“IN-PERSON SUNDAY: April 21 @ 10:30 a.m.”

Next Service: Sunday, April 21

Join us at 10:30 a.m.

Click here for bulletin.

Introduction to Judges

Monday, July 22, 2013 Posted by Shiowei
Introduction to Judges

As we get ready for Calvary Unplugged to start, we get ready for our series “The Men of Judges.” Judges is one of the lesser studied books in the Church, so here’s a brief introduction. For more info about Judges and some commentaries, click here.

The book of Judges is the seventh book in the Old Testament. The book is set after the wandering in the wilderness and the Conquest of the promised land, which means it comes after the people leave Egypt through the parting of the Red Sea, wander around for a long time, claim some land they believe is theirs and start to get settled. It takes place somewhere between 1380 and 1050 BCE, although it was not written down until much later- around the 6th century CE.

Since the people have settled into the land, you’ll see (on the map) that they divided it up based on the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 sons of Jacob. Each tribe took a particular piece of land and over time these Judges started popping up and ruling the tribes. Often, there were many judges ruling individual tribes at the same time so some of our stories over the course of the summer might overlap. At no time, were the judges ruling over all of the 12 tribes.

So, who were the judges? The people believed that the judges were divinely inspired leaders who had a direct line to God. They were supposed to be wise and moral leaders. Important note: most of these groups portrayed as oppressive are the same people the 12 tribes took land away from and claimed as their own.

The refrain that flows through the entire book is the same: “the people are unfaithful to God, but then God delivers them from the hands of their enemies, the people repent and ask God for mercy, God sends them a deliverer in the form of a judge and the judge delivers the Israelites from oppression and they prosper, but then they fall into unfaithfulness again.” What a story!

As time stretched on, the people in all the tribes were complaining because they didn’t have a king like other countries around them. Because a king will solve all their problems, right? We infer that the time of Judges is about to be over and a king will be coming soon.

There are six judges who are named throughout the book and we’ll take a look at some of them and some of their companions along the way. The six judges are: Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah and Samson. Over the next six weeks, we’ll look deeper at the stories of: Gideon, Samson, Barack, Jephthah, Sisera and the Benjaminite Bachelors. There is no shortage of violence, sex and drama in Judges and we’ll leave that to our storytellers to share with us. For more info about our series, click here.