A while back I wrote this paraphrase of Romans 1-8 (meant for people with little to no Bible background). Please pass to others who want to understand Christianity but find it difficult to read the Bible:
Here is my chapter-by-chapter summary of Judges (as well as a final summary and points to obey).
Judges by chapter:
- victory for tribes that worked together, not as much for others
- 1:24-26 – gives new meaning to a person of peace
- Israel rebelled –> God withdrew their success; Israel cried out –> God raised up a judge to deliver
- After Israel rebelled and called out to God, He raised up Caleb’s nephew (Othniel). Rinse and repeat with Ehud of Benjamin.
- Deborah-Barak-Jael defeat Israel’s oppressor.
- Deborah-Barak sing over their victory
- Gideon begins as God’s leader
- 6:25-27 – it is clear that “honoring your father” does not mean doing everything he wants and likes, but honoring God the Father ahead of earthly father where they are in conflict
- Gideon defeats Midian with 300 people by God
- Gideon completely defeats the enemies, but falls into idolatrous practices. Israel has rest for 40 years.
- Abimelech (son of Gideon) takes control of Shechem; but the infighting was great and he was killed.
- Aside: is 9:2 the precursor to the pastor?
- Israel again rebels; Gilead is ruled by foreigners and the rest of Israel is heading that direction.
- Jephthah delivers Gilead from Ammonite oppression. Daughter is sacrificed in a hasty vow.
- Aside: Here again we see the incredibly high value Israel holds toward vows. We can argue the ethics of this particular vow, but the point remains that when they pledged to do something they saw it as sin not to do it (even at great cost). I think this should challenge us.
- Jephthah’s rule is challenged, but he perseveres. Other judges also rise up (notably, they often seem to be marked by large families).
- Aside: I think it’s profound that those perceived best leaders tend to have large families – maybe we should take heed to that as we think about building up spiritual families; those who truly build up others who build up others with character and integrity (starting with their own households) are the best suited to lead the church.
- Samson supernaturally born a nazarite and promised deliverer.
- God used Samsons infatuation with a Philistine woman to bring a small blow to the Philistines.
- Samson increasingly terrorizes the Philistines: kills 30, inflames 300 foxes, kills 1000: becomes Israel’s judge 20 years.
- Samson’s lust brought his capture; but self-sacrificial death was his greatest blow to Philistines. He judges Israel 20 years.
- Micah, his family, and the traveling Levite all serve God contrary to His protocol.
- the compromise spreads to Dan (who take Micahs idolatry by force)
- 18:19-20 – scary when considering “church growth”…we’d love to see ourselves multiplied but need to caution against multiplying idolatry in our hearts
- A Levite’s concubine is raped (leading to death) by Benjamites as they were heading home. –so many horrific things here – wow
- Israel defeats Benjamin in difficult battle (by working together).
- Aside: struck by parallels to this story and Sodom/Gomorrah – even the smoke burning toward heaven is the same.
- Israel helps remnant of Benjamin acquire wives to rebuild their tribe.
Summary of Judges
“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” (21:25). Further: God showed mercy in raising up some judges as the people repented.
For Brian to Obey
- Set holiness to the Lord as higher priority than “ministry/output”
- Come “like Jael” when confronting the world – a soft approach that brings in heavy life-changing truth
Here is my chapter-by-chapter of Joshua (as well as a summary and obedience piece at the end).
Joshua by Chapter:
- God instructs Joshua: success depends on learning and following my Scripture.
- Personal challenge: I’d prefer to rest and relax more in this life, but the mighty men from the 2.5 tribes needed to help their brothers find rest BEFORE they could rest. God is showing me the same: He showed me rest in Him earlier, so now I need to be spent in this life helping others find rest. Then we can rest forever with Christ in heaven.
- Rahab, because she received and guarded Gods messengers and message, found salvation for her and her family. Namely, by staying inside the scarlet-covered dwelling during the time of Gods judgment.
