Judges

The Israelites now have Canaan. Joshua died, assigning them to do the following – continue serving God, finsih conquering the land and get rid of all the idol-worshipping Canaanites. Instead they live with the Canaanites and more and more of the Israelites began to believe the same things that the Canaanites did. God punished them by sending invaders. Israel suffers for a while, but the people ask God for deliverance. God then sends a leader (a Judge) who saves the people. Idol Worship (2:6-23) – The people of Israel did not pass along the word of God to their kids like they were supposed to. The parents begin to worship the idols, and God becomes enraged. He allows others to raid Israel and steal their crops. When they can't take it anymore, the Israelites turn to God. He answers them by sending them a leader to resue them. As long as that leader is around, things go well. Later on the Israelites become even more sinful. The Battle of Mount Tabor (4:1-24) – A hostile king harrasses the people of Northern Israel for 25 years. The people ask God to help. He sends Deborah a prophet and judge to help. She tells the people to put together an army. The enemy has 900 chariots, built by professionals. Israel's military is untrained and called to defend themselves without chariots and without weapons. They gather at Mount Tabor. Rain pours from the sky which casues the valley to become a huge mud pubble and traps the iron wheels of the chariots. The enemies run from the chariots and for their lives, but none of them make it out. Gideon's Rout (7:1-25) – This cycle continues and the people of Israel return to their sinful ways. At harvesttime each year, God then allows desert raiders on camels to invade Israel as punishment. When the people again ask for God's help, he calls on Gideon who whines, “How can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest one in Manasseh, and everyone else in my family is more important than I am”. Gideon ends up raising an army of 32,000. God then downsizes the forces to only 300. Gideon's men surround the enemy camp with torches hidden inside a clay jar. The tens of thousands of invaders see the jars smashed and the torches rasied and they turn for home and run. Fatal Attraction (16:4-31) – Samson wasn't like the other judges. He was a one man army and he hated the Philistines with a passion for killing his new birde and burning her body. He settles for revenge by burning their crops and slaughtering a thousand of their soldiers by

using nothing but the jawbone of a donkey. His strength was incredible because it was given by God. He had a vow to never cut his hair. When he fell in love with Delilah, the Philistines offered her 30 pounds of silver to find out what could make him weak. After she fails two times, she succeeds. She wove his hair into seven braids and when he fell asleep she clipped his hair. She then calls in the Philistines who were waiting. They rush in, capture him and gouge out his eyes then put him to work at a grinding mill. Samson's hair grew back by the time they were going to parade him around as a a war trophy. Samson prayed for strength again and he breaks two pillars. The roof collapses and that kills at least 3,000 Philistines. Samson dies with them and he is the last of the 12 judges.

Dark Days - The days towards the end of Judges for the Israelites couldn't be any worse. And the book ends with this sad quote, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes”.