Read Judges 1

Highlights:

Judah chosen to lead the wars against the Canaanites; angel rebukes Israel; death of Joshua; Israel’s apostasy; their failure to drive out the Canaanites.

And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah (Judge. 1:17).

The Israelites were chosen by the One True God to reveal Him to the heathen nations and to glorify Him by being obedient to His Word. The first few verses of Judges give us a sense of high hope for the total conquest of the land as begun by Joshua. One by one, Canaanite cities fell to the Israelites – then the Philistine cities (1:10-11,13,17-18). And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that He did for Israel (2:7).

The Israelites who were living at the time of Joshua’s death recognized that God was their Captain and King and that He had given them victory over the Canaanites. But a new era in the history of the 12 tribes began soon after the death of Joshua.

The Lord’s command to complete the conquest of Canaan was not fulfilled because of the people’s compromise with the pagan inhabitants of the land. It is disappointing to read: There arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim. And they forsook the Lord. . . . And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and He said, Because that this people hath transgressed My Covenant . . . I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: That through them I may prove (test) Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord (2:10-22).

Each generation of believers has the responsibility to pass on the love of the Lord and His Word to their children. This problem isn't something new or strange. It is a pattern that has continued down through history. The truth is that children don't just automatically follow the Lord. Parents as well as church leaders are responsible for nurturing the next generation. The Bible instructs fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Every child of God has been given the task of witnessing as to what the Lord has done for them as individuals, so that others may, too, be forgiven of their sins and come into an eternal relationship with the Lord. The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also (II Tim. 2:2).

Thought for Today:

Faith increases as we read -then act upon- God's Word, enabling us to claim His promises.

Christ Revealed:

As the Angel of the LORD (Judges 2:1,4). The Angel of the LORD is understood to be the Lord Jesus Himself pre-incarnate, for He speaks as God Himself (I made you . . . I sware . . . I said, I will). Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).

Word Studies:

1:15 nether, lower; 1:23 descry, spy out, keep a watch; 2:5 Bochim, Weepers.

Pray for Government Officials:

on your local, State, and Federal levels • Staff: Rita Guerra • Country: Laos (5 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Lao and French • Great suppression of all Christian activities • 58% Buddhist; 33% belief in spirits and ancestor worship; 2% Christian; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will move His people to give faithfully to His work (Malachi 3:8-10).

Optional Reading: John 13

Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 14:11