- Gods presence led the way for Israel against Jericho. Like Moses, Joshua led them through the waters by Gods miracle. For us: don’t be hasty in following the Lord, but wait on Him to make sure we correctly assess what He is doing/saying (especially in new territory).
- 12 stones taken from the Jordan and set up in Gilgal as a memorial.
- Israel’s new beginning: circumcised, new food source, Angel of God appears
- Israel, by God-Joshua’s leadership, destroyed Jericho, but spared Rahab and her family.
- Israel suffers loss because of Achan’s hidden greed. I’m struck that it continually says “Israel sinned” though it was only 1 man. It shows that if 1 member of the Christ suffers, we all do. I also like that Joshua tells Achan to praise and worship God by (implied) telling the truth. We have cheapened worship to only being about singing some songs, instead of a life devoted to God (including our tongues).
- A purified Israel now defeats Ai through ambush; continue obeying Moses’ commands.
- Nearby Gibeonites deceive Israel into hasty covenant they are bound to under God. New insight for me: perhaps their ego contributed to the deceit (they believed they were so famous that far away nations wanted to covenant with them out of fear)
- God gave Israel miraculous success over southern portion of Canaan
- God gave Israel miraculous success over northern bulk of Canaan
- Summary of Israel’s victories while Moses-Joshua led
- Moses divided land East of Jordan to 2.5 tribes
- Caleb inherits Hebron where giants dwelt.
- Judah receives their territory
- Joseph’s sons get their land. I’m continually struck that they had to fight for their territory. Caleb welcomes the challenge, but Manasseh not so much. To the degree they took it easy, they inherited that much less land. No one got a free ride.
- See #16
- the last 7 divide the land, Benjamin starts
- 18:8-10 – my grandma used a similar strategy: 1 of us would cut up the candy bar, the other brother would choose which part they want. The point being, we make more fair portions if we know others might receive the portion we create (:
- 18:28 – Was Jerusalem in territory of Benjamin or Judah?
- Six remaining tribes received land; Joshua received land.
- Six cities of refuge appointed.
- Levites received their shared land. Then God saw that it was good and rested / gave them rest.
- 2.5 tribes return home; make provisions for future generations to serve God
- Joshua’s benediction: obey and honor God/His word and God will continue to give
- Joshua appeals to leaders to follow God; writes his additions to the Law; dies.you success. Disobey and God will fight against you.
God through Joshua leads Israel to overtake, divide, and settle in Canaan.
Don’t rest until I help secure rest for my brothers.
I recently was reading and meditating on the book of Isaiah. I decided to write a 1 sentence (or so) summary of each chapter to help me think through the book (by the way, I highly recommend this for those who want to better understand what you are reading).
Additionally, I wrote a summary and how I can obey this (also recommended).
So I thought others might be interested in this as well. Here you go:
Isaiah by chapter:
- Israel must be refined
- though eventually Israel will be exalted, first a great humbling is coming
- humbling of Judah is expounded
- after God seems to reject Israel, then he will show special favor to the remnant
- Israel is like God’s vineyard, but keeps giving him bad fruit. God will judge all of Israel, and leave only a remnant. He will do this through other nations.
- Isaiah is commissioned by God. His message is judgment until only the remnant remains.
- Northern kingdom will be destroyed within 65 years… Before the virgin son is of age
- ch 7 in more detail
- the afflicted will see deliverance through Messiah, starting with the origin of the evil: Galilee / Northern Israel.
- God will use Assyria to punish Israel, then He will punish Assyria for their arrogance and idolatry. Remnant in Israel will remain.
- Messiah will restore Israels remnant
- Israel will praise God for his deliverance. Shares language with Ex 15…just as 11 refers to Red Sea crossing as metaphor for this new deliverance to come.
