Our Daily Bread Devotionals
Judges 2 Commentary
|Judges 2:1 Now the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim:. And he said, "I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you,|
NOW: To when does this time refer? It's hard to discern with absolute certainty but it is probably referring to a time during the period of Judges and certainly a time when they had had ample opportunity to drive out their enemies but failed to do so. This event therefore could be the postscript to Jdg 1 and would be God's assessment to His people of how well they had followed His instructions and commands in Dt 7, 9, Jos 23,24 given before they came into the promised land.
Spurgeon - "if you turn aside from God’s words by a hair’s breadth you know not where it will end. The rail diverges but a little where the switches are turned, but before long the branch line is miles away from the main track. Backslide a little and you are on the way to utter apostasy. The mother of mischief is small as a midge’s egg: hatch it, and you shall see an evil bird larger than an ostrich. The least wrong has in it an all but infinity of evil. You cannot say to sin, “Hitherto shalt thou go, and no farther, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” Like the sea when the dyke is broken, it stretches forth its band to grasp all the surrounding country. The beginning of sin is hike the beginning of strife, and that is said to be as the letting out of water: no man knows what a flood may come when once the banks are burst. So Israel went aside farther and farther from God because they regarded not their way, and did not in all things obey the Lord."
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD (Jdg 6:12; 13:3; Genesis 16:7-10,13; 22:11,12; 48:16; Exodus 3:2-6; 14:19; 23:20; Exodus 33:14; Joshua 5:13,14; Isaiah 63:9; Hosea 12:3, 4, 5; Zechariah 3:1,2; Malachi 3:1; Acts 7:30, 31, 32, 33) (Jos 5:13, 14, 15, Jdg 5:23, 6:11-24, 13:3ff):
THE ANGEL OF JEHOVAH
Click the discussion of Angel of the LORD. Although not everyone agrees, I think the evidence is overwhelming that this "Angel of Jehovah" represents a "theophany" and specifically an appearance of God (Jesus) in visible and bodily form.
John MacArthur agrees writing that this is…
The Bible Knowledge Commentary agrees writing that..
CAME UP FROM GILGAL TO BOCHIM (v5, - the weepers): (Jos 4:19, 20, note meaning in Jos 5:9,10)
Bochim was probably located between Bethel and Shiloh, some 20 mi from the Dead Sea. Gilgal was the first place Israel had camped after entering the Promised land and there they set up 12 memorial stones for there God rolled away their reproach and there they celebrated the Passover.
Gilgal was a place of OBEDIENCE and TRIUMPH but tragically Gilgal later became the scene of idolatrous worship (Hos 4:15; 9:15)!
I wonder what had happened to the 12 memorial stones (Jos 4:20-24)? Have you set up "memorial stones" in your family? It's a good thing to do, but it's even been to remember the past glorious acts of God on our behalf!
And so too the forgetfulness of modern man continues to take him further and further from God and closer to the jaws of disaster and the pit of destruction. (Judges 3:7-note).
AND HE SAID:
Spurgeon: "it must have been grand hearing to hear an angel preach, and grander hearing still to hear the angel of the covenant plead with the covenanted ones. Oh, what a sermon! What a sermon it must have been! Scarcely ever was such a preacher seen on earth. And yet that sermon did not do its much good as when the seafaring man, Peter, preached at Pentecost. The sermon at Bochim, if I were to sum up its results, ended in disappointment. Be not disappointed, servant of God, if sometimes you seem to fail. Do not say, “I will give it up.” Your bread has been cast upon the waters. Wait a while, for alter many days you may find it. If Israel be not gathered, God will reward you for your toil. It is yours to labor; it is God’s to give the results; and he does not always grant pleasing results to us at once. He did not allot great triumphs to this angel of the Lord, as we shall have to show you. It was a great congregation; it was a great preacher; and it was a great sermon, and yet there was not a great ingathering. Read the sermon through; and note that though it is a short one it is all the greater for its brevity. Sermons may grow little by being long, and a sermon may he great through being short, if it be big with thought as this angelic sermon was.."
I BROUGHT YOU UP OUT OF EGYPT AND LED YOU INTO THE LAND WHICH I HAVE SWORN TO YOUR FATHERS: (Exodus 3:7,8; 14:14; 20:2; Deuteronomy 4:34; Ps 78:51, 52, 53; 105:36, 37, 38 Ex 13:5, 20:2, 23:20, Dt 11:29) (Led - Genesis 12:7; 22:16,17; 26:3,4; Joshua 3:10; Psalms 105:44,45)
I brought you up - Jehovah - Jesus (see Jehovah = Jesus) is now speaking to Israel.
How did He lead them? Moses records…
C H Spurgeon- Brethren, this subject should most readily lead us to repentance,-that God should have dealt so well with us should make us grieve that we have behaved so ill to him. Do I address a backsliding child of God? I do not think that any exercise is more likely to benefit your heart than to remember what God did for you in years gone by. He took you up out of the horrible pit and out of the miry clay and set your feet upon a rock. He brought you out from the iron bondage of your despair and gave you liberty, he brake the yoke of sinful habits, and the chains of furious passions; and now are you wandering away from him? Are you making something else to be the god of your spirit? If so, be ashamed of your ingratitude, and let this first head of the angel’s discourse have power upon your mind. “You use no other friend so ill”; and yet you have not a friend who can be compared with your God. “I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice” unto your God, and sin no longer against him."
AND I SAID 'I WILL NEVER BREAK MY COVENANT WITH YOU: (Genesis 17:7,8; Leviticus 26:42; Numbers 14:34; Psalms 89:34; Jeremiah 14:21; 33:20,21; Zechariah 11:10, Ps 89:34, Jer 33:20)
Jehovah is the Covenant Keeping God! This is good for all of us to remember.
This is still true -- God has not broken His covenant promises to Israel and will fulfill them fully in the Messianic Age when He reigns on earth. (See notes on Millennium Pt 1 - Millennium Pt 2 - Millennium Pt 3)
C H Spurgeon -Then the angel passed on to mention the mercies guaranteed to them: “I said, I will never break my covenant with you.” Oh, that is a blessed theme. If indeed you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord has pledged himself to make you perfect and to bring you home to himself with exceeding great joy. You shall not perish. Christ has said, “I give unto my sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” You see the two bands-one inside the other, and you inside the middle one, enclosed within the palm of omnipotent faithfulness. Jehovah says, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” He will never break his covenant with you. Will you wander away from him who passes by your iniquity, transgression, and sin, and does not let his anger smoke against you for ever-he to whom you are joined in an everlasting wedlock which shall never know a divorce? Oh, cruel heart! cruel heart! Canst thou offend against such love as this? Canst thou break with God when he declares that he will never break with you? The angel pleads this longsuffering, eternally-enduring love, and pleads it well. I know of no two greater arguments than mercy received and mercy promised. Let us not sin against these. May the Holy Spirit hold us fast with these cords of love.
THE TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTIAL OBEDIENCE, OF SIN, OF EROSION OF SPIRITUALITY
Sin will take you further than you ever wanted to stray,
Gilgal: they set up the altar after crossing the Jordan to commemorate the crossing. So that whenever the children of generations to come would see the altar, they would REMEMBER what God had done there. Jos 4:19, 5:1, 2 (circumcision), v10 (celebrated Passover), God appeared to Joshua at Gilgal v13 (Joshua found out that God didn't come to take sides but to take over).
In short, Gilgal was the place where the blessings were, where the victories were, where the people were surrendered to do what God had told them to do.
Bochim: means mourning or weeping.
Do you see the picture of the cost that comes when you choose to begin to entertain sin in your life, becoming partially obedient (that subtle, nominal Christianity that's invaded America) and you move from the place of victory, the place of blessing to the place of mourning, to the place of weeping.
Have you been at Gilgal in your life, only to move to Bochim and God had to come back to you again and bring you out of it?
THAT'S WHAT REVIVAL IS ALL ABOUT
Watch out for that MOMENT YOU CHOOSE TO MOVE…
See Related Resources on Covenant:
|Judges 2:2 and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.' But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done?|
AND AS FOR YOU, YOU SHALL MAKE (karath = cut) NO COVENANT WITH THE INHABITANTS OF THIS LAND: (Ex 23:32, 34:12, Dt 7:2, cp notes Judges 1:28, 1:30, 1:33, 1:35) (Exodus 23:32,33; 34:12-16; Numbers 33:52,53; Deuteronomy 7:2, 3, 4,16,25,26; 12:2,3; Deuteronomy 20:16, 17, 18; 2 Corinthians 6:14, 15, 16, 17 )
In this context cutting a covenant with the Canaanites would be tantamount to making a peace treaty, a treaty which would entail common worship and intermarriage. Not a "good thing" for God's holy people to do.
Don't cut covenant with the enemy (remember covenant speaks of oneness, of identity with the one you are in covenant with). If you do cut covenant it will become a snare in your midst (Ex 34:12).
Even godly Joshua "blew it" on this one (Joshua 9:1-27, which had consequences 2Sa 21:1 - see in depth discussion under topic [scroll down] Covenant Solemn & Binding)
Ray Stedman applies Israel's mistakes to believers today asking that as…
YOU SHALL TEAR DOWN THEIR ALTARS:
They disobeyed and even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons [Ps 106:34, 35, 36, 37]
Matthew Henry - The miracles and mercies which settled them in Canaan made no more deep and durable impressions upon them than those that fetched them out of Egypt; for by that time they were well warm in Canaan, they corrupted themselves, and forsook God. Observe the steps of their apostasy.
Spurgeon comments on Psalm 106:34-37…
Even in these warnings against compromise, we see a picture of God’s grace.
Israel's willingness to carry out this command would show they are not merely hearers of the Word who delude themselves but that they were genuine, sincere, doers of the Word, who demonstrated their allegiance to God by their actions. Failure to do so would reveal an underlying lack of loyalty and eventually lead to assimilation to Canaanite religion and culture.
