Passages: Judges 1-9 & 13-16
The New Start
After all that happened, up until the end of Judges, we’d expect now is the time for a new start for the people.
Judges starts well:
- We see God’s people Seek God
Judges 1:1 After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, “Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?” 2 The Lord answered, “Judah is to go; I have given the land into their hands.”
For us now we do this with our Bibles, Prayer and Church family.
- We see God’s people Follow God
Judges 1:3 Then the men of Judah said to the Simeonites their brothers, “Come up with us into the territory allotted to us, to fight against the Canaanites. We in turn will go with you into yours.” So the Simeonites went with them.
Note that it is ok to get the help of our brothers and sisters in the church family.
- When God’s people seek and follow Him, God blesses
- God is a God of Justice
The story of Adoni-Bezek stands as a warning to all that God will repay evil because God is a God of justice. As we read through Judges we see this.
Is it easy for us to forget that God is a God of justice?
Sadly it all went wrong
Chapters 1 and 2 gives us a summary of what happened and how it all when wrong.
Judges 2:11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the Lord to anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
Within Judges we see this cycle of the people turning from God then, God punishes them, then they cry out to God, then God has compassion on them, and God sends a judge to save them. With each cycle the people g
Look at Samson
In the story of Samson, near the end of Judges, we see the people living with the Philistines living under their rule. To outsiders they would have appeared the same. Interestingly we don’t hear the people cry out to God. But God still wanted His people so he used Samson as a powerful wedge to separate His people.
As the angel of The Lord said to his mother before his miraculous birth.
Judges 13:5 and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
Even with all that happened in Judges God still had a plan for and loved His people
The Important question is. Why did they stray so far from God?
They stopped telling the stories and keeping the feasts. They failed to pass on the faith from one generation to the next.
Judges 2:10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.
What can we learn?
God had told them:
Deuteronomy 6:6b These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
If we want to pass on our faith to the next generations then we need to:
1. Focus on the quality of our relationships:
- with God, our children need to know that we love God above everything else.
- with our spouse, our children need to see us in God honouring, loving, sacrificial and supportive marriages.
- with our children, research points to the importance of parental ‘warmth’, parents and fathers in particular need to focus most on the “nature and quality” of their relationship with their children as much or more than what they teach about the faith. This in itself fosters the faith overall.
- with others, our children need to see us consistently living out our faith with those around us.
2. Model our faith
This wasn’t happening in Samson’s time.
- bible reading
- serving – using our gifts
- faith talk
Our children, need to see us doing these, if we want them to do them. It’s good for us to do devotions with our children, reading and praying with them, but they also need to see us reading the Bible and applying it to our lives, they need to know that we have active prayer lives, and they need to hear us talking about our faith.
3. Belong to church
Along with home, church is an important part of faith development, where they learn and have fun together, plus have other mentoring relationships.
Church is so important also because there are many children who don’t have Christian parents in our congregation, we are their spiritual parents and they need to see us living out our faith.
We need to be excited about church and serving within church using our spiritual gifts as we do this they see that we take church and serving God seriously. It is a wonderfully powerful witness to our children. If we are not involved and excited about the family of God why would they ever want to do either.
How are we doing, as Christian parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, spiritual parents?
The people for generations had failed to live out their faith and pass it on, hence the situation in Judges, let us ensure we don’t do the same, ensuring that we are a unique people for God, seeking to transform the world for Jesus as his people.
Judges 21:25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.
May we live with God as our king, as we do what is right in his eyes and may our children walk the same path as we do.
As we journey through the Bible let us ask, how does knowing this help me to become wise for salvation through faith in Jesus?
- What does it teach me?
- How does it rebuke me?
- Is it correcting something in my life?
- What training can I put into place to help me live a righteous life?
- How is this equipping me for every good work?
Additional questions you may wish to consider for personal study or in Life Groups.
As I reflect what have I found interesting?
As I reflect what has challenged my life, attitudes and actions?
Is there one practical step I can apply to my life to help me to become more like Jesus?
How would this help me to introduce others to Jesus?
Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?
Is there someone I should share with, pray with or encourage?