The Book of Judges
Back at it again with the back at it again.
I am very pleased to say that I finished with the Book of Judges today. I enjoyed reading it a lot. There were stories there that I was familiar with but hadn’t read in a long long time and so I was happy to read it with fresh eyes and a new perspective. There were also some stories that I did not know anything about and I was happy to learn about them as well. Isn’t God good? Anyway, let’s get to talking!
- Decide for yourself to serve God: There was something that was very prevalent in the book of Judges. Whenever the people had someone leading them, they always served God but as soon as the person died, they turned away from God. On a personal level, I could somewhat relate to this. You know, up until late last year/early this year, whenever I went to church or did anything Christian, it was because I felt like I had to do it or because I was told to do it. Don’t get me wrong, its not like I don’t love God, it’s just that I didn’t understand it as much. Now, when I do it, it’s because I want to and because I want to learn more. I’m not perfect or anything; I still do some messed up things sometimes but now, I am trying to build a relationship with God and because of that, it’s not left to anyone to make this choice for me. So, my point is, get to know God for your own self, in your own time because that relationship is only between you and God; No one else. I don’t know if I made a lot of sense but I hope I did.
- God always answered the Israelites when they cried to him: So, as I partly mentioned earlier, the Israelites had a cycle. They would turn away from God and sin, They will be punished for this sin, then they would cry to god to rescue them, He would send someone to them and then for as long as the person was alive, they would be good and then afterwards, they would turn away from God again and the cycle will continue. However, every single time they called to God, he answered them and saved them. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. How wonderful is our God? Now, even with knowing all of that, and with knowing all the sins that we would ever commit in our lives, God still sent his son to die for us and he gave us grace. No matter what, He is always there for us. Just take a moment and think about this and thank the Lord for his faithfulness because we are definitely not faithful.
- Shamgar and the oxgoad: Have you ever heard of Shamgar before? Well, if you haven’t, that is understandable because he is only mentioned in one verse in the Bible (that I’m aware of at least). Judges 3:31 (GNT) says:
The next leader was Shamgar son of Anath. He too rescued Israel, and did so by killing six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad.
When I was researching about Shamgar, I came across something very interesting that I thought is really teachable about this story. The website, actlikeaman.org had this to say about Shamgar:
First, Shamgar used what was in his hand. He did not wait to get another weapon, he used what seemed like a harmless thing as a weapon to kill the enemies. Question – what is in your hand?
Second, he took initiative that something must be done. If nobody is going to protect me, my family and field – I will do whatever it takes to protect it because God has called me as a man to protect what was given to me even if it means using his oxgoad.
What’s your oxgoad? What has God given you so that you can achieve your God-given calling. For some it might not be a lot – thus the more reason to use what is in your hand. I don’t know if you have confidence in your oxgoad but whether you find it silly or not to use the oxgoad that God has given you, be rest assured that the strength does not come from the oxgoad but from God who has given you the ability to fight.
Best believe that God has provided each and every one of us with the ability to achieve our purpose. So, don’t hesitate to use your oxgoad.
4. Deborah, Barak and Jael: I love this story so much. It is one of my favourite stories in the Bible. The feminist in me was jumping up and down in glee when I read this story. Let’s talk about Deborah first. Deborah was the only female leader in the book of Judges. She was a prophet and she was very wise. Give it up for #girlpower :). The people had been under the the cruelty and violence of the Canaanite king, Jabin and so the people cried to the Lord and he heard them. Barak was the commander of the Israelite army and he was going against Sisera, the commander of the King Jabin’s army. However, even with Barak leading the army, God had other plans. Judges 4:9 (GNT),
She answered, “All right, I will go with you, but you won’t get any credit for the victory, because the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman.” So Deborah set off for Kedesh with Barak.
This woman happened to be Jael. As the Israelites were defeating Sisera’s army, Sisera ran away to the tent of Jail, the wife of Heber the Kenite and while he was asleep, she killed him.
I love this story.
5. Gideon: Another story that I love so much is the story of Gideon. The people had turned away from God and so they were getting oppressed by the Midianites. So, they cried to God to save them. God chose Gideon as the person to lead Israel to victory. However, when Gideon was approached by the angel of God, he did not feel like he was worthy. Judges 6:14-16 (GNT)
Then the Lord ordered him, “Go with all your great strength and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I myself am sending you.”
Gideon replied, “But Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least important member of my family.”
The Lord answered, “You can do it because I will help you. You will crush the Midianites as easily as if they were only one man.”
I love this story because it shows God using a man that may have been perceived as weak or unworthy. However, it was in Gideon’s weakness that God’s strength was perfected. This story gives me hope for the future.
So, that is it people. So far, this is one of my favourite books. I had so much fun reading it and understanding it and I hope you enjoyed reading this post as well. I start Ruth in the morning. Ruth is a very short book so I should be back to talk about it in a couple of days. I hope you guys will be here then.
Take care, my darlings ❤
God bless xx.