer – and Israel should have, too!  Verse 19 is a sad history of disobedience that would come back to haunt them…  

The Lord was with the people of Judah, and they took possession of the hill country. But they failed to drive out the people living in the plains, who had iron chariots.

The tribe of Benjamin, however, failed to drive out the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem. So to this day the Jebusites live in Jerusalem among the people of Benjamin.  (v.21) 

The descendants of Joseph attacked the town of Bethel, and the Lord was with them. they killed everyone in the town except that man and his family. Later the man moved to the land of the Hittites, where he built a town. He named it Luz, which is its name to this day. (v.22,25b-26)

The tribe of Manasseh failed to drive out the people living in Beth-shan, Taanach, Dor, Ibleam, Megiddo, and all their surrounding settlements, because the Canaanites were determined to stay in that region. (v.27) 

The tribe of Zebulun failed to drive out the residents of Kitron and Nahalol, so the Canaanites continued to live among them. (v.30) 

The tribe of Asher failed to drive out the residents of Acco, Sidon, Ahlab, Aczib, Helbah, Aphik, and Rehob.  Instead, the people of Asher moved in among the Canaanites, who controlled the land, for they failed to drive them out.  (v.31-32)

Who had God given this land to?  The descendants of Abraham – all of it!  Why did God command them to drive all the squatters out?  Because He knew it would corrupt the people. They would eventually turn to the idols of these pagan people and bring God’s wrath on them.  Did they?  You know the answer.

What’s the biggest conflict in the world today?  What has it always been?  Israel and the people living with and around them.  What if they had only obeyed?

What about you?  What has God told you to drive out of your life that you continue to coddle and keep as a lappet?  How has the demon came back to hurt you? What are you going to do about it?  Are you going to obey God – destroy it and inhabit the life God has promised you or disobey and live with it for the rest of your life?

I’m praying a prayer of deliverance and victory over you today.  I’m asking God Almighty to deliver you and for you to let go of the pagan idols in your life and serve the One and True God completely.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

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Author: Center Point Church

A multi-campus church in central Kentucky. Our mission is to take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

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