BUT YOU HAVE NOT OBEYED ME WHAT IS THIS YOU HAVE DONE: (Jdg 2:20; Ezra 9:1, 2, 3,10, 11, 12, 13; Psalms 78:55, 56, 57, 58; 106:34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40; Jeremiah 7:23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28; 2Thessalonians 1:8; 1Peter 4:17) (What is this - Genesis 3:11,12; 4:10; Exodus 32:21; Jeremiah 2:5,18,31, 32, 33,36)
What happened to Israel? Simply put they did not obey God. This is hearing with obedience, which they did not do.
Why have you done this?… there must have been a long pause and no one seems to have answered. The Angel of the LORD was not looking for excuses but desired that they repent and return and do the deeds they did at first (cp Rev 2:5-note). Why had they done this?
John Hunter -"… the awful truth of the reason why they had not driven out the inhabitants and destroyed their altars and their worship was simply this: they did not WANT to drive them out. They CHOSE to allow these people with their evil, lustful ways to remain. Something in God's people wanted what they saw in that world. Their fallen human nature responded to the wild degrading dances of the heathen worship. The prospect of involvement with male and female prostitutes made their blood tingle with excitement. That was a totally new way of life and all that was in them cried out for this new culture. So it was that no one drove out anyone." So it was not really because they were afraid of iron chariots, etc… the truth is that they did not want to drive out the enemy because the lusts of their flesh and the lusts of their eyes were attracted to the world (1Jn 2:15-note, 1Jn 2:16-note, 1Jn 2:17-note, Jas 4:4-note) when they should have been attracted to Jehovah.
Imitating the enemy (Jdg 2:1-13) This first section describes the danger. In this day of “pluralism,” when society contains people of opposing beliefs and lifestyles, it’s easy to get confused and start thinking that tolerance is the same as approval. It isn’t. In a democracy, the law gives people the freedom to worship as they please; and I must exercise patience and tolerance with those who believe and practice things that I feel God has condemned in His Word. The church today doesn’t wield the sword (Romans 13-note) and therefore it has no authority to eliminate people who disagree with the Christian faith. But we do have the obligation before God to maintain a separate walk so we won’t become defiled by those who disagree with us (2Co 6:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 2Co 7:1-note). We must seek by prayer, witness, and loving persuasion to win those to Christ who as yet haven’t trusted Him.
The Jews eventually became so accustomed to the sinful ways of their pagan neighbors that those ways didn’t seem sinful any more. The Jews then became interested in how their neighbors worshiped, until finally Israel started to live like their enemies and imitate their ways. For believers today, the first step away from the Lord is “friendship with the world” (Jas 4:4-note), which then leads to our being spotted by the world (Jas 1:27-note). The next step is to “love the world” (1Jn 2:15-note) and gradually become “conformed to this world” (Ro 12:2-note). This can lead to being “condemned with the world” (1Co 11:32), the kind of judgment that came to Lot (Ge 19), Samson (Jdg 16:1-note), and Saul (1Sa 15, 31).
The disobedience (Jdg 2:1,2,3,4,5). In the OT the “angel of the Lord” is generally interpreted to be the Lord Himself, who occasionally came to earth (theophany) to deliver an important message. It was probably the Lord Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Godhead, in a temporary pre-incarnation appearance. (Ge 16:7) The fact that God Himself came to give the message shows how serious things had become in Israel.
The tabernacle was originally located at Gilgal (Jos 4:19,20), and it was there that the men of Israel were circumcised and “rolled away” the reproach of Egypt (Jos 5:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). It was also there that the Lord appeared to Joshua and assured him of victory as he began his campaign to conquer Canaan (Jos 5:13, 14, 15). To Joshua, the angel of the Lord brought a message of encouragement; but to the new generation described in the Book of Judges, He brought a message of punishment.
The Lord had kept His covenant with Israel; not one word of His promises had failed (Jos 23:5, 10, 15; 1Ki 8:56). He had asked them to keep their covenant with Him by obeying His law and destroying the Canaanite religious system—their altars, temples, and idols. (Ex 23:20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, note the association between the angel of the Lord and the command to destroy the false religion; cp Ex 34:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and Dt 7:1-11, 25, 26.) But Israel disobeyed the Lord and not only spared the Canaanites and their godless religious system but also began to follow the enemy’s lifestyle themselves.
In His covenant, God promised to bless Israel if the people obeyed Him and to discipline them if they disobeyed Him (Dt 27,28). God is always faithful to His Word, whether in blessing us or chastening us; for in both, He displays His integrity and His love (He 12:1f-note). God would prefer to bestow the positive blessings of life that bring us enjoyment, but He doesn’t hesitate to remove those blessings if our suffering will motivate us to return to Him in repentance.
By their disobedience, the nation of Israel made it clear that they wanted the Canaanites to remain in the land. God let them have their way (Ps 106:15), but He warned them of the tragic consequences. The nations in the land of Canaan would become thorns that would afflict Israel and traps that would ensnare them. Israel would look to the Canaanites for pleasures but would only experience pain; they would rejoice in their freedom only to see that freedom turn into their bondage.
No wonder the people wept when they heard the message! (Bochim = “weepers.”) However, their sorrow was because of the consequences of their sins and not because the wickedness of their sins had convicted them. It was a shallow and temporary sorrow that never led them to true repentance (2Co 7:8, 9, 10, 11).
|Judges 2:3 "Therefore I also said, 'I will not drive them out before you; but they shall become as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'"|
THEREFORE: marks the verdict specifying the CONSEQUENCES of their disobedience. (See term of conclusion)
I ALSO SAID I WILL NOT DRIVE THEM OUT BEFORE YOU: (Jdg 2:21; Numbers 33:55; Joshua 23:13 )
Joshua had given this clear and horrible warning declaring…
Judgment in the OT and NT is similar… it is God giving you want.
"You will not drive them out,’’ says God, "and therefore I will not;’’ thus their sin was made their punishment. Thus those who indulge their lusts and corruptions, which they should mortify, forfeit the grace of God, and it is justly withdrawn from them. If we will not resist the devil, we cannot expect that God should tread him under our feet.
BUT THEY SHALL BECOME [AS THORNS] IN YOUR SIDES AND THEIR GODS SHALL BE A SNARE TO YOU (Ex 23:33, Judges 3:6, 1Ki 11:1-7) (Nu 33:55; Jos 23:13, Pr 22:5, cp Judges 3:1) (Jdg 3:6; Exodus 23:33; 34:12; Deuteronomy 7:16; 1 Kings 11:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Psalms 106:36)
A snare (moqes) literally was a noose used for catching or entrapping animals using bait to catch the prey. It follows that a snare metaphorically is something that allures one from his or her real purpose ("God's Will"), entraps and ultimately destroys the victim.
In 1 Kings 11 Solomon became ensnared by foreign women…
Saul attempted to to ruin David by giving him his daughter Michal in marriage so that she might become a snare to David (1Sa 18:21).
Gideon made an ephod out of the spoils from battle but sadly it became a snare not only to this great Biblical hero but his family, who began to actually worship the ephod (Judges 8:27-note)!
God charged the people to utterly destroy the inhabitants of Canaan so that they would not be tempted to serve their gods and abandon Jehovah and replace Him with worship and service to false gods who are really no gods at all (see Dt 7:16, 25; Ex 23:32ff; but cf. Ps 106:34ff)
|Judges 2:4 And it came about when the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept.|
AND IT CAME ABOUT WHEN THE ANGEL OF THE LORD SPOKE THESE WORDS TO ALL THE SONS OF ISRAEL:
THAT THE PEOPLE LIFTED UP THEIR VOICES AND WEPT (1Samuel 7:6; Ezra 10:1; Proverbs 17:10; Jeremiah 31:9; Zechariah 12:10; Luke 6:21; 7:38; 2Corinthians 7:10; James 4:9)
Wept (bakah cp "Bochim" v1) LXX = klaio: 3PAAI: = expressing strong inner emotion = weep, cry, shed tears; wail or lament over w emphasis upon noise accompanying weeping Mt 2.18):
Wept (bakah) which is preceded here by the statement "they lifted their voice," refers to intense sorrow. The verbal combination "to lift up one's voice and weep," often refers elsewhere to sorrow associated with severe loss. It is used of sorrow over the death of a child or brother (Gen. 21:16; 2 Sam. 13:36) or Esau's loss of a blessing (Gen. 27:38).
In light of the context of Judges and subsequent events, these would appear to be tears of worldly sorrow not a godly sorrow which effects a true repentance (2Co 7:10,11, Esau - see Heb 12:17-note). In fact the word "repent/repentance" does not appear in the book of Judges! (However see Jdg 10:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16-note for description of a response by the children of Israel that certainly looks like repentance… this is the only description that would qualify as true repentance in this entire book as best I can discern! We don't see any of the Judges call the people to repentance like Samuel did in 1Sa 7:3) These were almost surely tears of regret and most likely the sacrifices (see Jdg 2:5-note) were empty ritual. True repentance must go beyond tears of sorrow and achieve a right-about-face, a turning of one's entire life from sin to a walk that pleases the Lord. (Jdg 10:15, 16-notes) What they don't appear to have done is Joel 2:12, 13, 14.
Jameson, Fausset and Brown -The angel’s expostulation made a deep and painful impression. But the reformation was but temporary, and the gratifying promise of a revival which this scene of emotion held out, was, ere long, blasted by speedy and deeper relapses into the guilt of defection and idolatry.
