Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 28 - Judges 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Judges 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • The book of Judges continues the story of the Israelites entering and taking control of the land (Canaan) God promised to their ancestors.  
  • During this time, the Israelites had no king.  Instead, God raised up a series of leaders, called "judges."  They would call God's people back to the one true God and help them overcome their oppressors.  They oversaw both religious and military affairs.
  • As you read through Judges, you'll notice whenever a judge died, the people would return to their sinful ways.  In spite of their sin, God showed them love and mercy and delivered them from their enemies.
  • God had commanded the Israelites to drive out the Canaanites from the promised land.  In chapter one, we read of the Israelites fighting the remaining Canaanites but they failed to fully obey God's command and drive them out of the land.  Instead, they enslaved them.  

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Why did God order the Israelites to drive the Canaanites from the land?  At first this command seems cruel.  However, God was punishing the Canaanites for their wickedness and sin.  God wasn't playing favorites, as the Israelites had experienced and would experience more punishment for turning their back on God.  God uses punishment to help bring people to a point of repentance.  All people - Canaanites and Israelites - are eligible for God's forgiveness if they'll turn back to Him.  
  • Compromise deteriorates our relationship with God.  For whatever reason, the Israelites failed to obey God by completely driving out the Canaanites from the land.  They thought they could work with and live amongst the Canaanites without it affecting their relationship with God.  As we'll read in later chapters this led to disaster.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • When we fail to obey God it impacts our relationship with God.  Often we know what to do, we just don't follow through.  Is there a sin in your life that you know is wrong but you continue to rationalize?  God can see through the act.  What can you do today to turn away from that sin and live in complete surrender and obedience to God?