If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click here)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
November 25, 2007
When People Do What is Right in Their Own Eyes
The Book of Judges
The basic nature of man is that he wants to get his own way. Man is born with a sinful bent that includes selfishness. He wants what he wants when he wants it. How people will get along with one another and form a society will be dependent on the social mores that are established among them. There has to be some structure of what is right and what is wrong. But what happens when each man decides for himself and does what is right in his own eyes? Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way [which seems] right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” We will see the truth of that proverb today in our study of the book of Judges. It is an answer that should give pause to every government as its wrestles with the extent and limits of personal freedoms of those within its society.
Before we start our study of the book itself, it is important to note that Judges is written thematically in a selective chronology. There is variation in the time sequences and the areas of the nation in view. It covers the period between about 1406 B.C when Joshua concluded his conquest of the land and 1055 B.C. when Samson died. Judges was written after the establishment of Saul’s monarchy (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25), but prior to David’s capture of Jerusalem from the Jebusites (1:21 cf. 2 Samuel 5:5-9). Its purpose was to give a defense of the establishment of the monarchy by showing the utter failure of the theocracy to obey the Lord through the judges. The main reason for the failure was that “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (17:6; 21:25) which resulted in disobedience to God’s law.
Judges can be divided into three main sections.
1) Causes for the Period of the Judges (1:1-3:6) which explains the reasons for the failure of the theocracy.
2) Cycles of Judges (3:7-16:31) which traces that failure throughout the geographical regions of Israel showing that the failure was widespread and not limited to just a few errant tribes.
3) Consequences of Disobeying the Lord (17-21) which gives two stories showing how depraved the people had become in their idolatry and immorality which resulted in anarchy.
Causes for the Period of the Judges (Judges 1:1-3:6)
Incomplete Obedience (Judges 1:1-2:5)
The first reason for the failure of the theocracy and the need for judges was the incomplete obedience of the people in driving out and destroying the people that had been in the land. The Lord had very specifically stated that the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite and the Jebusite people were to be utterly destroyed because of their iniquity and abominations (Genesis 15:16; Exodus 23:23f; Leviticus 18:24-27 Deuteronomy 20:17-18), but that this would be done “little by little” until they would become fruitful and take possession of the land so that the wild beasts would not become too numerous for them (Exodus 23:30; Deuteronomy 7:22). (See: Conquest – Joshua) However, after Joshua’s death, the tribes did not completely follow the Lord’s direction.
Judah and Simeon agreed to go together to conquer the remaining people in their lands and so they did have victory over the Canaanites & Perizzites in their lands and conquered the cities of Jerusalem, Dibir, Hebron, Zephath/Hormah, Gaza, Ashkelon and Ekron with their surrounding territories. However, they took Adoni-bezek captive instead of killing him and they remained in the hill country because they did not drive out the inhabitants of the valleys (1:1-20). Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites and instead lived with them. And while the house of Joseph did capture Bethel (Luz), Manasseh did not take possession of Beth-shean, Taanach, Dor, Ibleam, Megeddo or Gezer so that the Hittites and Canaanites continued to live among them. When they were strong they put them to forced labor instead of destroying them as the Lord had commanded. The same was true for the tribes of Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali. Dan did not fare even that well for the Amorites controlled the valleys and forced Dan to remain in the hill country.
This failure brought the rebuke from the Lord recorded in Judges 1:1-5. “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, 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? 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.'” 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. 5 So they named that place Bochim (weepers); and there they sacrificed to the Lord.” The Lord would do just as He had warned them in Numbers 33:55 and Joshua 23:13.