Arthur Lewis -"True repentance must go beyond tears of sorrow and achieve a right-about-face, a turning of one's entire life from sin to a walk that pleases the Lord." Although there may have been some who truly repented (cp Samson's godly parents in Judges 13, Boaz in book of Ruth), the fact is that the refrain repeats that as soon as the judge died the people lapsed quickly back into their evil in the face of the Lord. So that some of those who had cried out to the Lord went right back into sin, which is hardly indicative of genuine repentance
Matthew Henry-This was good, and a sign that the word they heard made an impression upon them: it is a wonder sinners can ever read their Bible with dry eyes. But this was not enough; they wept, but we do not find that they reformed, that they went home and destroyed all the remains of idolatry and idolaters among them. Many are melted under the word that harden again before they are cast into a new mould. However, this general weeping, "
|Judges 2:5 So they named that place Bochim; and there they sacrificed to the LORD.|
|SO THEY NAMED THAT PLACE BOCHIM (LXX = "weepings"): (Genesis 35:8; Joshua 7:26)
After the Lord spelled out the consequences of partial obedience (disobedience) and compromise, the people begin to weep as they realize that they will have to live with their decision not to obey and drive them out. One of the most certain facts of spiritual experience is that the path of partial obedience leads to Bochim. There is no joy in halfhearted spiritual experience.
Are you living at Bochim in your walk with the Lord, hearing Him say you have compromised My truth and so now you will have to live with the consequences?
The most miserable people are professing believers who will not commit to the Lord Jesus. They do not have the best of both worlds but the worst (See notes on Jesus' clear teaching on "two masters" Mt 6:24-note). If as Christians we try to walk the tightrope of compromise and partial obedience, we will not know spiritual victory and God's blessing. We will know the bitterness of defeat and frustration in our Christian lives.
Do you know spiritual victory in your life? Do you know God's blessing in your life?
If you don't then maybe you need to check out the pattern of obedience in your life. Remember: Halfhearted obedience is the path of misery. One of the most certain facts of spiritual experience is that the path of partial obedience leads to Bochim. There is no joy in halfhearted spiritual experience.
C H Spurgeon writes:
AND THERE THEY SACRIFICED TO THE LORD: (Jdg 6:24; 13:19; 1 Samuel 7:9) (cp Isa 1:11, 1Sa 15:22, Jer 7:21, 22, 23, Ho 6:6, Mic 6:6, 7, 8, Zec 7:4, 5, 6, 7.
The constant urging is that God’s servants give their hearts and their lives in deep contrition and brokenness of spirit before they observe feasts, fasts, sabbaths or sacrifices. Rote religion can never substitute for purity of heart (Pr 22:11, Mt 5:8-note). It would have been more meaningful if it had said they broke down the altars, smashed the sacred pillars (Ex 23:24, 34:13, Dt 7:5), etc. thus bringing forth fruit in keeping with repentance (Mt 3:8)
Ralph Davis addressing the question of "repentance" at Bochim writes that…
WHEN JOSHUA HAD DISMISSED THE PEOPLE: These words appear to be a continuation of Joshua's last charge to Israel in Josh 24 (see Jos 24:28).
THE SONS OF ISRAEL WENT EACH TO HIS INHERITANCE TO POSSESS THE LAND:
This period that follows Joshua's death could be subtitled "Generation Degeneration"!
Gary Inrig sounds a note of warning about "good starts" (like the one Joshua had given to Israel in the promised land) in the example of the story of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" of Scotland…
Ralph Davis - Judges 2:6-3:6 functions as a sort of visitors’–center film for the Book of Judges. It provides the necessary preview for understanding what is happening in the rest of the book, particularly chapters 3-16. This section is a summary which interprets for the reader the significance of the judges’ stories. If you want to understand Judges you must stop here for perspective, to get a handle on what to look for in the upcoming stories and how to understand the various episodes you read. In particular, Jdg 2:6–3:6 will show you what God is doing in the period of the judges — and, for understanding the Bible, nothing could be more crucial than that. (Ralph Davis Judges: Such a Great Salvation - Focus on the Bible)
AND THE PEOPLE SERVED THE LORD ALL THE DAYS OF JOSHUA (Joshua 24:31; 2Kings 12:2; 2Chronicles 24:2,14-22; Philippians 2:12):
When the knowledge of God and His greatness is preserved in a community, especially by those who have personally experienced God's power, faith is nourished and obedience flourishes.
If we as parents allow our children to grow up w/o this knowledge of God, we serve not only their ignorance and unbelief, but also their destruction. It is the solemn duty of all parents to teach their children and those in their sphere of influence who might be "young" in the Lord, about God and His saving work so that the next generation will know and be saved. The most important school the child will ever attend is the home. The most important and influential theological teachers they will ever (potentially) have are Mom and Dad.
AND ALL THE DAYS OF THE ELDERS WHO SURVIVED JOSHUA, WHO HAD SEEN (LXX = ginosko ~ they learned by experience):
It is only when we obey God that we really begin to experience Him personally. We may all about Him but yet we fail to experience fellowship which comes from whole hearted surrender to His sweet will.
Moses in Ps 103:7 who knew God's "ways", whereas the children of Israel only knew His acts! there is a big difference. Spurgeon comments on this Psalm 103:7…
ALL THE GREAT WORK OF THE LORD WHICH HE HAD DONE FOR ISRAEL: (Joshua 3:10,11)
When Israel crossed the Jordan "the Lord of all the earth" cut off "the waters of the Jordan… and the waters which" were flowing down from above were made to stand in one heap. Alluding to this "great work of Jehovah" Joshua declared that…
If you ask those who had walked across the Jordan River (which in fact was even at flood stage) on dry ground if they "knew" God and His great works what do you think they would say?
Oh how we need to see the mighty deeds of God in our generation… but it all has to do with obedience… if the Joshua the leader had balked and not obediently led them across or if the people had balked and said we're not going across, then they would never have experienced God's miraculous power.
Beloved, I ask to give serious attention to this question:
Harness God's promises by immediate, unflinching obedience, stepping out in faith (not sight).
In Joshua 6 we see "the great work of the LORD"… Jericho's walls some say up to 18 feet thick came falling down. Why did they see the power of God?
"Obedience brought Blessing", as it always does. Because Joshua and company had obeyed the commands of God to march around the city He did exactly what He said He would do.
JOSHUA THE SON OF NUN: LXX of Joshua = iesous = ''Jesus" How would this fit with the key phrase in Judges ''No king in Israel… " (Jdg 21:25 -note). When Joshua died began the days when there was no king in Israel… surely he was clearly a type of Him who was to come as King of kings and Lord of lords!
THE SERVANT OF THE LORD: refers to a divinely chosen individual, normally a leader of the people, who has faithfully and obediently carried out the Lord's will and most often used to describe to Moses.
Gary Inrig comments that "This verse teaches an important lesson. One man, committed unreservedly to God and His Word, can make an enormous difference for good in the lives of God's people. One woman, living her life for Jesus Christ, can bring blessing to a whole group of people. If you will trust God and build your life on His Word, you can have a godly influence on your family, student group, or local church. That truth is written many times on the pages of Scripture." (Inrig, G: Hearts of Stone, Feet of Clay. Moody) (Bolding added)
DIED AT THE AGE OF ONE HUNDRED AND TEN:
The Greek Septuagint translates "died" with teleutao (means to finish, bring to a close, to come to an end or as we might say today "to bring down the curtain" on the "drama" of one's life) which is from teleo in turn from telos which means goal, end. Interesting to think of Joshua's death as attaining a "goal", the goal for which God had created him. How wonderful this would be for every believer to achieve the "goal" for which we were created.
It's as if Joshua had faithfully, obediently run the race with endurance and crossed God's "goal line". Surely he will hear "Well done, My good and faithful servant." May his tribe increase!
AND THERE AROSE ANOTHER (qualitatively different) GENERATION AFTER THEM (Joshua and elders): (Genesis 15:15; 25:8,17; 49:33; Numbers 27:13; Deuteronomy 31:16; 2Samuel 7:12; Acts 13:36)
Without LEADERS the past history of God's acts and the future hope based on those acts can be easily forgotten. Lack of leadership and forgetting of history lead to self-centered life where wrong looks right… Black looks White… Upside down looks right sided up!
Within only one generation after entering Canaan, the Israelites began to practice idolatry. Even within one lifetime, idolatry is always only a heartbeat away. Each generation must learn and remember what God has done to show He is truly the only God.
WHO DID NOT KNOW THE LORD (Jdg 3:1,2-note):
A SAD REFRAIN:
Did not - This is a sad refrain in the book of Judges (and I fear too often in our lives [including mine!] as believers!
Did not drive out = Jdg 1:21, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33-note
Know has the nuance meaning to "experience in a personal way."
Why didn't they know Him? Because they didn't obey Him. They knew about Him but had not experienced Him in a personal way. They had heard the great works but they didn't know Him. Head knowledge had not become heart knowledge. They forgot God [Jdg 3:7-note ].
The second generation has a natural tendency to accept the status quo and to lose the vision of the first generation. Too often the second-generation experience is a secondhand experience. That syndrome operates in the spiritual realm as well as in the political. Church history is filled with examples of it, and, sadly, so are many churches. The parents' fervor for the Lord Jesus Christ becomes the children's formalism and the grandchildren's apathy.
In Joshua 4:22 Joshua instructs the people
So what happened to all the godly generation that was alive when Joshua died (Jdg 2:10,11)? Did they not tell their children about the great works of God that the children would learn to fear God forever (Joshua 4:24)? Or did they tell them and the children were apathetic, hearing but not caring with the result being that they did not know God or His works. Why might they have been apathetic toward the things of God? It could be that the pleasures of the Canaanite lifestyle were simply too seductive and they couldn't resist and were ensnared by the passing pleasures of the pagan licentious ways. And as Jesus said over 1000 yrs later, one cannot not serve 2 masters, for he will hold to one and despise the other, love one and hate the other (Mt 6:24-note). And so they forgot their God and then they forsook their God. And the downward cycle of the book of Judges began.
