Life of Gideon

Life of Gideon

The Cycle of Sin of Israel

Hebrews 11:32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets:

Moses, the man God chose, lead the children of Israel out of bondage in the land of Egypt. God met with Moses on Mt. Sinai and gave him the Ten Commandments and the Book of the Covenant. Moses set up order within the twelve tribes and led them through the desert for forty years. Moses is dead.

Joshua, the man God chose, led the children of Israel into the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. He was the warrior chief who led the conquest of the cities and towns. Joshua is dead.

The Elders that ruled after the death of Joshua are dead.

Between the Elders and Saul, the first king over Israel, were the Judges. God appointed ‘judges’ to rule the children of Israel. These judges were selected by God and carried out His commands.

ESV Study Bible says:

Judges is named after an interesting collection of individuals who led Israel after Joshua’s death until the rise of the monarchy under Samuel (up to about 1050 b.c.). In this time of national decline, despite their promise to keep the covenant (Josh. 24:16–18) the people turned from the Lord and began to worship other gods. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (17:6; 21:25). A pattern repeats throughout the book:

  • The people abandoned the Lord;
  • God punished them by raising up a foreign power to oppress them;
  • The people cried out to God for deliverance; and
  • God raised up a deliverer, or judge, for them.

The author of the book is unknown, although some Jewish tradition ascribes it to Samuel.[1]

Judges covers a period of three hundred years. Beginning at the death of Joshua in 1367 B.C. until the time of Samuel (c. 1064–1044 B.C.).

After the death of Joshua, the Lord raised up Othniel:

Judges 3:7-9 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth. 8 Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. 9 But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.

Othniel ruled, and the land had rest for forty years, and Othniel died (Judges 3:11).

After the death of Othniel

Judges 3:12-14  And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of the city of palms. 14 And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

The Lord raised up Ehud.

The land had rest for 80 years (Judges 3:30)

Next came Shamgar, and he ruled for ten years. We don’t hear anything about his rule.

Judges 4:1-4 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. 2 And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. 3 Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.” 4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

Deborah delivered the children of Israel and they had rest for forty years.

After the death of each judge, the people of Israel “did evil in the site of the LORD.” This cycle was up and down. The children of Israel have peace, they sin, they cry out to God, God delivers them, they have peace, they sin, and so on. The cycle does not break and that is where we find our “Mighty Man of Valor.”

After the death of Deborah, we find the cycle begins again. They have forty years of peace.

In Judges 6:1 we find;

“The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years.” (Judges 6:1)

This is the life and times of the children of Israel, and the condition we find at the beginning of our Bible study. The Children of Israel are continuing the cycle and are now under the thumb of the Midianites and other nomadic tribes.

This is where God performs an amazing miracle. As you read and study this book, please immerse yourself in the land and time. Try to appreciate the predicament that they have put themselves in and then as Moses told the children of Israel,

“Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

My prayer is that you gain strength in knowing that God loves you and no matter the circumstances and in your walk. He was present in the time of the Judges, and the LORD is always present in the time of need.

Romans 8:16-18 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

This is the cycle of the Children of Israel. Unfortunately, this cycle can be applied to believers today just as easily.

Beware the cycle.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Jdg.

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