Idolatry (Judges 2:6-3:4)
The people served the Lord during all the years that Joshua and the elders who survived him were alive, but a generation arose after them that “did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel” (vs. 6-10). They then violated the Lord’s commands concerning serving false gods and followed the gods of the people in the land who were around them and bowed down to Baal and Asheroth. When this happened the Lord would turn against them in His anger and fulfill the warnings He had given them resulting in them being severely distressed from being plundered and sold in to the hands of their enemies (vs. 11-15). However, the punishment was not only just punishment for their sins, it also had a purpose in turning them back to the Lord. When they would turn back and cry out to Him, the Lord was true to His promise and being moved to pity by their groaning because of their oppression, He would deliver them by raising up a judge to deliver them (vs. 16,18). These were not judges in the sense that we think of them as those who decide the law between to parties in a law suit, but rather individuals whom God would raise up to be the head some portion of Israel. They would then direct the nation to make peace or war and lead the armies over whom they presided. They would also reign with sovereign power to administer justice the remaining years of their life.
However, the cycle would then repeat itself because even while the judge was alive the people did not always listen, and when the judge died they would turn away from the Lord and act corruptly disobeying the commands of the Lord and bowing down to the gods of the surrounding nations (vs. 17, 19-20). The Lord would then allow those surrounding nations to suppress them again as the means of chastisement. It was because of this that the Lord would no longer drive out before them the nations which Joshua had left when he died. They would become a test whether Israel would walk in the ways of the Lord or not (vs. 20-23). Among the nations left for this purpose were all the Canaanites, the five Lords of the Philistines, and the Sidonians and Hivites that lived in Mount Lebanon (Judges 3:1-4).
Intermarriage with the Heathen (Judges 3:5,6)
A major reason that these heathen nations were able to influence Israel is because they intermarried with them. This was in direct violation of the Lord’s command in Deuteronomy 7:3 that they were not to intermarry with them. The consequences came about just as the Lord had warned that this would result in their children being taught foreign ways to turn away from the Lord to serve the false gods. This in turn would result in the Lord cursing them.
The cycles began with them not fully obeying the Lord to drive out the nations that were there and allowing them to remain. This resulted in Israel being influenced by them so that they began to worship the false gods of those nations. They then even intermarried with them which made the influence much stronger. When they turned from the Lord to serve the idols, the Lord would turn from them and allow the curses they had been warned about to befall them resulting in their bein oppressed. When they would repent and turn back to the Lord, He would deliver them and bring back their blessings.
Cycles of Judges (Judges 3:7-16:31)
The next section of the book of Judges traces this cycle of disobedience and idolatry followed by oppression resulting in repentance and then deliverance through the various judges the Lord raised up. This section is neither an exhaustive nor strict chronological account of what God did. It is arranged somewhat geographically to demonstrate the widespread nature of Israel’s rebellion. They were in need of a king because they were not faithful to the Lord when they “did what was right in their own eyes.”
Southern Campaign (Judges 3:7-31)
Othniel (Judges 3:7-11).
After Joshua and the elders that had served with him had died, the sons of Israel had done evil, forgot the Lord and had served the Baals and the Asheroth. The Lord then allowed Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia to oppress the sons of Israel for eight years. The people finally cried out to the Lord and he raised up Othniel to judge and lead them to war. Othniel was from the tribe of Judah and was the nephew of Caleb. The Lord gave the king of Mesopotamia into his hand and the land had rest for forty years while Othniel was still alive.
Ehud (Judges 3:12-30)
After Othniel died “the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel.” He made an alliance with Ammon and Amalek and together they defeated Israel and possessed the city of the palm trees in the Jordan Valley. Eglon oppressed Israel for 18 years (vs. 12-14). Finally the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord and He raised up Ehud from the tribe of Benjamin, a left handed man.
Ehud developed a plan to kill Eglon. He made an 18″ two edged sword for himself and bound it to his right thigh under his cloak. Since this is opposite of where most people would put a weapon, no one noticed it. He then went to Eglon to present their tribute to him. After the tribute was presented Ehud said to the king, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” The king had everyone else leave the room so he could hear it. Then Ehud came close to where the king was sitting and said, “I have a message from God for you.” When the king arose Ehud took his sword and thrust it into the king’s belly and killed him. The king was so fat that the handle went in after the blade and Ehud could not draw the sword out. Ehud then escaped through the vestibule and shut and locked the doors of the roof chamber behind him. By the time the kings servants had figured out something was wrong and found the dead king, Ehud had escaped across the Jordan to Seriah in the hill country of Ephraim (vs. 15-25).