See also the incredible parallel with [Pr 29:18] which could be paraphrased from the original Hebrew
This is why Paul was so adamant that Timothy entrust what he had heard to trustworthy men who would then be able to teach others also (2Ti 2:2-note). The Spirit anointed and empowered teacher is one of the vital links to pass on the "standard of sound words" (2Ti 1:13-note) to the next generation, and this call involves suffering and hardship (2Ti 1:2, 8, 16-see notes 2Ti 1:8, 1:2, 1:16)
Gary Inrig sounds a warning call against "second generation" Christianity writing that…
Had the people remembered Joshua's “farewell speech” given to the leaders and the people of Israel (Jos 23:12,13) and taken those speeches to heart, they would have known the Law of Moses; for in his final messages, Joshua emphasized the covenant God had made with Israel and the responsibility Israel had to keep it. When you forget the Word of God, you are in danger of forsaking the God of the Word, which explains why Israel turned to the vile, vicious, lascivious, licentious worship of Baal.
The majority of the Jews of this new generation were not true believers ("did not know the Lord" and as assessed from their disobedience cp Heb 3:18,19 (see notes Heb 3:18; 3:19) for relationship of true faith and obedience), and they did not turn to the God of the miraculous deliverance from Egypt under Moses and the victorious conquest of the Promised Land under Joshua. Still, many of the judges did genuinely know the Lord, and some who did not live by faith eventually threw themselves on God’s mercy during oppressions.
For believers today, the first step away from the Lord is taking your eyes off of Jesus (He 12:2-note) and looking at (Pr 4:23-note) the "passing pleasures of sin" [He 11:25-note] the world is reveling in, just as Achan looked on the spoil that was under the ban of God (Jos 7:21). Achan looked. Achan coveted. Achan stole. Achan concealed.
Do not be deceived [led astray from truth by lusts of the flesh] beloved brethren (Jas 1:16-note, Jas 1:14-note). If we do not flee idolatry of the world and youthful lusts (1Co 10:14, 1Jn 5:21, 2Ti 2:22-note ,1Ti 6:11) we naturally (our old flesh "nature") gravitate toward “friendship (affection) with the world” (Jas 4:4NKJV-note), which then leads to our being spotted by the world (Jas 1:27-note). Then we “love (agapao = sacrificially love) the world” (1Jn 2:15-note) and progressively become more and more “conformed" to the corrupt mold of this world which is passing away, even its lusts (Ro 12:2-note, 1Jn 2:17-note). This can lead to being “condemned with the world” (1Co 11:32), the kind of judgment that came to Lot (Ge 19), Samson (Jdg 16), and Saul (1Sa 31:3,4, 15:35).
NOR YET THE WORK WHICH HE HAD DONE FOR ISRAEL:
They did not even know of His mighty deeds [Ps 71:16, 106:2, 150:2; Lu 1:51; Acts 2:11]. Note how it is quite fascinating that those men who were first filled with and thus controlled by the Spirit in Acts2 spoke of God's mighty deeds. That should be our goal at all times, for as men see the Lord high and lifted up, and thus have a proper opinion of His holiness and majesty, then they are prepared to place themselves in proper perspective… BOWED down before His holiness.
O God, how we need men of the Book today, emboldened with Your Spirit O Lord, to speak forth about Your great and mighty deeds which You have done and will do again. Lord, let this tribe of godly, discerning men like those of the tribe of Issachar [1Chr 12:32] increase even in our day of apathy and anemic believism, while America rots away at her core. For Thy marvelous, mighty Name's sake Lord God. Amen.
Inrig explains that there are 3 main reasons the second generation failed…
THEN THE SONS OF ISRAEL DID EVIL (an intentional evil which hurts those around) IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD (Pr15:3):
Hebrew word for evil is ra' which also describes the Tree of knowledge of good and evil! (Ge 3:5).
The phrase did evil is common in Judges and also 24x in 1 & 2 Kings, increasing in frequency in 2nd Kings! (click here for all 41 uses of the phrase "did evil" in the OT) It is as if the closer they got to judgment, the more evil they became. Just a thought to ponder. Note it is also interesting that this phrase "did evil" is not found in 1 & 2 Samuel. Could it be that the reason is that the leaders were godly men like Samuel and David? Note also that the evil began with Baalim (plural) but progressed to the point documented in Judges 10:6!
Five terms, simply but succinctly, capture the pattern of these verses. They also summarize the period of the judges because they describe the repeated cycle of 350 years. The terms are:
It is as if the children of Israel refused to acknowledge the truth that God was teaching them, and, because they would not learn from the past, they were forced to relive it.
Wayne Barber comments on Judges 2:11: They adopted for themselves an Independent lifestyle. It is very important in our understanding of covenant to realize that you can’t live independently any longer. Example of Wayne’s marriage covenant with his wife… he better live like he is in covenant with his wife. He had better act like he is in covenant with his wife. Wayne’s wife is very quiet but she carries a big stick. He has no right whatsoever now to live independently of his covenant relationship… Wayne and his wife live dependent on one another. As you study covenant, you will see this principle that there is no such thing as an independent lifestyle. (Eve wanted to live independent of God and God called it SIN! Anytime we live independent of God the result is SIN.) The problem with Israel was that they did evil in the sight of God=they stepped out of line. This fits with the whole theme of the book of Judges: ‘’Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.’’ (LIVING INDEPENDENT OF GOD) The result of this action God called ‘’EVIL’’.
Let’s look at some of the words: EVIL: bad in contrast to good. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, referred to as the Septuagint, translates EVIL with the Greek word ''poneros (see in depth word study) .''
Poneros-has several shades of meaning:
What a picture… the result of them doing what was ‘’right in their own eyes’’=>EVIL.
Remember that although we might say that their evil was, for example, lust, immorality, etc., EVIL is what God says is EVIL! There are many today who do not understand their relationship with God… they do not understand the covenant of grace (when we get to Hebrews 8:6 you will get excited… when you begin to understand that the NEW COVENANT is something totally different than the other covenants and you begin to realize the worthlessness of what we can do in the flesh and you begin to recognize the beauty and purity of what God can do in and through us you begin to see the significance of this NEW COVENANT relationship… there are many who do not truly understand what this entails with the result that they are still working in their own way in an attempt to somehow please God… they are not those who live and abide and walk in the Word… they’ve got religious works stacked ‘’bigger than Dallas’’ and God calls it EVIL!
You may be the sweetest person in the room… why you would never commit adultery… you would never murder anyone… but in your heart there might be an Attitude that will not allow God to be God in your life and you are not willing to walk in ONENESS with Him. So whatever you call ‘’good’’ in your life, God calls it ‘’evil’’!
AND SERVED THE BAALS (contrast Jdg 2:7): (Jdg 3:7; 10:6,10; 1Samuel 7:4; 1Kings 18:18; 2Chronicles 28:2; 33:3; Jeremiah 2:23; 9:14; Hosea 2:13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
Served (abad) is in the qal impf. The Septuagint translates abad with the Greek verb latreuo (from latris = one hired or latron = reward, wages) means to work for reward, for hire or for pay, to be in servitude, render cultic service. Latreuo was used literally for bodily service (e.g., workers on the land, or slaves), and figuratively for “to cherish.” In the NT the idea is to render service to God (in this context gods with a little "g"!), to worship, to perform sacred services or to minister to God in a spirit of worship (in fact in the NT uses below, note several passages clearly associate worship with serving.)
With the death of Joshua and the following generation, the last living link with Mount Sinai was gone, and the result was gross sin. The result is that were enslaved, (cf 2Pe 2:19-note, Jn 8:34, Pr 5:22-note) were in bondage to the Baals (ONE GOD <<>> many Baals!). Israel did not merely fall into sin and break some of God's laws. They threw themselves into the sin, the supreme sin, idolatry, the sin of all sins. The greatest sin a human being can commit is not murder or rape or other despicable acts of atrocity. It is to turn his back on the living God to serve man-made gods. And thus they were burdened by the Baals. And so it was that the Israelites gave in and sank to the level of the people they were commanded to destroy. What is not recorded here and you may not be aware of, is the fact that Baals and Asthoreths were sex deities and their worship of them involved not only bowing down before stone idols but also engaging in obscene sexual practices. So Israel soon sank into idolatry and gross immorality. Mark it down as a principle: Idolatry is almost always associated soon with immorality!
The Hebrew word Baal means to be master over another. Instead of allowing God to be their husband, His people followed "the Baals"
The Canaanite religion was based on the idea that you worship your god by behaving as he does. The result was Baal worship which was perhaps the most degraded and degrading form of worship ever practiced on earth. The Canaanites engaged in temple prostitution, fertility rites, drunken sexual orgies of the most debased variety, idolatry, snake-worship, homosexuality, and even human sacrifice.
Baal worship was bad wherever it existed, but in Canaan it existed in its rawest form. Everything about it—its view of God, moral standards, ethics and values, rituals—stood in absolute and total contradiction to everything God had revealed about Himself to His people. However, the Israelites did the unthinkable. They did not stop speaking of Yahweh or forget Him entirely. Rather, they borrowed the rites, practices, and idols of Canaanite paganism and grafted them onto their existing worship, in a new syncretistic religion, forgetting that God said He was a Jealous God, and that He would not share His glory with another. They were tolerant of that which God commanded them to destroy. They accepted what God called them to hate, and they compromised when God called them to wholehearted obedience.
HOW MUCH COMMITMENT IS NECESSARY?
And thus the period of the Judges was a seemingly endless cycle of rebellion, punishment, lament, new leadership, and deliverance. Repeatedly Israel suffered because they refused to commit themselves to God alone. They wanted to worship Him along with the gods of their neighbors. Often the evil God's people suffer comes because we want to be God's people with minimum commitment. But beloved, commitment has only one level--total devotion. Anything else is not commitment.
Frances Ridley Havergal well expresses the essence of commitment writing
Take my life, and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to thee
Do we sing this hymn and mean it? Notice it is clearly a cry to God. Do we really understand what we are asking Him to do? Or do we just mouth the words, because everyone else is singing out so lustily? Are we sincere or sincerely hypocritical? (Click to play the entire hymn and ponder the words of Francis Havergal… if you're not convicted, then you didn't read every stanza!)
