Judges 3

Judges  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Prequel to Saviors that fail: When: Israel was in slavery for 400 years. Then Moses led the Exodus into the desert. His successor, Joshua, let them into the promised land. Now, 100 years after the Exodus and 50 years after the Covenant, will God’s people finish what they started? Will God? The 12 tribes of Israel came from Jacob’s (aka Israel) 12 sons. Judah is the star of the show, mostly. Or is God? The “Judges” didn’t judge in a courtroom. They were “deliverers” or “saviors”. The Canaanites were the people living in the promised land when the 12 tribes of Israel got there. The various “-ites” (like Perizzites) can be thought of as sub-tribes of Canaanites. Last week on Saviors that fail: Following the flesh (with or without a pagan god) makes yourself an enemy of God. God may have pity, but do people really change? This week on Saviors that fail: Remember the heroes who followed God? It’s all downhill from here. As sin gets worse, punishment gets longer. Application →Can we do the right thing the wrong way? Flattery tickles pride. Doing what’s right can be a dirty job sometimes. .... And will someone finally tell Spain about the Light of the world??? Judges 3:7-31 (CSB) Othniel, the First Judge The evil In English, there is a difference between “ugly” and “the ugly”. Adding “the” means something. Here too, even in Hebrew. In Deuteronomy, “the evil” always meant following other gods and doing the terrible things that result. “Evil” is murder/theft/adultery but “the evil” is violating the first commandment. The Israelites did what was evil in the LORD’s sight; they forgot the LORD their God and worshiped the Baals and the Asherahs. 8 The LORD’s anger burned against Israel, and he sold them to King Cushan-rishathaim of Aramnaharaim, and the Israelites served him eight years. 7 The Israelites cried out to the LORD. So the LORD raised up Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s youngest brother, as a deliverer to save the Israelites. 10 The Spirit of the LORD came on him, and he judged Israel. Othniel went out to battle, and the LORD handed over King Cushanrishathaim of Aram to him, so that Othniel overpowered him. 11 Then the land had peace for forty years, and Othniel son of Kenaz died. 9 The Good Old Days The first of the judges (saviors) was part Canaanite. But he was nephew to one of the great heroes, Caleb. King Cushan was the most powerful king in Judges. He was ruler of an empire in the way we think of empire. Seriously, from Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Israel, he ruled. The stories of the Judges begins with the Lord helping a hero against the big enemy. Will it ever happen again? Ehud Young bull or fatted calf? “Eglon” means young bull, perhaps a name The Israelites he gave himself. But the author shows us again did what was irony here. “Ehud” means “Where’s the glory?” perhaps a cry of his parents. evil in the LORD’s Parents play crucial roles in this book. sight. He gave King Eglon of Moab power over Israel, because they had done what was evil in the LORD’s sight. 13 After Eglon convinced the Ammonites and the Amalekites to join forces with him, he attacked and defeated Israel and took possession of the City of Palms. 14 The Israelites served King Eglon of Moab eighteen years. 12 Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he raised up Ehud son of Gera, a lefthanded Benjaminite, as a deliverer for them. The Israelites sent him with the tribute for King Eglon of Moab. 15 I Demand Tribute Ehud made The “tribute” is the same word as the grain himself a offering in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Eglon was taking what Israel owed to God. double-edged sword eighteen inches long. He strapped it to his right thigh under his clothes 17 and brought the tribute to King Eglon of Moab, who was an extremely fat man. 18 When Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had carried it. 19 At the carved images near Gilgal he returned and said, “King Eglon, I have a secret message for you.” The king said, “Silence!” and 16 all his attendants left him. 20 Then Ehud approached him while he was sitting alone in his upstairs room where it was cool. Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you,” and the king stood up from his throne. 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and plunged it into Eglon’s belly. 22 Even the handle went in after the blade, and Eglon’s fat closed in over it, so that Ehud did not withdraw the sword from his belly. And the waste came out. 23 Ehud escaped by way of the porch, closing and locking the doors of the upstairs room behind him. Ehud was gone when Eglon’s servants came in. They looked and found the doors of the upstairs room locked and thought he was relieving himself in the cool room. 25 The servants waited until they became embarrassed and saw that he had still not opened the doors of the upstairs room. So they took the key and opened the doors—and there was their lord lying dead on the floor! 24 Shofar so good Ehud escaped while the servants waited. He passed Did Ehud do the right thing? the Jordan near the carved Why is fat such a big deal? images and reached Seirah. 27 After he arrived, he sounded the ram’s horn throughout the hill country of Ephraim. The Israelites came down with him from the hill country, and he became their leader. 28 He told them, “Follow me, because the LORD has handed over your enemies, the Moabites, to you.” So they followed him, captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross over.29 At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all Who’s Missing? stout and able-bodied God is referenced twice in the men. Not one of them Ehud story, but no direct action is escaped. 30 Moab attributed to him after raising became subject to Ehud up. Of course, God let the Israel that day, and the Israelite take back the land, which rested 2 generations instead of 1. land had peace for But was he happy? eighty years. 26 Shamgar After Ehud, Shamgar son of Anath became judge. He also delivered 31 How embarrassing! If Othniel was part Canaanite, “Shamgar” definitely is. The 4 hard consonant root isn’t a Hebrew name. “Anath” is a Canaanite god, used as a personal name. Does the author omit certain details because a foreigner is the hero? Did he just not know the details, because a foreigner is the hero? How should Christians feel when outsiders do the right thing instead of us? Israel, striking down six hundred Philistines with a cattle prod.
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