Ehud then gathered the sons of Israel and told them “Pursue [them], for the Lord has given your enemies the Moabites into your hands.” They then descended from the hill country, seized the fords of the Jordan and struck down about ten thousand Moabites and subdued Moab. The land was then undisturbed for eight years (vs. 26-30).
Shamgar (Judges 3:31)
He came some time after Ehud and saved Israel from oppression by the Philistines by striking down 600 of them with an oxgoad (a stick used to prod oxen to move). All three of these judges, Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar were from tribes in the south and the Lord used them to give Israel peace.
Northern Campaign I (Judges 4:1-5:31)
Deborah & Barack (Judges 4)
Sometime after Ehud died Israel once again did evil in the sight of the Lord. This time the Lord gave them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan who reigned in Hazor. You might recall that Hazor is north of the Sea of Galilee just west of the Jordan river. Joshua had destroyed the city in the initial conquest, but now it is rebuilt and once again a stronghold of the Canaanites. They had a strong army that included iron chariots, so they oppressed Israel for twenty years (vs. 1-3).
Finally the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord and He revealed Himself through the prophetess, Deborah, who lived between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim. She summoned Barak who was from the tribe of Naphtali and told him, “Behold, the Lord, the God of Israel, has commanded, ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men from the sons of Naphtali and from the sons of Zebulun. ‘And I will draw out to you Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his many [troops] to the river Kishon; and I will give him into your hand” (vs. 4-7).
However, Barak refused to do it unless Deborah went with him. Deborah agreed to go but also told Barak that because of this he would not receive the honor for the victory, for the Lord would give Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army, into the hands of a woman. They then gathered an army at Mount Tabor at the northern end of the Valley of Jezreel. Sisera gathered his army including his nine hundred chariots in the valley below Mt. Tabor, but the Lord routed him and they fell by the edge of the sword so that none were left, except Sisera who had fled on foot (vs. 8-16). With his army destroyed, Jabin the king of the Canannites could not withstand Israel and so was also destroyed. Meanwhile, Sisera was killed by Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. The honor then was given to her in the victory song of Deborah & Barak (Judges 5). The lands remained undisturbed for 40 years.
Central Campaign (Judges 6:1-10:5)
Gideon (Judges 6-8:32)
The sons of Israel turned once again from the Lord and did what was evil in His sight. This time the Lord gave them into the hands of Midian for seven years. They would come up from the south yearly and raid Israel to destroy and take what had been harvested. It was so bad the Israelites resorted to living in caves and dens in the mountains. They finally cried out to the Lord and He sent a prophet to tell them they had not obeyed Him by fearing the gods of the Amorites (6:1-10).
The Lord also sent an angel to Gideon who was from the tribe of Manasseh on the west side of the Jordan. The angel revealed to Gideon that God had chosen him to be the one that would deliver Israel from the Midianites. To be brief, Gideon was not a man of great confidence and God used a series of miracles and events to encourage him to rise up and do what God commanded him.
First, the angel that gave him the message placed the meal Gideon had offered him on a rock. The angel then touched the meat and bread with the end of his staff and fire sprang from the rock and consumed the food and then the angel also vanished. This gave Gideon enough encouragement to pull down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah and then withstand those what were upset by it afterward (6:25-32).
Next, the Midianites came up and camped in the valley of Jezreel. Gideon sent messengers throughout Asher, Zebulun and Naphatali to gather to him. Gideon wanted confidence that what he was doing was from the Lord so he prayed that God would make a fleece he left on the threshing floor wet with dew while all the ground around it was dry, and the Lord did so. Then he prayed the next day that the Lord would do the opposite, and the Lord did so (6:36-40).