George Sweeting writes that…
Lack of commitment and lack of devote, dedicated leadership led to loss of sense of God's holiness and His great works. In their deceived, stuporous condition they were ensnared by the demon gods and intoxicated by the lusts of the flesh and eyes so they lost the proper reverential awe and fear of Jehovah and wantonly pursued their goals and desires all the more becoming enslaved. Sounds like America, at the turn of the 21st century!
BAAL: (see notes) (KJV = Baalim = Hebrew ending "-im" = plural) Greek also = masculine plural. Like most of the world they rejected the "SHEMA" of [Dt 6:4] & became in effect "polytheists"! (see even the wise King Solomon in 1Ki 11:5, 7)
“Baals” not only refers to images of Baal but also to various manifestations of the god (cf. 8:33; 9:4; Nu 25:3). The Canaanites were addicted to Baal worship, which was conducted by priests in temples and outdoors, in fields and on hilltops called “high places.” Cult activities included animal sacrifice, ritualistic meals, and provocative dances. Near the altars the Canaanites placed symbols of fertility: the sacred pillar (massebah) and a wooden cult object (asherah). High places housed chambers where male prostitutes and harlots (qedeshim and qedeshot) practiced cult prostitution (cf. 1Ki 14:23; 2Ki 23:7). God had previously judged Israel for her association with Baal of Peor (Nu 22:41; 25:1-18; Dt 4:3, 4), but the Israelites were subtly attracted to the gaiety and provocative character of Baal worship.
The “Ashtoreths” (ashtarot) (see notes) were figurines and various manifestations of Ashtoreth (or Asherah), the Canaanite goddess of fertility and the consort of Baal. Closely associated with the Babylonian Ishtar, goddess of sensual love, maternity, and fertility, she also became identified as the patroness of war as well as sex. Her worship was early entrenched at Sidon (cf. 1Ki 11:5, 33; 2Ki 23:13), where she was identified as Astarte (Greek for her name). During times of spiritual decline and apostasy, Israel continually forsook the Lord God and served Baal and Ashtoreth (Judges 3:7; 10:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; 1Sa 7:3, 4; 12:10; 31:10; 1Ki 11:4, 5, 6, 7, 8; 2Ki 23:1-14).
Judges 2:12 and they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the LORD to anger.
AND THEY FORSOOK THE LORD: [Deuteronomy 13:5; 29:18,25; 31:16,17; 32:15; 33:17]
Azab - 6x in Judges - Jdg. 2:12, 13, 21; 10:6, 10, 13
The picture of completeness of this act is shown by [Ge 2:24]. But here the Jews departed from Jehovah. They committed apostasy. God Who has everything and needs nothing sought man who is nothing without Him and yet who sought Him not! O what wondrous Love is the deep, deep love of God!
Gary Inrig asks…
THE GOD OF THEIR FATHERS WHO HAD BROUGHT THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT: he had just said they "did not know the Lord" or "the work which He had done for Israel".
Followed is used metaphorically here which conveys the idea of allegiance and loyalty. The expression "walk after other gods" is prominent in Deuteronomy, where it is used of idolatry,
THE GODS OF THE PEOPLES WHO WERE AROUND THEM AND BOWED THEMSELVES DOWN TO THEM (Ex 20:5 Dt 5:9)
Bow down (shachah) means to worship, prostrate oneself and was used to describe idol worship, such as the golden calf in the wilderness (Ex 32). (See the NT word for worship which has a similar idea of prostrating one's self - Worship [bow down] = proskuneo)
False gods of Canaan were everywhere: El (strong, powerful) = supreme Canaanite deity, of uncontrolled lust, bloody tyrant in writings at Ras Shamra in N Syria. Baal (“lord, possessor”) = son & successor of El, “lord of heaven,” farm god of rain & storm. Baal cult at Phoenicia = animal sacrifices, ritual meals, licentious dances.
There were Temple chambers for so-called "sacred" prostitution with both men and women (1Ki 14:23,24; 2Ki 23:7).
Anath, sister-wife of Baal = Ashtoreth (Astarte), patroness of sex and war, called “virgin” and “holy” but actually a “sacred prostitute.”
THUS THEY PROVOKED THE LORD TO ANGER:
Provoked the LORD - Deut. 9:7f, 22; Jdg. 2:12; 1Ki. 15:30; 22:53; 2Chr. 28:25
Moses had clearly warned Israel of the consequences of idolatry declaring…
Is this conclusion any surprise. How long will God hold back His hand against any so-called "Christian" nation that leads the world in crimes, prostitution, drug abuse and world wide exportation of pornography?!
FAILURE - JUDGES RULE ISRAEL - C. T. Studd, the great missionary to China, India, and Africa, ended his life as a morphine addict. Despite all of his success, his last days were dark ones. His mission board dismissed him; he died a few weeks later.
Israel showed power and promise in escaping from Egypt. The people, however, unlike Studd, displayed their selfish addictions early. Trouble erupted only a few miles from Egypt. The faithless people, grumbling and carousing, played out a drama of disaster and death for forty years in the desert.
Joshua's leadership brought new hope to the nation when the people finally entered the Promised Land, but his successors, the judges, gave Israel a topsy-turvy season of success and failure.
Some judges ruled wisely and in peace, but others did not. And the people were mostly wicked during the whole period.
The failure of the judges led the people to demand an earthly king. Saul, David, and Solomon gave Israel some success, but many of the mad monarchs that followed wrote their stories of failure in blood.
For many, the last pretender to the throne was the greatest failure. He too wrote His story in blood—His own. But as King of kings, He turned failure into victory. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
|Judges 2:13 So they forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtaroth.|
SO THEY FORSOOK (made a choice to abandon, to walk away from) THE LORD (Hebrew = Husband (ba'al) as in Isaiah 54:5):
The children of Israel sought to be free by making themselves "god" and doing what was right in their own eyes.
You can mark it down beloved -
True Freedom is not the right to do as we please but the power to do as we should.
Their attempts at "freedom" brought them even deeper into bondage!
Isn't our response to God often like rebellious Israel?
Let us repeat the axiom… lest we forget it…
SIN will take you further than you ever meant to STRAY,
AND SERVED BAAL AND THE ASHTAROTH: (Jdg 2:11; 3:7; 10:6; 1Samuel 31:10; 1Kings 11:5,33; 2Kings 23:13; Psalms 106:36; 1Corinthians 8:5; 10:20, 21, 22)
Ashtoreth (Astarte), is the singular noun and is the name of the patroness of sex and war. "She" was called “virgin” and “holy” but was actually a “sacred prostitute.” Figures of Ashtoreth (1Ki 11:5), the equivalent of the Phoenician goddess of fertility, Astarte (Dt 16:21), which were worshiped as idols during times of spiritual declension in Israel (Jdg 10:6-note; 1Sa 7:3,4; 12:10; 31:10; 1Ki 11:5,33; 2Ki 23:13).
The Hebrew form Ashtaroth (NIV, "Ashtoreths") is the plural of Ashtoreth. This name is a deliberate distortion of Astarte's name that vocalizes the last two syllables of the name to reflect the Hebrew word boset, "shame."
Modern readers often miss the import of Canaanite idolatry and how it so closely parallels sexuality being practiced in the "civilized" world of the 21st century. The worship of a Canaanite god or goddess was no minor blemish in Israel's history. Besides having a devastating and debasing effect on the practitioner, the acts of worship included male and female cultic prostitutes in hetero- and homo-sexual liaisons which were fundamentally opposed to the worship of the living God, and were acts of treason against His Covenant.
R. K. Harrison, after describing the gross and savage worship system of the Canaanites, concludes:
Judges 2:14 And the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies.
AND THE ANGER OF THE LORD BURNED AGAINST ISRAEL:
"Anger… burned". (Septuagint translates the Hebrew with the verb orgizo the verb derived from orge [see word study])
Anger is actually the Hebrew word for "nose or nostril" and so this verse could be more literally read as "His nose became hot" (glowed, was kindled, grew warm, burned). The KJV rendering as "the anger of the LORD was hot" is closer to the literal Hebrew, a most expressive metaphor for the anger and one of the most obvious examples of the anthropomorphisms (Anthropomorphism God relates to us in human terms) for God in the OT. This word is related to a rare Aramaic root meaning "to cause fire to burn". This word differs from other Hebrew words for anger in that it emphasizes the "kindling" of anger, like the kindling of a fire, or the heat of the anger, once started. It is used of Potiphar's anger burning against Joseph when his servants falsely accused Joseph of sexual assault on Mrs. Potiphar in Gen 39:19. This picture also recalls to mind God giving Himself the Name "Jehovah Who is jealous" God (Ex 20:5, 34:14).This name for Jehovah, does not refer to a shallow, childish human emotion, but instead emphasizes that God will not tolerate a divided loyalty.
And thus God's anger is not the petty anger of hurt feelings, but the holy anger of a righteous response to sin. It is the revulsion of a perfect God against evil, wickedness, and sinful rebellion.
