The Cycle of the Judges
The period of time during the book of Judges is called the time after the conquest. During the time of Joshua the nation of Israel had remained for the most part faithful to God.
They were told to utterly destroy the nations from the land. They did not always do that. They did not drive them completely out of the land and failed to destroy the heathen nations as they were commanded.
" And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land. And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that he did for Israel." - Judges 2:3,4
Yet, they angered God by their failure to do what all He had commanded. Thus, the Lord did not drive out all of their enemy, so that they would become a snare, to test them.
And in Judges we see what happened as a result of their failure to do all that God commanded them. And, the end result shows us just how far they fell into sin.
- Judges 21:25 - Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
The Cycle of the Judges
- Sin - Israel chooses idolatry
- Servitude - Israel is enslaved or made to suffer
- Sorrow - They sorrow, begin to cry out to the Lord, and offer supplication.
- Salvation - They were sent a judge restored to repentance, and a time of rest and peace would follow.
Israel's Fall into SIN During the Judges
• Judges 2:1-3
God made a Covenant with Israel that He Would Never Break
• Genesis 17:7-9
A Covenant Which He Fulfilled
• Joshua 21:43
God fulfilled the promise that he would lead them into the promised land. The land covenant which He had made with Abraham was fully fulfilled.
God had Warned of the Danger of Influence
• Deuteronomy 7:1-4
Why did they sin?
• Judges 2:10-13
-- They knew not God.
-- The 2nd Generation failed to develop their parent’s faith.
The Irony of the Situation
- The nation had followed God out of bondage into freedom.
- Then next generation left Him, returned to idolatry, the worship of Baalim, and they were returned to bondage.
Israel's Fall into SERVITUDE During the Judges
• Judges 2:14,15
God had warned them what would happen if they broke His covenant.
• Deuteronomy 4:15-31, The Lord is a consuming fire.
God is hot in his anger toward the nation of Israel.
• Psalm 79:5, He is a jealous God.
- Delivered and sold them into the hand of their enemy.
- The hand of the lord was against them for evil.
- Opposite of Romans 8:28
- Evil = harm, calamity
Israel's Cry of SORROW & SUPPLICATION During the Judges
• Judges 2:18
God had promised that if they repented He would deliver them.
• Deuteronomy 30:2-3
In their sorrow they had but one place to God and that was God.
The oppression would bring them to their knees.
- Physically, the nation would be humbled by the oppression.
- But more importantly, it would bring them to their knees spiritually.
Israel is brought into SALVATION during the Judges
• Judges 2:16,18
God had promised if they would turn back to Him, He would bless them.
• Deuteronomy 30:8,9
God raised up judges.
- Judge = vindicator, deliverer,
- Judges were raised by a special appointment of the lord, to deliver Israel from, and avenge them of, their adversaries.
A period of peace would last as long as they remained faithful.
- As long as the judge lived
- After the judge died, the people would begin to stray.
The Cycle Repeated
• Judges 2:19
The Sad Reality
- Psalm 9:17, A generation grew up not knowing God.
They refused to follow God’s commandments
- Proverbs 14:34
- Psalm 33:12
They Cycle bean in the days of Othniel
- Sin 3:7
- Servitude 3:8
- Sorrow 3:9
- Supplication 3:9-10
- Peace 3:11
For over 400 years the cycle repeats, over and over, again and again.
Lessons Learned from the Judges
God Means What He Says
- Deuteronomy 31:16-17
We are never more than one generation from apostasy.
- Deuteronomy 6:4-6
- Ecclesiastes 12:1
We are to teach the next generation. We are to instill a love of God in their hearts
If we forsake God, His hand will be turned against us.
- Matthew 12:30
When we forsake God, we become slaves to sin.
- John 8:34
Godly sorrow leads to repentance.
- 2 Corinthians 7:10
Only when we are humbled will He have mercy.
We learn that God is willing to forgive
- Isaiah 1:18
God will forgive us if we turn back to Him.
All the judges who redeemed Israel were just a foretaste of the redemption that would come through Jesus!
- Romans 5:8-11
That great judge has come to deliver us from the oppression of sin, that is the great Judge Jesus Christ.
The cycle of the judges is something we do not have to live with in our life. But, don't we repeat the cycle? You don't have to remain caught up in the cycle of sin, servitude, sorrow and salvation. You can break the cycle of sin with Jesus Christ.
If you are struggling with sin, you've been freed from the bondage but like Israel you've gone back into the bondage of sin, you can repent and pray for forgiveness. If you are a Christian, but struggling with sin, you can confess your sins and He will forgive you.
If you are still in bondage to sin, having never been freed from bondage, like Israel was in bondage to Israel. . Jesus died for you to deliver you from that bondage, if you've never become a Christian you can be made free through belief in Jesus as the Son of God, repentance of your sin, and confession of His name. You can be baptized to wash away your sin, and have that rest and peace that comes from the salvation of the Lord.