After an army of 32,000 had gathered to him at the spring of Harod, the Lord told Gideon that it was too many and anyone that was afraid was to be sent home. The Lord then said the 10,000 that were left were still too many. He then reduced that number to 300 by the way they drank water (7:1-8). They were facing the combined armies of Amalek & Midian which were described as “numerous as locusts” and as “the sand on the seashore” (vs. 12). The Lord would make it clear that He alone was responsible for the victory.
The Lord had Gideon send a spy into their camp who then overheard one man telling another his dream which the other one interpreted as the “sword of Gideon” concluding that “God has given Midian and all the camp into his hands” (vs. 9-14). When Gideon heard the report, he bowed in worship of the Lord and then called on his band of 300 to arise for the Lord has given their enemy into their hands.
He divided the 300 into three companies and each man was given a trumpet and a pitcher with a torch inside. They then spread around the outskirts of the enemy camp. Just as the middle watch began (about 10 p.m.), Gideon had each man break the pot revealing the lit torch inside and blow their trumpets and then shout, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon.” The result was pandemonium in the enemy camp so that those in the camp fought each other and then fled southeast across the Jordan (7:15-23). Gideon sent messengers alerting the men of Ephraim as well as rest of the men from Naphtali, Asher and Manasseh.
Ephraim captured and killed Oreb and Zeeb, the two leaders of Midian while Gideon and his 300 continued the pursuit of Zebah and Zalmunna the kings of Midian. During the pursuit the men of both Succoth and Penuel refused to help Gideon by even giving him and his men some food, for they lived in fear of the Midianites instead of the fear of the Lord. Gideon and his men continued the pursuit anyway and finally caught up and destroyed the remaining 15,000 of an army that only a short time before had numbered 135,000 (8:1-21).
After this the Israelites wanted Gideon to rule over them, but he refused that either he or his son would do so for the Lord was to rule over them (8:22-23). The land was undisturbed for forty years in the days of Gideon.
Abimelech (Judges 8:33-9:57)
As soon as Gideon was dead the sons of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals. The evil was made worse by Abimelech, one of Gideon’s seventy sons, who conspired to make himself the ruler. He murdered the rest of his brothers except for the youngest son, Jotham, who had hid himself. The end result of them doing what was right in their own eyes was turmoil and civil war within Ephraim until Abimelech and those in Shechem were killed.
Tola (Judges 10:1,2)
After Abimelech was dead, Tola, a man from the tribe of Issachar was used by the Lord so save Israel. He lived in the hill country of Ephraim and judged Israel for twenty-three years.
Jair (Judges 10:3-5) followed next. He was from the region of Gilead where the tribe of Gad had settled. He judged Israel for twenty-two years.
Eastern Campaign (Jephthah) (Judges 10:6-12:7)
After Jair died Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord by going after the gods of the heathen people among and around them. The Lord gave them in to the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites. Those on the east side of the Jordan were crushed by the Ammonites for eighteen years. They even crossed the Jordan to attack Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim. Finally the people cried out to the Lord, and after being rebuked by Him they repented (10:6-16).
This time the Lord allowed them to pick their own leader, and they picked Jephthah, an illegitimate son of a man from Gilead and a harlot. He had been driven out from among his relatives. He was a rash man and had worthless fellows gathered around him (10:17-11:10). Yet, despite his shortcomings, Jephthah was willing to fight and he knew Israel’s history and God given right to the land (11:12-28). Jephthah defeated Ammon and subdued them. This should have been a cause of rejoicing for all, but Ephraim was jealous and contended with him that he had not included them in the battle with Ammon (perhaps they wanted a share in the spoils?). The result was a war between them and the defeat of Ephraim with 42,000 of them being killed in the war. Jephthah then judged Israel for six years (12:1-15).