In reverential fear and loving obedience those whom He has bought with a price ought to honor Him as the one true God and give Him something more than lip service for "no one (oudeis = absolutely no one) can serve two masters… " (Mt 6:24 -note)
AND HE GAVE THEM INTO (see Ro 1.24,26,28,) THE HANDS OF PLUNDERERS [2Ki 17:20] WHO PLUNDERED THEM:
Moses had prophesied that…
AND HE SOLD THEM INTO THE HANDS OF THEIR ENEMIES AROUND THEM SO THAT THEY COULD NO LONGER STAND BEFORE THEIR ENEMIES:
The Hebrew idiom (lit., "sell into the hand of") pictures the Lord as the owner of his people who decides to sell them to another because of their unfaithfulness. See similar idea in [Jdg 3:8, 4:2, 10:7- See notes Judges 3:8, 4:2, 10:7, Ps 106:41, Neh 9:27]
Gary Inrig writes that…
Ray Stedman asks the question all believers need to consider…
Israel’s enemies eventually became their masters! Solomon records that
Freedom of choice is one of the privileges God has given us, but He instructs us and urges us to use that freedom wisely. The laws of God are guideposts to lead us on the path of life, and He watches the decisions we make and the roads we take. (Pr 15:3). As long as we use our freedom wisely, we will mature in Christian character, and God can trust us with more freedom. But if we abuse our freedom and deliberately disobey His Word, our freedom will gradually become bondage, the kind of bondage that can’t easily be broken. Proverbs 5:22-note could have been used as an epitaph for Samson whom we encounter later in Judges 13-16. It is impossible to sin without potentially becoming bound. One of the deceitful things about sin is that it promises freedom but only brings slavery. (cp Jn 8:34, Ro 6:16-note) The cords of sin get stronger the more we sin, yet sin deceives us into thinking we’re free and can quit sinning whenever we please. As the invisible chains of habit are forged, we discover to our horror that we don’t have the strength to break them. Millions of people in our world today are in one kind of bondage or another and are seeking for deliverance, but the only One who can set them free is Jesus Christ. (Jn 8:36).
|Judges 2:15 Wherever they went, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken and as the LORD had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed.|
WHEREVER THEY WENT THE HAND OF THE LORD WAS AGAINST THEM FOR EVIL: (Jeremiah 18:8; 21:10; 44:11,27; Micah 2:3 )
Have you ever had the Lord’s hand against you? Have you ever sensed that He was against you in everything you did? What you thought you were doing in dedication and sincerity was so opposite to what He had said that you discovered His hand was against you. This is what Israel discovered. Nothing seemed to work out right. They found themselves in bondage. One after another of the tribes around them was allowed to rule over them. These tribes came in and made slaves out of them, year after year after painful year.
AS THE LORD HAD SPOKEN: (Leviticus 26:15-46; Deuteronomy 4:25, 26, 27, 28; 28:15-68; Joshua 23:15,16)
For example in Leviticus Jehovah warned Israel…
AND AS THE LORD HAD SWORN TO THEM: (Deuteronomy 32:40,41 )
SO THAT THEY WERE SEVERELY DISTRESSED: (Jdg 10:9; 1Samuel 13:6; 14:24; 30:6; 2Corinthians 4:8)
|Judges 2:16 Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.|
THEN THE LORD RAISED UP JUDGES (Jdg 3:9,10,15; 4:5; 6:14; 1Samuel 12:11; Acts 13:20 )
Judges (see note) equates with "saviors" for the Hebrew word "judge” = “save, rescue.” “judge” applied to only 8/12 people we commonly call “judges,” but all of them functioned as counselors and deliverers.
The 8 are Othniel (Jdg 3:9-note), Tola (Jdg 10:1-note), Jair (Jdg 10:3-note), Jephthah (Jdg 11:1-note), Ibzan (Jdg 12:8-note), Elon (Jdg 12:11-note), Abdon (Jdg 12:13-note), Samson (Jdg 15:20-note, Jdg 16:31- note).
RAISED UP JUDGES:
John MacArthur emphasizes that…
God established and strengthened the "deliverers". The noun shopet ("judges") appears only in Judges 2:16-19, where it is used six times of those God raised up to “rescue” or “save” Israel from her enemies.
The Hebrew word for “judge” is shopet, meaning “ruler,” rather than magistrate, and is the source of the noun mishpat, meaning “judgment” or “justice.” Its cognates are found in Akkadian, Phoenician, Aramaic, and even Punic (cf. A. Harris, A Grammar of the Phoenician Language, p. 153). The basic concept of the word has to do with a verdict given by a judge and is descriptive of every phase of the judge’s work. Therefore, the noun mishpat means the judgment given by the shopet and, thus, may indicate justice, ordinance, or codified law (torah) given by God Himself, since Yahweh is the God of mishpat (Gen 18:25). Real judgment and justice cannot be separated from Him who is the basis of all ethical righteousness (cf. N. Snaith, The Distinctive Ideas of the Old Testament, pp. 74–77). Thus, to the Hebrew mind God’s justice (mishpat) was not a mere idea, but an activated principle in time and history. It was manifested in real and observable events because the real God acted with vindicating righteousness upon His people. When Israel sought the Lord, He raised up “judges” to accomplish His act of deliverance for Israel. Thus, the English title “judge” may often be misleading since it conveys the idea of acting mainly in the legal realm of arbitrating disputes, whereas, the biblical judges were primarily “saviors” or “deliverers” from their enemies (cf. G. Vos, Biblical Theology, pp. 270–75).
Actually, the noun shopet is not used to describe the men themselves, though the verb “judged” is used of the action of Othniel (note Judges 3:10), Deborah (note Judges 4:4), Tola (note Judges 10:2), Jair (note Judges 10:3), Jephthah (note Judges 12:7), Ibzan (note Judges 12:8), Elon (note Judges 12:11), Abdon (note Judges 12:13), and Samson (note Judges 15:20). Their main duty was the act of “judging” by which they delivered Israel from oppression.
As Cundall, in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary (p. 15), has shown, the actual “Judge” in Israel was the Lord Himself; for He only is called the shopet! The individual judges were called by divine appointment and brought to prominence in the role of a deliverer through whom God administered His justice by empowerment with His Spirit (note Judges 3:10). Perhaps later they settled as civil leaders as well, since the years of each one’s “judgeship” are recorded after the initial deliverance of the people from oppression.
WHO DELIVERED THEM FROM THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO PLUNDERED THEM: (Nehemiah 9:27; Psalms 106:43-45)
Deliver (save, help) (03467)(yasha' - see word study) is translated by the LXX with the Greek verb "sozo (word study)" which means to save (NT rendering 149 times) or saviour (15 times). So judges would move the people from distress to safety which would equate with deliverance and liberation to those in bondage to evil masters.
JUDGES 2:16 G Campbell Morgan "The Lord raised up judges". This brief sentence records the method of God during this period. It was a method made necessary by the repeated failure of the people. That should. be clearly understood. These men were not judges in our sense of the word. Neither were they appointed to rule in the normal way. The nation was a Theocracy, halting God as King. Its life was conditioned by His law, and His will was made known through His worship, and the teaching of the priests. The first sentences of the previous chapter reveal the nation inquiring of Jehovah on a matter of national importance. The answer was direct. It was sought and obtained by the use of Urim and Thummim by the priest (Ex 28.30). The people had no need of any other administrators in times of obedience. When through disobedience they passed into circumstances of difficulty and suffering, God raised up judges who became the instruments of Divine deliverance. The Hebrew word Shophetim is derived from a word meaning to put right, and so to rule, and this is exactly what these men did. In the earlier cases, when they had accomplished deliverance they retired again into private life. Gradually they came to retain office. Samuel judged Israel forty years. The need for them arose out of human failure: the provision was of Divine Grace. This principle runs through all the history of man. Man persistently fails, but God persistently overcomes man's failure in order to man's well-being. Priests, judges, kings, prophets, are all means by which God stoops to man's level in order to recover him. (Morgan, G. C. Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)
Our Daily Bread - Unlikely Heroes - The book of Judges is an account of God’s people descending into spiritual indifference and rebellion. After the death of Joshua and his peers, the next generation “forsook the Lord God of their fathers, … and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them” (Jdg. 2:12).
Heaven’s heroes never carve their name
|Judges 2:17 And yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do as their fathers.|
AND YET THEY DID NOT LISTEN TO THEIR JUDGES: (1 Samuel 8:5-8; 12:12,17,19; 2 Chronicles 36:15,16; Psalms 106:43 )
Did not listen - Did not hearken. Did not listen with a view to obeying. We must have "ears" to hear what the Spirit is saying. They heard the words but did not heed the warnings!
This implies that the judges were giving instructions in godliness and righteous living and yet these "words of life" went in one ear and out the other so to speak as shown by Israel's rapid return to idolatry when the judge died.
FOR THEY PLAYED THE HARLOT AFTER OTHER GODS: (Exodus 34:15,16; Leviticus 17:7; Psalms 73:27; 106:39; Hosea 2:2; Revelation 17:1, 2, 3, 4,5)
Israel had been warned (that's one of the great purposes of God's Word - Are you reading it daily, looking for those "divine stop signs" so to speak?)
The KJV is more vivid rendering it as they went "whoring after other gods." They prostituted themselves.
Played the harlot (zanah) refers primarily to a sexual relationship outside of marriage and can thus encompass prostitution as well as adultery. In context the metaphor compares Israel to an unfaithful wife who has violated her marriage covenant and embraced other lovers (the Canaanite gods).
Remember that one translation of "Ba'al" is "husband" (speaking to Israel Isaiah 54:5 records "your husband [ba'al] is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts"; See also Jer 31:32) and that Jehovah was Israel's Husband, helps one understand the choice of language that pictures Israel's apostasy as marital infidelity or as an unfaithful wife.
AND BOWED THEMSELVES DOWN TO THEM. THEY TURNED ASIDE QUICKLY FROM THE WAY IN WHICH THEIR FATHERS HAD WALKED: (Exodus 32:8; Deuteronomy 9:12,16; Galatians 1:6)
The same phrase used of golden calf episode, where Moses declares…
IN OBEYING THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD; THEY DID NOT DO AS THEIR FATHERS: (Jdg 2:7; Joshua 24:24,31)
The people wasted their suffering. They didn’t learn the lessons God wanted them to learn and profit from His chastening.
Ray Stedman sees some powerful lessons for believers in the book of Judges writing that…
|Judges 2:18 And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed and afflicted them.|
English translation of the Septuagint (LXX): And because the Lord raised them up judges, so the Lord was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved at their groaning by reason of them that besieged them and afflicted them.