- The deliverance of Israel will happen by Medes destroying Babylon
- Babylon, Assyria, Philistia will be judged by God and destroyed later
- Moab to be destroyed/judged
- More details on Moab’s destruction / Israel to provide refuge for remnant of Moab
- Syria will be judged / destroyed
- Cush will be conquered. Some of Cush will migrate to Israel.
- Egypt judged, though it will result in some turning to God
- Egypt taken captive by Assyria (for 3 years, I believe)
- Babylon and surrounding territories will fall
- Jerusalem will be judged; chief steward replaced
- Tyre judged (by Babylon?)
- Perhaps a summary of all the lands prophesied for judgment; the earth will be thoroughly and horribly judged
- God will protect and elevate His remnant.
- God will be a refuge for His remnant, while He destroyed the surrounding oppressors
- God to purge then restore Israel.
- God to thoroughly (but not permanently) judge Israel, because of their self-serving ways.
- Jerusalem’s judgment will be deserved and bad, but only temporary. Afterward, it will be restored for the oppressed remnant.
- Because Israel trusted in Egypt over God, they will have thorough judgment, yet God will also give glorious restoration to them after.
- Look to God, not Egypt, for help.
- A righteous ruler is needed to restore. God will judge Israel (to overturn false securities and oppressors), then restore.
- After some hostility nations show toward Jerusalem, God will be aroused and will reestablish Judah and destroy the enemies.
- God will avenge Israel against her enemies: Edom specifically here.
- Israel will be beautifully restored.
- Assyria’s general warns Judah and their generals that Assyria will overpower them.
- Hezekiah looked to God, Assyrian king looked to self: Assyrian king defeated.
- Hezekiah looked to God in illness: restored.
- Hezekiah showed off treasury to Babylon: Babylon will later take them to their land. Warning for us: don’t be too quick to reveal and share things, even if the other gives kind gesture.
- God will bless Israel after their judgment. He and His word alone stand the test of time.
- No one is all-powerful and all-knowing except God.
- God will give a new grace to Israel. Though they were blind, they will now see and lead others out of blindness.
- Israel deserves to be punished but will actually be redeemed for Gods glory
- God alone–for His glory and purposes alone–will reinstate Judah and the temple.
- God is over all world affairs. He causes godless rulers (like Cyrus) to work out His purposes, largely for His people.
- The God of Israel, not Babylon, is the one true God – He will triumph over Babylon for His glory in His people.
- Babylon surprised by and unprepared for coming disaster
- Israel to be delivered from Babylon. Not because they deserve it, but for Gods sake alone.
- God’s servant (temporally Isaiah, but ultimately Christ) calls Israel back from exile – God will accomplish this.
- Israel is wrong. God’s servant speaks truthfully.
- Israel persists in rebellion and fears man over God. Nevertheless, God will still protect and deliver them.
- Get ready…God will restore Israel. Messiah will be exalted.
- Messiah will unjustly suffer to atone for Israel and restore them.
- Israel made righteous by Messiahs death: Gods favor and life now on them instead of wrath and death.
- Gods word will be the ultimate decree: Israel will be restored.
- God also welcomes foreigners (Gentiles) to join Israel through Messiah alone.
- unrighteousness will cease to flourish in Israel due to Gods goodness.
- God wants heart obedience over outward “devotion”
- Though Israel is wicked, God will avenge them.
- God will make Israel glorious to and through the nations.
- God’s Messiah brings message of blessing where there was judgment: to Israel amidst the nations.
- God will–through prayer–redeem and beautify Israel again.
- God alone is worthy – only He can redeem/change Israel.
- Isaiah prays according to truth of ch. 63
- God will glorify the faithful remnant of His people
- God will give great glory to the worldwide remnant who humbly follows Him from the heart (not merely by outward religious actions), but will terribly judge the rest.
Summary of Isaiah
No one can stand against God. All are guilty and will be judged as such. However God will use Messiah to magnificently glorify a remnant of people that seek Him/Messiah from the heart.
For Brian to Obey
- Place no trust in my “religious” actions, but all trust in Christ.