Central Campaign II (Judges 12:8-15)
Ibzan (Judges 12:8-10) from Bethlehem followed Jephthah. He judged Israel for seven years before his death.
Elon (Judges 12:11-12) the Zebulunite was next. He judged Israel for ten years before he died.
Abdon (Judges 12:13-15) who was from the land of Ephraim was next. He judged Israel for eight years.
Western Campaign (Samson) (Judges 13-16).
The sons of Israel once again did evil in the sight of the Lord resulting in Him giving them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years. Manoah & his wife were from Zorah in northern Judah and God promised them a son. He was to be set aside from birth to be dedicated to the Lord as a Nazrite (13:1-25), but Samson turned out to be a man who did what was right in his own eyes instead of following the Lord. Yet, the Lord used Samson anyway. Samson sought a wife from the Philistines which was in direct violation of God’s commands, but God used it to create an escalating conflict between Samson and the Philistines before he could ever actually take his wife. Among Samson’s deeds were killing thirty men of Ashkelon to get their clothes in order to fulfill a bet (14:1-19). He set the fields of the Philistines on fire because his wife had been given to another (14:20-15:5). He slaughtered many of them and then killed another thousand with the jawbone of a donkey when they tried to take him captive (15:6-16). He carried the city gates of Gaza all the way to Hebron. He judged Israel for 20 years.
His downfall was his lust for a woman named Delilah. Though she continually lied to him and demonstrated she worked for the Philistines, he kept going back to her until the secret of his strength was revealed and then compromised so that he was taken captive, blinded and then made a slave to grind corn. During a great sacrifice for their god, Dagon, the Philistines had Samson brought in to make sport of him. This gave Samson the ability to carry out his final great act of strength when he pushed the supporting pillars over causing the building to collapse and kill those inside as well as the 3,000 that were on the roof. But even that last effort was for revenge of his eyes and not as judgement of the Philistines for their evil, though God used it that way. God is able to accomplish His purposes even by those that “do what is right in their own eyes.”
Consequences of Disobedience (Judges 17-21)
The book of judges ends with two stories that show how depraved the people had become in their idolatry and immorality which resulted in anarchy.
Idolatry: Micah and the Danites (Judges 17-18)
To quickly summarize the first story, there was a man named Micah in the hill country of Ephraim that stole eleven hundred pieces of silver from his mother, but returned them when she cursed because of it. His mother then dedicated the silver to the Lord by having it fashioned into a graven image and a molten image though that was in direct violation of the Lord’s commands. Micah eventually consecrated one of his sons to be a priest in his home and serve at his shrine which had multiple idols. This was in violation of God’s laws on idolatry as well as His laws about only the Levites beings priests. Eventually Micah does get a young Levite to live with him and be his priest. Micah’s conclusion was that the Lord would bless him since he now had a Levite as priest (17:1-13).
Meanwhile the tribe of Dan did not take the land allotted to them in the south (Josh. 19:40-48; Judges 1:34), so they decided to move to a land in the far north which they were able to conquer (18:1-13). In the process they passed by Micah’s home and stole his graven image, the ephod, household idols and the molten image. They also convinced the Levite to go with them to be the priest of a tribe instead of one to just one man. The priest was an opportunist and an idolater. When Micah objected that they had “taken away the gods which I made” and his priest (17:24), they threatened him so that he returned. The Danites then set up for themselves the graven image, idols and molten image (18:14-31). They had rejected the law of the Lord in order to do what was right in their own eyes which included flagrant idolatry, coveting, stealing and threatening to murder. This story probably occurred in the early part of the period of the judges.
Immorality & Anarchy: Gibeah & the Benjamite Civil War (Judges 19-21)
The second story also probably occurred during the early period of the judges since Phinehas, the son of Eleazer, is mentioned as the priest (20:28).
