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