AND WHEN THE LORD RAISED UP JUDGES FOR THEM, THE LORD WAS WITH THE JUDGE AND DELIVERED THEM FROM THE HAND OF THEIR ENEMIES ALL THE DAYS OF THE JUDGE FOR THE LORD WAS MOVED TO PITY BY THEIR GROANING: (Exodus 3:12; Joshua 1:5; Acts 18:9,10) (Jdg 10:16; Genesis 6:6; Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalms 90:13; 106:44,45; Jeremiah 18:7-10; Hosea 11:8; Jonah 3:10) (Exodus 2:24; 2Kings 13:4,22,23; Psalms 12:5)
Jehovah raised up Judges This verse teaches us 3 significant facts about the judges:
As long as the judge was alive, God brought freedom and victory to His people. One might say that during this period, Israel was essentially functioning as a theocracy for these leaders were directly raised up by God, empowered by God, and answerable to God, the King in Israel.
Groan (naaqah) means to utter sounds of despair, especially as a result of oppression. A groan refers to a non-verbal guttural noise of great physical pain and suffering.
Jehovah is still the same here in Judges (circa 1100bc) as He was in Egypt (circa 1400 bc) when Israel groaned under Egyptian slavery. Truly God's mercies never cease! Hundreds of years do not cool the warmth of His compassions. Truths such as these should cause of to read the Old Testament with a sense of anticipation and excitement at what we will discover about our infinite God.
God is not a man and so He does not break His covenants, and He does not desert His people. In fact, as the people experience their richly deserved judgment, we read He "was moved to pity by their groaning." What a beautiful picture of God's heart of compassion!
His people sin against Him even as a faithless wife commits harlotry with strangers. They rebelled, rejected Him, and spurned the love of He was a husband to them. God could easily and justifiably declared "That's enough" and justice would had have no complaint. But as God saw Israel wallowing in their bondage of sin, His heart was moved with pity and love. Judges is full of the grace of God, the same grace and love which ultimately sent the Lord Jesus to the Cross. If God allowed men to be destroyed in their sin, the angels would keep on singing their eternal song: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts." But God's love keeps reaching out, to be consummated in the ultimate cost of Calvary.
BECAUSE OF THOSE WHO OPPRESSED AND AFFLICTED THEM:
Oppressed (lachats) means to press, experience distress, crush, etc. There is no more graphic word picture of the meaning of this Hebrew verb than that of Balaam's donkey squeezing up against the wall and thereby crushing Balaam's foot ("crushed Balaam's foot" Nu 22:25).
F B Meyer commenting on "The Lord raised them up judges" writes…
This was better than nothing. It was better to have even the fitful gleam of deliverance than to settle down under a monotony of servitude; but how much better it would have been if their national history had been a steady progression from one degree of prosperity to another, like the sun rising towards the perfect day! It was of God’s kindness and grace that the judges created these temporary respites; it was the fault of their own infidelity and sin that they were not always delivered.
This fitful life is too often the experience of the believer. We have our Gideons, and Baraks, and Samsons; times of revival, times of deep and blessed experience, followed by backsliding and relapse; times when the flood-tide of grace rises high in our soul, to be succeeded by the ebb, with long stretches of desert sand. Thank God for the judges; but be on the alert for the reign of the kings, for David and Solomon, Josiah and Hezekiah — for the reign of the King.
The days of the judges were those in which there was no king over Israel. The fitfulness of our experience is often attributable to our failure to recognize the kingship of Jesus. We worship other gods — the gods of the nations around; the idols of the market-place, the studio, the camp, and the bar. The aims and practices of the worldly and ungodly too much engross our thoughts, and sway our behavior. Alas for us! Is it strange that God leaves us to reap much bitterness, recalling us when He can, but longing to be able to do some permanent work of salvation and edification? Oh, let us gladly accord Him what is his right, to “sit and rule upon his throne.” (Meyer, F. B. Our Daily Homily)
|Judges 2:19 But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways.|
BUT IT CAME ABOUT WHEN THE JUDGE DIED THAT THEY WOULD TURN BACK: (Jdg 2:7; 3:11,12; 4:1; 8:33; Joshua 24:31; 2Chronicles 24:17,18 )
But - Always pause, ponder and query this strategic term of contrast. They reversed their direction, turning from good to evil.
Davis explains the problem that occurred when the judge died, noting that often we…
AND ACT MORE CORRUPTLY THAN THEIR FATHERS IN FOLLOWING OTHER GODS TO SERVE THEM AND BOW DOWN TO THEM: (Jeremiah 16:12; Matthew 23:32 )
Bow down (Shachah) means to prostrate one's self… vivid picture of what the Chosen people were doing in direct rebellion to God's very explicit command (see esp. Ex 20:5) in Ex 20:3, 4, 5, but be aware that we can do it in the NT as taught in Col 3:6 (greed = idolatry! Watch over your heart w all diligence).
The Septuagint (LXX) translates "bow down" with the picturesque verb proskuneo (see word study) which conveys the basic sense to bow down and kiss someone's feet, garment hem, or the ground in front of him (picture God's people kissing the feet of gods which are no gods! - this is how far you can go when you abandon God!) and thus means to express in attitude or gesture one’s complete dependence on or submission to a high authority figure. It means to fall down and worship or to prostrate oneself before and reverence or welcome respectfully! This is what Israel was doing to the vile Canaanite idols which were associated with unspeakable depravity and wickedness.
THEY DID NOT ABANDON THEIR PRACTICES OR THEIR STUBBORN WAYS: (1Samuel 15:23; Psalms 78:8; Jeremiah 3:17; 23:17)
Stubborn (Qasheh) hardhearted, stiff-necked, obstinate..
Judges 2:19 has an unusual use of the Hebrew verb (naphal) which means abandon, cease = NIV renders it "refused to give up". The LXX translates naphal with aporripto which gives us a vivid picture for this same verb is used in the NT in Acts 27:43 to describe those who "should jump overboard" from a ship that would soon be wrecked! (Interesting thought to ponder in context of idolatry!) In Jdg 2:19 the root problem seems to be that they never made a clean break (note Greek verb is in the active voice which calls for a decision of our will to carry out a certain action) with the false gods… they chose not to "jump overboard" from this "ship of idols" even though it was bound for certain destruction.
What is the important lesson for believers today? These verses serve as a testimony and reminder that sin is always a serious matter to the children of God. If we do not deal decisively with sin in our lives, we will never experience the fullness of the Spirit and Christ's victory over sin. There must be no compromise and no peaceful coexistence with sin. If we try to go only part of the way in our commitment to the Lord Jesus, we will find ourselves bound up in a spiral that inexorably takes us downhill spiritually. The cycle of disobedience, discipline, despair, deliverance is seen today whenever God’s people turn away from His Word and go their own way.
The spiritual theme at this point is ether obvious: God gives the victory to all believers but only by faith and obedience do we enter fully into the victory He has made available. He is sovereign but He demands personal response and responsibility.
The antidote to the Judges complex is the constant application of 1 John 1:9 to our lives.
That is God's provision for fellowship, and our opportunity for abundant, victorious living.
The pattern of Joshua-Judges serves as an excellent illustration of the conflicts of the Christian life. In Christ we have been guaranteed total victorious possession of “the land.” The inheritance of our salvation is assured, however, we must maintain our personal relationship to God by continually driving out our “enemies.” Therefore, separated and dedicated Christian living is necessary to maintain the victory which has been assured to us.
If you want to know just how up-to-date the Book of Judges is, listen to the words of the late General Douglas MacArthur: “In this day of gathering storms, as moral deterioration of political power spreads its growing infection, it is essential that every spiritual force be mobilized to defend and preserve the religious base upon which this nation is founded; for it has been that base which has been the motivating impulse to our moral and national growth. History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual reawakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”
|Judges 2:20 So the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He said, "Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not listened to My voice,|
SO THE ANGER OF THE LORD BURNED AGAINST ISRAEL: (Jdg 2:14; 3:8; 10:7; Exodus 32:10,11; Deuteronomy 32:22 ) (Jos 23:16, Dt 4:24, 25, 26, 27, 28)
Anger of Jehovah burned - Literally "His nose became hot" (See Judges 2:14 Comments)
Jehovah's anger burned repeatedly in Judges…
AND HE SAID, "BECAUSE THIS NATION HAS TRANSGRESSED MY COVENANT WHICH I COMMANDED THEIR FATHERS, AND HAS NOT LISTENED TO MY VOICE,
Why did God punish Israel?
How did He punish them?
|Judges 2:22 in order to test Israel by them, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk in it as their fathers did, or not."|
IN ORDER TO TEST ISRAEL BY THEM: (Genesis 22:1; Deuteronomy 8:2,16; 13:3; 2Chronicles 32:31; Job 23:10; Psalms 66:10; Proverbs 17:3; Malachi 3:2,3)
JEHOVAH TESTS HEARTS!
Moses had warned Israel before they entered the promised land that they would be tested (Do you believe you will be tested? Do you chaff at God's testing times?).
Tested by them - Who is them? The pagan idol worshipping nations. By whom or what is God testing you beloved? Our hearts are prone to wander, so we are always in need of testing and refining of our hearts. The tests will not cease until we see the King face to face in glory. Maranatha!
Test (05254)(nacah/nasah; Lxx = peirazo) in most OT uses has idea of testing or proving quality of someone or something and doing so often through adversity or hardship. As the following context makes clear (note "to see," lit., "to know," in 3:4), the purpose of this divine test was to determine if Israel was truly loyal. An examination of parallel passages shows that such divine tests were designed to reveal otherwise hidden character qualities. Testing which shows what someone is really like generally involves difficulty or hardship.