To summarize this story. A Levite from the hill country of Ephraim went to Bethlehem in Judah to woo back his concubine that had returned home. After being delayed there for five days he began his trip back with her to his home. They needed to spend the night along the way and stopped in Gibeah in Benjamin just after the sun set. He received no hospitality from the Benjaminites, but a man from Ephraim who was living their took him in (19:1-22).
That evening certain “sons of Belial”(evil men) came and demand homosexual relations with the man, but the owner of the house objected and instead offered his own virgin daughter and the man’s concubine to “ravish them and do to them whatever you wish” but they were to leave the man alone. They did do what they wished and they raped and abused the concubine all night so that she died on the door step the next morning (19:22-26).
When her master found her dead the next day he took her body home, then cut it into 12 pieces and sent one piece to each of the tribes (19:27-30). It got the desired effect and 400,000 foot soldiers gathered and heard the Levite’s detailed story. They decided that those who did the crime were to be punished (20:1-11). They called on the sons of Benjamin to deliver the men, but instead they defended them and 26,000 of them gathered to battle the rest of the tribes (20:12-16).
After a series of defeats in which Israel lost 40,000 men, they were able to conquer Benjamin when the Lord struck him and 25,100 of them died. They then destroyed all their cities (20:17-48). This only left 600 men of Benjamin alive.
This created a new problem, for they had all sworn not to give their daughters to Benjamin in marriage and the tribe was in danger of being cut off. Their solution to the problem was to destroy the town of Jabesh-gilead because none of them had taken part in the war with Benjamin. They would let only the virgin daughters survive and they would be given to Benjamin as wives. They did this, but there were only 400 instead of 600 (21:1-15). Their next solution was for the remaining Benjaminite men to lie in wait at the feast of the Lord in Shiloh and capture a wife from the daughters of Shiloh when they came out to take part in the dances. That is what they did so that the men Benjamin returned to their inheritance and rebuilt their cities and lived in them (21:16-24).
Israel did well under Joshua, but without a continuing strong national leader, they quickly degenerated. The children were not taught diligently the law of God and instead many were actually married off to the heathen people that were in the land. The result was disobedience to the Lord, idolatry, immorality and anarchy. People do not do well when they “do what is right in their own eyes” because they have a bent to sin. Even those that strive to do good will do evil because of their ignorance and the human ability to justify one’s own sin while condemning the sins of others (see Romans 2).
Man has not changed since that time. The lesson of Judges needs to be applied to our own lives and to our society. For us an individuals we see the absolute necessity of knowing and obeying God’s commandments ourselves. It cannot be doing what is right in our own eyes, it must be doing what is right in God’s eyes. If your are going the direction of God’s curses, then it is time to repent and go the other way. God is merciful and gracious to both forgive and bless if you will repent and follow Him.
For our society, the same is true. Those of us who are a little older and those who study history know that our own society is quickly degenerating because of an improper and perverted emphasis on individual rights and freedoms instead a proper focus on God’s commandments and responsibilities that arise from them. When people do what is right in their own eyes they will lie, cheat, covet, steal, squander, neglect, hate, abuse and exploit if it will get them what they want. They will even murder their unborn children to avoid the inconvenience and murder the elderly and infirm in order to get their property. If you are not diligently teaching your children and others the ways of the Lord, then you are contributing to the degradation of our society. Our nation is in great need of revival, but that means diligent prayer and proclamation of the truth on our part. Complacency only contributes to societal decline. Don’t let yourself be part of the problem, be part of the solution. Know the Lord and follow Him!
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help.
Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many different judges are mentioned. Talk with your parents about what happens when people do what they want instead of what God wants
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What do you think would happen if every person did what is right in their own eyes? What period of time does the book of Judges cover? What is the purpose of the book of Judges? What were the three main reasons for the period of the judges? Why didn’t the sons of Israel utterly destroy the nations God commanded them to destroy? What led them to turn to the idols of the people they had conquered? What were the consequences of their intermarriage with the heathens? Explain briefly the cycle found in the book of Judges? Who was Othniel? where was he from? who did he defeat? and how long did he judge? Who was Ehud? where was he from? who did he defeat? and how long did he judge? How did he kill Eglon? Who was Deborah? Barak? ? where were they from? who did they defeat? and how long did they judge? Why wouldn’t Barak receive the honor? Who was Gideon? where was he from? who did he defeat? and how long did he judge? How did God build up his confidence? Why did God par down his army from 32,000 to 300? How many people did they defeat? Explain the evil of Abimelech and God’s judgement on him? Who was Jephthah? where was he from? who did he defeat? and how long did he judge? Who was Samson? where was he from? who did he defeat? and how long did he judge? What were some of the feats of strength he performed? What is the point of the story of Micah and the Danites? What is the point of the story of Gibeah and the Benjamite civil war? What are the consequences of people doing what is right in their own eyes? How can that be corrected?
Sermon Notes – November 25, 2007
What Happens When Men Do What is Right in Their Own Eyes – Judges
_______________ establish the manner in which people get along with each other in a society
Judges shows the failure of the ____________ because people would not obey the Lord
Causes for the Period of the Judges (1:1-3:6)
_____________ obedience is the first cause of the failure of the theocracy
Instead of utterly destroying them as commanded, several tribes put them to _______________
___________ is the second cause of the failure of the theocracy.
_____________ is the third cause of the failure of the theocracy.
Intermarriage _____________ the incomplete obedience and idolatry.
Cycles of Judges (3:7-16:31)
The cycle of judges went from ___________ to idolatry to oppression to ____________ to deliverance.
Othniel (Judges 3:7-11)
He was from ___________. He defeated Eglon king of ___________. He judged for ___________ years
Ehud (Judges 3:12-30)
He was from _________. He defeated the king of ________________. He judged for ____________ years
Shamgar (Judges 3:31)
It is not known where he was from. He defeated the __________________. He judged for an unknown time
Deborah & Barack (Judges 4)
Deborah was from ___________ . Balak was from _______________. They defeated the ________________ .
________ received the honor instead of Balak There was peace for 40 years
Gideon (Judges 6-8:32)
He was from _____________. He defeated the ________________. He judged for ________ years
The Lord gave him confidence through _________________ including the fleece and dew.
He defeated an army of ______________ with just __________ men
Abimelech (Judges 8:33-9:57)
He was one of ________________ seventy sons. He was a usurper that ______________ his brothers
He caused turmoil and civil war in _______________
Tola (Judges 10:1,2)
He was from ______________ . He judged for ___________ years
Jair (Judges 10:3-5)
He was from ______________. He judged for ___________ years
Jephthah (Judges 10:6-12:7)
He was from ____________. He defeated the _________________. He judged for ___________ years
Ephraim was jealous and fought him and lost resulting in __________ needless deaths
Ibzan (Judges 12:8-10)
He was from ___________. He judged for __________ years
Elon (Judges 12:11-12)
He was from __________. He judged for ____ years
Abdon (Judges 12:13-15)
He was from ___________. He judged for _______ years
Samson (Judges 13-16)
He was from __________ in northern Judah. He defeated the ____________. He judged for _______ years
Samson was dedicated to the Lord as a ___________, but did what was right in his own eyes
Samson’s downfall was his __________ for a woman named Delilah
Consequences of Disobedience (Judges 17-21)
Idolatry: Micah and the Danites (Judges 17-18)
Micah was a ___________ and idolater
The tribe of Dan were guilty of flagrant __________ , coveting, ___________ and threatening murder
The priest was an _____________, idolater
Immorality & Anarchy: Gibeah & the Benjamite Civil War (Judges 19-21)
Benjamin __________ the evil men instead of turning them over for justice
____________ men died as a result of the Benjamite Civil war
Doing what is right in your own eyes results in ______________ to the Lord, idolatry, immorality and _________
God is merciful and gracious to both __________ and bless those who ___________ and follow Him
For comments, please e-mail Church office