Judges: What you need to know to get started…

Today we start in the book of Judges. For you to have some kind of an idea as to where we are in the history of the Bible I want to give you some background today that will help you have some kind of and idea as to what you are reading when you start diving into this book of the Bible with us.

A very quick history of Israel to get us to Judges…
God had chosen Israel to be the nation that He would use to bring salvation to the world. He did this by calling out Abraham to be the Father of this nation. Abraham was a father to Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob who was also known as Israel. Jacob/Israel had 12 sons. One of these sons was Joseph, who God used to save his large family along with the rest of the world through Egypt. Eventually, a pharoah came into power that didn’t know or care about Joseph and his now large as a nation family. This pharaoh made the children of Israel slaves. Eventually God raised up Moses to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt into the land that God had promised to them, Canaan. They wandered the wilderness between Egypt and Canaan for 4o years because when they had gotten to the promised land they didn’t believe that God would really allow them to be protected and defeat the people that lived in their land. Because of this, God made them wander. Eventually Joshua took over, and lead them into the promised land. God commanded them to conquer the land and drive every inhabitant out of Canaan. Eventually, Joshua died as they were supposed to continue to conquer the land. And that’s where we are when we start the book of Judges.

As we look at the book of Judges there will be a pattern that you see over and over again:

1) Israel’s departure from God;

2) God’s chastisement in permitting military defeat and subjugation;

3) Israel’s prayer pleading for deliverance; and

4) God raising up “judges,” either civil or sometimes local military champions who led in shaking off the oppressors.

As we start this study this week, let’s think about this question:  Do you think this pattern happens in our own lives?

How so?

Don’t be the chaff!

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Psalm 1:4-6)

Unlike the man who finds his joy in God’s Word, the person who does not love and follow God’s commands is destined for judgment and destruction.

Why do you think that the verses are true? How does ungodliness lead to destruction?

Be the tree!

Devotion for April 19, 2012

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:2, 3)

Here are some cool questions to help you think about this passage:
Do you think that the tree by the river is a good comparison for someone who knows and loves the Bible? How do they compare?

What do you think it means to “bring forth his fruit in his season”?

What do you think it means that “his leaf also shall not wither”?

How can you apply these verses to your life?

Sit, Walk, Stand

Devotion for Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Psalm 1:1-3

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

These are some of my favorite verses in the Bible! Check them out with me…

“Blessed is the man…” – man here can be person in its application. It’s not just talking to men. Wanna be blessed? Then you need to keep reading!

“that walketh not…nor standeth…nor sitteth…”- The psalmist uses 3 descriptive postures. These are almost like 3 parts of relationship.

Imagine walking in the mall or at school and seeing a group of people. You’re walking by and what they are doing and saying interests you. What do you do? You go over and stand with them. You meet them and begin a relationship. Eventually you get so engrossed in conversation that you sit down with them and maybe have something to eat or drink. The opportunity for relationship intinsifies.

The location of all these things is “the counsel”, “the way”, and “the seat”. The Bible isn’t telling us to not know or be nice to people who are ungodly, or sinners, or those who are scornful. What it does tell us is not to allow these to become an authority in your life or to allow them to influence the way you live. This starts with walking, leads to standing, and ends up with sitting.

The Bible here tells us that if we want to be blessed, that we don’t go through this proces with the ungodly, sinners, and scornful people.

So if you want to be blessed you walk, stand, and sit with people who are godly, holy (everyone are sinners, but God is growing and sanctifying people), and are encouragers, and you become one of those people yourself! How do you do that?

The Bible goes on to say- The blessed man….”his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

The way to walk, stand, and sit with the Lord is to read what He has written to us, and to talk to him in prayer! When we begin to “delight” or take joy in God’s Word we begin to be blessed by God!