Swanson sums up Nacah - 1. (piel) test, try, i.e., attempt to learn the true nature of something (1Ki 10:1); 2. (piel) attempt, try, i.e., exert oneself to do something (Dt 4:34); 3. (piel) test, try, i.e., cause or allow hardship or trouble in a circumstance, often with choices within the situation, implying a different outcome is possible (Jdg 2:22)
Baker - 5254. נָסָה nāsāh: A verb meaning to test, to try, to prove. Appearing nearly forty times in the Old Testament, this term often refers to God testing the faith and faithfulness of human beings, including Abraham (Gen. 22:1); the nation of Israel (Ex. 15:25; 16:4; 20:20; Deut. 8:2, 16; 13:3; Judg. 2:22; 3:1, 4); Hezekiah (2 Chr. 32:31); David (Ps. 26:2). Although people were forbidden from putting God to the test, they often did so (Ex. 17:2, 7; Num. 14:22; Deut. 6:16; 33:8; Ps. 78:18, 41, 56; 95:9; 106:14; Isa. 7:12). Testing, however, does not always suggest tempting or enticing someone to sin, as when the Queen of Sheba tested Solomon’s wisdom (1 Kgs. 10:1; 2 Chr. 9:1); and Daniel’s physical appearance was tested after a ten-day vegetarian diet (Dan. 1:12, 14). Finally, this term can refer to the testing of equipment, such as swords or armor (1 Sam. 17:39). (Complete Word Study Dictionary- Old Testament)
Nacah - 34x in OT - See these use below. Translated in NAS = make a test(1), proved(1), put(1), put to the test(2), tempted(3), test(13), tested(9), testing(3), tried(1), try(1), venture(1), ventures(1).
Testing quality of someone or something through stress. Dt 6:16, 8:16, Ps 78:18 Lxx = ekpeirazo 
KJV =“tempt” for “test” = confusing because "tempt" ~ “enticing to do wrong” yet God does not tempt man (Ja1:13), so rendering “TEMPT” became a problem.
In Ge 22:1 God was testing (REFINING) the character of Abraham & did the same with Hezekiah in 2Chr 32:31 because God wants us to walk more closely to His way (Ex 16:4; Dt 8:2; Jdg 2:22; Ps 26:12).
COMPARISON OF NACAH, TSARAPH, BACHAN = TEST
Attempt to do something. of attempting or venturing a word which might offend hearer Job 4:2; of venturing to touch one's foot to ground Dt 28:56; of trying to take a nation (Israel) fr another nation (Egypt) Dt 4:34
of TESTING VARIOUS THINGS armor and WEAPONS 1Sa17:39
PLEASURE Eccl 2:1; Eccl 7:23
Most uses of nacah deal with PERSON or NATION UNDERGOING TRIAL OR DIFFICULT TIME
Man is FORBIDDEN TO PUT GOD TO THE TEST Dt 6:16 but OT records that he did so. MASSAH ("TRIAL") = byword in this regard, often combined in a play on words with nasa, "to try" (Ex 17:2, 7; Dt 6:16; Dt 33:8; Ps 95:8, 9; cf. Dt 9:22). Those who put God to the proof in the wilderness would not see Canaan (Num 14:22-23). The hymns of Israel reflect this DEFIANT ATTITUDE (see Ps 78:18, 41, 56; Ps 106:14).
OF MAN PUTTING ANOTHER MAN TO THE TEST: Queen of Sheba TESTED SOLOMON with hard questions (1 Ki 10:1; 2Chr 9:1); chief of the eunuchs TESTED the appearance of DANIEL and his friends after they ate vegetables for ten days (Dan 1:12, 14); FALSE PROPHETS sometimes were the instrument for TESTING A MAN'S FAITH (Deut 13:3 [H 4]).
Often GOD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TESTINGS AND TRIALS UPON MAN. God delivered Israel by sending "great trials" upon the Egyptians (Dt 7:19; Dt 29:3); but He later TESTED ISRAEL BY THE CANAANITE NATIONS (Jdg 2:22; Jdg 3:1, 4). GOD TESTED BOTH ABRAHAM (Gen 22:1) and HEZEKIAH (2Ch32:31). SUCH TESTING BY GOD, HOWEVER, WAS NOT WITHOUT INTENT. It was to REFINE THE CHARACTER of man that he might walk more closely in God's ways (Ex 16:4; Dt 8:2; Jdg 2:22; 2Ch32:31; Ps 26:1-3).
When a believer comes through a trial still trusting the Lord, he is assured that his faith is genuine (Ge 22:1-12; Job 1:20-22, 42:5,6 => Job's perseverance ultimately resulted in a clearer revelation of God and His awesome character.
Here are the 34 OT Uses of Nacah/nasah…
WHETHER THEY WILL KEEP THE WAY OF THE LORD TO WALK IN IT AS THEIR FATHERS DID OR NOT:
What was the purpose of the testing?
Affliction God allows or brings is good for our spiritual health…
|Judges 2:23 So the LORD allowed those nations to remain, not driving them out quickly; and He did not give them into the hand of Joshua.|
SO THE LORD ALLOWED THOSE NATIONS TO REMAIN, NOT DRIVING THEM OUT QUICKLY; AND HE DID NOT GIVE THEM INTO THE HAND OF JOSHUA:
So (KJV = "therefore") - term of conclusion
Joshua’s seven-year conquest is general in nature; much of the land remains to be possessed
WE admire the condescension of Jehovah towards his chosen people, in that he raised up prophets to instruct them, and not unfrequently sent angels also to minister unto them. But the person who is here called “an Angel of the Lord,” seems to have been no other than “the Angel of the Covenant,” the Lord himself. It is certain that Jehovah did sometimes assume the appearance of an angel; as when he visited Abraham, and informed him of the judgments that were about to be inflicted on Sodom and Gomorrha. And it is clear that the person spoken of in our text was no created angel; for if he had, how could he with any propriety use such language? It was not a creature that brought the Israelites out of Egypt; but Jehovah. It was not a creature that made a covenant with them; but Jehovah. It was not a creature to whom they were accountable for their disobedience, or whose threatened dereliction they had such reason to deplore, but Jehovah: and the circumstance of his being said to come up from Gilgal, which is supposed to militate against this interpretation, rather confirms it: for it was in Gilgal, near to Jericho, that this same divine person had appeared to Joshua, as an armed warrior. That he was Jehovah, cannot be doubted; because he suffered Joshua to worship him; and even commanded him to put off his shoe from his foot, because the very ground whereon he stood was, by reason of his presence, rendered holy. In his conversation with Joshua he had called himself “the Captain of the Lord’s host;” and therefore there was a particular propriety in his appearing now to the people, to inquire, “Why they had not carried his orders into effect? and to threaten that he would fight for them no longer. Besides, at Gilgal the people had revived the ordinance of circumcision, and had kept a Passover unto the Lord; in both which ordinances they had consecrated themselves to God afresh, and engaged to serve him, as his redeemed people. In coming therefore as from Gilgal, the Angel reminded them of their solemn engagements, and humbled them the more for their violation of them.
The particular address of the Lord to them, together with the effect it produced upon them, leads us to consider,
I. The danger of indecision—
Such is the sin which God’s professing people still commit—
If such then be the danger of indecision, let us consider,
II. The duty of those who are convicted of it—
Two things were produced by the declarations of the Angel in the breasts of all the congregation of Israel; which also our own experience calls for; namely,
1. An humiliation of soul before God—
2. An application to God through the medium of sacrifice—
Learn then from hence,
1. The value of a faithful monitor—
2. The danger of forgetting the admonitions that have been given us—
This was the first of many bitter remonstrances that were to come to Israel. "The messenger Jehovah" must be He of whom the prophet spoke (Mal. 3:1), the Word and Son of God.
Judges 2:1-3 There is a recital of the true cause of their failure. --It was due, not to any failure on God's part, but to a great failure on theirs. They had made a league with the people, and had not destroyed their idols. Was this guilty collusion due to any shame of their allegiance to an unseen God; or was it owing to their love of the sinful orgies which characterized the heathen festivities?
God's warning angels still come to men. Let us be on the outlook for them. But how bitter sometimes is their reproof? Have not we entered into covenant with forbidden things, avoiding His altar, and disobeying His voice. And this is the reason why we are hindered and injured by the thorn in our side and the snare for our foot (Judges 2:3). We, at least, may learn this solemn lesson, that the Church is no match for the world, so long as it is allied to the world; and that the way of separation is the only path of victory and safety.
Judges 2:6-9 The death of Joshua. -- The former part of this paragraph is identical with Joshua 24:29. There was a parenthesis of twenty years of rest, before the great warrior was summoned to his rest. During that time he exerted a great repressive influence, which waned when his sun set; and another generation arose.
Judges 2:10-15 The sins and sorrows of Israel -- What a marvellous relapse was here! How the heart of man abhors the spirituality and purity of God (Jer. 2:11-12). But those who turn from God lay themselves open to bitter sorrows. If your heart is not perfect with God, your best plans will be spoiled by spoilers, and you will be sold as a slave to the flesh.
In the light of Judges 2:14 and Judges 2:15 it cannot be too clearly or constantly repeated that failure in consecration and obedience always means defeat. When we follow other gods, and bow ourselves down to them, we can no longer stand against our enemies. Then the hand of the Lord is against us, and we become sore distressed. But even under such circumstances He does not forget His covenant. Though we believe not, He remaineth faithful, He cannot deny Himself. He therefore raises up judges, and saves us from the full measure of His wrath (Judges 2:18).
Judges 2:16-18 God's compassion. -- How touching is the account of God's pity (Judges 2:18). Even though we have brought grave sorrows on ourselves by sin, yet will God interpose to avert the full brunt of penalty. Though we believe Him not, He remaineth faithful. He cannot deny Himself. God can always find or make deliverers in the most degenerate age of the Church; so we find here that He raised up judges which delivered His people.
Judges 2:19-23 The madness of their apostasy. -- After a while God left the people to the results of their own choice, and, as they had permitted the Canaanites, they were allowed to suffer from them, and the discipline which refined them came through the results of the sin, from which they were to be set free. (F. B. Meyer. CHOICE NOTES ON JOSHUA THROUGH 2 KINGS)