"One of the best ways to communicate truth in such a way as to grip the
hearts and minds of the hearer is by means of story telling. The Bible is full
of stories, designed for just this purpose." (jbj p.ix)
[REFERENCES TO jbj ARE FROM: James B. Jordan, JUDGES: GOD'S WAR AGAINST HUMANISM,
Geneva Ministries, P.O. Box 8376, Tyler, TX 75711]
INTRO TO JUDGES
OBVIOUS THEME: Gen 3:15 - The crushing of the head of the enemy
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and
her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
examples: Ehud kills Eglon, political head.
Jael crushes Sisera's head with a tentpeg.
Gideon destroys the four political heads Zebah, Zalmunna, Oreb, and Zeeb.
Abimelech's head is crushed by a rock, again by a woman.
Samson destroys all five heads of the Philistine cities, by crushing them with
others: the Anointed One
There are others, but the thing to remember is that these people really lived
just like you and me.
AUTHOR = possibly Samuel because another major theme is that there was no
human king in Israel.
Details are important.
Not moral tales of right and wrong
Primarily - stories of God's dealing with men in judgment and redemption
Things to ask:
What did the stories mean to the people of that time?
What lessons were they supposed to draw from the text?
What lessons are we to draw, as well?
READ JUDGES 1:1-17
I. THE COMMAND/PROMISE OF THE LORD (1:1-2)
Israel has been commanded to conquer Canaan.
The people inquire as to who should lead.
LOOK AT Num 27:15-23
Initial conquest of the land was completed under Joshua.
What follows is a "mopping up."
Why do you think God commanded the annihilation of the Canaanites?
LOOK AT Gen 15:16-21
Their iniquity was filled up. God had already spoken this judgment. LOOK AT
Essentially the command/promise is "Destroy the Canaanites, take the land
completely, and I will be with you to protect you and to ensure your success."
Judges 1:2 says Judah will lead the way.
II. THE RESPONSE OF ISRAEL (1:3-36)
A. Judah (1:3-21)
1. Initial Faithfulness (1:3-17)
LOOK AT verse 3
Why did Judah ask Simeon to go up with him?
EXPLAIN - Simeon and Levi both avenged their sister's rape
LOOK AT Gen 49:5-7 - Jacob's blessing
Three aspects to their sin:
1) They took the sign of circumcision and turned it into a weapon against
Why was that wrong?
It was a sign of their calling as priests to the nations.
2) If these men were circumcised, then what did that make them? Members
of the covenant.
3) They put personal family feelings before their covenantal duties.
LOOK AT Ex 32:25-29
Simeon is granted repentance in Judges 1.
CONQUEST - vs 4-7
Bezek = "lightning flash" or "sunrise"
a Satanic ruler
10,000 = probably rounded off
10 = totality (Rev - the ten days of overcoming)
Why chop off thumbs and big toes?
"eye for an eye" (Lev 24:17-22)
The Bible says it was Divine Justice. LOOK AT vs. 7
The Lord gave the victory (vs 4).
Adoni-bezek was brought to Jerusalem.
LOOK AT Gen 14:18-20
Melchizedek had been king and priest of the most high God in Salem, which later
Why was the city set on fire?
Fire = wrath of God (70 AD) and later in vs 17
CONQUEST OF HEBRON -
Judah started out with a bang.
Many of us start out well, but not all of us end well.
City of giants
LOOK AT Num 13:22 & 33
Also notice that Hebron was to be a city of refuge.
LOOK AT Josh 20:7-9
Something we can learn from this is that "if we want to have sanctuary, we
have to destroy the giants. God gives no refuge to those who do not war against
sin" (jbj p. 7).
THE STORY OF OTHNIEL AND ACHSAH (vs 11-15)
[also found in Josh 15:13-19]
Kirjath-sepher = city of books
} (jbj p.7)
Debir = word
Why destroy this city?
What would happen if our own Library of Congress were completely destroyed?
"To destroy this place was to destroy their entire civilization."
(Think about pornography, etc. and our civilization)
Who was Caleb?
Caleb was not a racial/blood Israelite. LOOK AT Josh 14:6
What was the deal Caleb made?
(To marry his daughter to whoever conquered Debir.)
Women - what do you think about this?
(would you want to marry "whoever" conquered a city?)
(do you think this is a sexist exploitation of women?)
Do you think Caleb was concerned about his daughter having a Godly husband?
"Caleb knew that only in the strength of the Lord could a man conquer Debir."
Achsah asks Caleb for water.
The father gives the springs. (mini garden of Eden theme)
Church can now go as the Bride of Christ to the Father
BLESSINGS FOR THE KENITES - vs 16
Why did they go up with Judah?
(Moses was a Levite and without land.)
Those outside Israel could either join with God's people and be saved, or war
with God's people and be destroyed.
HORMAH - vs 17
Hormah = "placed under the ban, totally destroyed" (jbj p.10)
LOOK AT Num 21:1-3
the fire was to offer the city as a burnt sacrifice to the Lord
Firery destruction was a priestly act; not every city was to be destroyed by
Where did they get the fire?
LOOK AT Lev 9:23-10:2
God's fire was kept burning on the altar; it was used for all the sacrifices.
This is an Old Testament version of Total Inability. (explain)
POINT = Hormah was a city used to reveal God's wrath and fiery judgment against
This is the end of the first section of Judges on Judah's faithfulness.
3 ways God deals with His enemies
3. UTTER SACRIFICIAL DESTRUCTION
(Compare Matt 28:19-20 with the conquest of Canaan.)
What do we learn from SIMEON?
"Christ invites those under the curse to join with Him, and find salvation.
That is our task as well, for we also face world rulers, apostate churches
(false Jersusalems), and giants."
"Christ destroyed the Prince of this World, and so do we (Rom 16:20). He
measured out perfect justice, and so must we."
"Christ destroyed the Old Jerusalem in 70 AD and established the New
Jerusalem, His Church. It is our task to hold it."
HILL COUNTRY, SOUTH COUNTRY, LOWLAND? -
"Christ conquered the whole world, and now we must apply that conquest
"Christ conquered the giants, and in union with Him, no giants can stand
against us. He has given us sanctuary in Him, and we must offer sanctuary to all
"Christ cast down all philosophies and imaginations against Him, and
replaced them with His Word, the true foundation of civilization; and this is
our task as well."
"Christ has given His Bride a good land. We should entreat the Father for
the water (of the Spirit) needed to make it fruitful."
"Christ invites all men to join His New Israel, and that evangelistic task
is ours as well."
"Christ has utterly destroyed His enemies for all time, by the application
of Divine fire. The tongues of fire on Pentecost show us that it is the
preaching of the gospel which applies that fire to the world today, burning away
the chaff and purifying the gold."