Judges 2: 11-23 – The World Behind the Text

This week we are looking deeper at Judges 2: 11-23.  Hebrews 11 tells us these judges like Sampson, Jephthah, Deborah, and others that suffered and did much for God at this time.  Yesterday we talked about the background leading us up to this point, and today I want to look at what is actually happening in the greater context.

We saw yesterday that the people never fully conquered the Promised Land.  We see that as part of the pattern that has led up this point.  Throughout the Exodus, the people would have moments of great faith and obedience and then they would have moments where they would not obey, where they would fall away, where they would depart from what it was that they were supposed to be doing.  

That cycle continues with Joshua as they come into the Promised Land.  They obey God and have some amazing victories like at Jericho and then they disobey and have some terrible defeats like at Ai.  This pattern continues all the way through the book of Joshua until his eventual death.  

Now we enter into the era of Judges. But what is different about this time is now there is no longer a dominant leader like Moses or Joshua.  Now, it becomes more tribe-like.  Now the people do not have a singular person to look to who will point them to God. And their disobedience becomes more and more, their falling away becomes more and more.  And cycles of freedom to sin to slavery to the outcry to a deliverer to freedom become more and more pronounced.  

This passage we are going to look at this week spells this out more in-depth.  This is where the people find themselves in Judges.  And this is why the Judges are heroes of faith, because the lead the people of freedom, often in spite of themselves and the people.  

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