The age after Joshua
Joshua lead the people of Israel into the Promised land, conquered it, and divided it up among the tribes. Israel was one people, but they did not have a king or a ruler. God had commanded them to drive out all other people living there, but the fact was there were still many other people living in cities around the land of Canaan. This lead to problems.
The other people worshipped Gods other than the one worshipped by Israel, and even had traditions of sacrificing humans. The influence of these people would pull Israel away from God. When Israel fell away from God, they lost the blessing and protection of God, and they were ruled by other countries.
The “Judges” who saved Israel
That is where the “Judges” appear. This word means “One who rules” or “One who judges”. When Israel is in a bad shape, God would appoint a Judge, and he/she would lead, save, and protect Israel. There are 12 judges that appear in the Book of Judges. There are some famous ones, so you may have heard of them.
Israel would be taken over by other countries time after time, and each time a Judge would rise up to save the day. After that several years of peace will prevail. However, as we read on in the book, we see that the situation gets worse and worse, and even the judges appointed are not very good people.
The spiral downward
Reading about what the Judges do is very exciting, but at the same time we see Israel spiraling downward. Towards the end of the Book of Judges, we see a horrible incident happen, which leads to a civil war were one of the tribes is almost completely eliminated.
The Book of Judges illustrates what happens when we take our eyes off of God, and the problems that ensue. It also illustrates God’s salvation from our difficulties. Whatever difficulty we face, God will send help. Also, even if we are not perfect, God can use us to help someone.
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