“And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers…And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel…so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies…Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.” (portions of Judges 2:11-16).
Who were these judges, what kind of men and women were they, what lessons can we learn from them? These are questions we hope to probe through the four parts of “Here Come the Judges.”
Othniel: Power in the Spirit of the Lord
His name means powerful one. Being Caleb’s nephew, I wonder how many retellings of the miracles of the Lord as He delivered the fledgling nation from Egypt he heard; of the wanderings, and the conquests of mightier nations? He had proven himself courageous in the taking of Debir. Then we meet him as one of four judges identified with the phrase, “And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel.” Judges 3:10.
“And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them…Ezek. 36:27; Even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you…John 14:17; But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
As God empowered Othniel for the work of the Lord, so has He empowered us.
Ehud: Walking in Wisdom
His name means strong. Raised up by the Lord to deliver Israel from Eglon the king of Moab, this left-handed man showed strength and cunning in dealing with his enemy. After killing the king through a subversive plan (read the account in Judges 3:12-30), he mustered Israel and lead them to victory.
“And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the Lord hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand…And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.”
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves…Matt. 10:16; And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice…John 10:4; Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom…But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:13,17.
Walk in wisdom, redeeming the time. Follow the One who gives you wisdom liberally to face the enemies of your soul, the enemies of His kingdom.
Shamgar: Known By God
Little is known of this judge, not even the meaning of his name. He must have been a man of courage to kill six hundred Philistines with an ox goad… “and he also delivered Israel.” Judges 3:31. Not a lot said, but his work does not go unnoticed.
You may feel insignificant in the kingdom of God but remember this; God the Son knows you and has a record of your name.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me…John 10:27; …rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven…Luke 10;20b; How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” Psalm 139:17,18.
Believer, you are known of God and can walk in wisdom for the Holy Spirit dwells within you. You don’t have to be caught in the cycle of sin found throughout Judges.
Which of these judges do you identify with? Which judge are you wanting to hear about?