About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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Chapter 10

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Tola  - Jair (ch. 10:1 - 5)


In the first 5 verses of chapter 10 we see two more judges.  Why so little is said about them, we don't know.  


One thing we must remember is that some of the judges were regional judges and some were national judges.  These judges were national judges.  Verse 1 and 3 tells us that these men both "saved" and "led" Israel.  That leads us to believe that these men were national judges.  That being said, if you study Judges carefully I believe you will see that even though the word "Israel" is used in terms of a national leader, sometimes the word "Israel" should be understood in terms of a regional leader.    


Jephthah  (ch. 10:6 18)


From verses 6 through 10 we see the cycle of Israel again, as we've seen throughout the book of Judges.  Israel repents.  God blesses them.  She turns from Him.  God judges them.  Israel repents again.


We need to know that Israel in their minds did not forsake the Lord.  They simply added the worship of other God's to the worship of Yahweh.  In the mind of God, this was forsaking Him.  He views this as spiritual adultery.  Christians, as well as parts of the church today are committing this same spiritual adultery by adopting pagan and secular practices.  We should expect that God views us in the same light as He viewed Israel back in the days of the judges.


If you are married, consider your own marriage.  Unless you are a so-called liberated person, if your spouse has an affair, or a sexual partner on the side, you'd consider that adultery, even though he or she might think differently.     


As God has done before, because of Israel's spiritual adultery, he allowed their enemies to take them over.  The Ammonites took the east part of Israel over while the Philistines took the western part of Israel over.


Note in verse 8 the words "shattered and crushed".  This was how severe things got.  Many Bible teachers say that this time of trouble that the Lord inflicted on Israel was the worst to date.  It seems that each time of judgment gets worse than the last time of judgment.


In verse 10 Israel cries out in repentance to the Lord because of their distress.  In verses 11 through 14 God reminds them about how he has saved them before.  He goes back right to the days of Egypt.  He also reminds the people that they have repented before but have still worshipped other gods.  This time He would not save Israel.  He let them stew in their own misery.


God says, "let them (the other gods) save you".  This is what should be preached among Evangelicals today.  If we want to unite with Islam and other religions, we should ask ourselves, "can these other gods save us"?  It's not a matter of unity.  It's a matter of truth.  It's a matter of "who saves us".  


We see Israel's response in verse 15.  She says, "do whatever you think is best, but just save us".   This request is a bit ironic.  I'm sure God was doing what was best by not saving them.  I guess Israel was simply saying, "go ahead and punish us, but not by the oppression you've put us under".  What was best for Israel was more misery.  This is how Israel will eventually fall to her knees in repentance at the end of this age in what is called "Jacob's Trouble", or, "The Great Tribulation". 


We see that in verse 16 that Israel did put feet to their repentance.  If someone really does repent, there will be some kind of visible action that shows this repentance to be real.  As John the Baptist said, "show fruits of repentance".


Verses 17 and 18 begins the battle with the Ammonites.


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