Bible Study Lesson — Judges 3:7-31
But, why was Israel there in the first place?
Do you believe you could ever renounce Christ and worship pagan gods just because someone you know does it?
This is where Israel finds themselves in this lesson from Judges.
It’s easier than most people think to fall into a destructive trap. Read and see how. ..
Israel Does Evil – God Provides
The sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.
Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, so that He sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.
The First Judge Delivers Israel – Othniel, Ehud & Shamgar
When the sons of Israel cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.
The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.
Then the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died. – Judges 3:7-11 NASB
Shamgar Delivers from Philistines
After him came Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad; and he also saved Israel. – Judges 3:31 NASB
The First Deliverers in Judges
As Israel moved into this section of their life without Joshua, they began to intermarry and form relationships with the pagan people of the land.
Before long, they found themselves gradually adopting the beliefs, rituals and worship of the “other” gods such as Baal and Asherah – a common practice of the day.
Wikipedia describes these gods as ..
“a North-West Semitic title and honorific meaning “master” or “lord” that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor..”
“Goddess of motherhood and fertility.”
Along with these gods came immorality and practices which were clearly against God’s laws for the people of Israel.
“But, I Didn’t Mean To ..
When Israel first befriended and married into this group of people, they had no real intention of following these traditions – or worshiping their Baals or Asherahs.
After all, these were God’s chosen people who were known for the worship of the one true God, weren’t they?
Before they realized the trap they were falling into, Israel found themselves deeply in trouble.
They were becoming more and more like the people who lured them in.
Keep Your Friends Close, But ..
Should Christians stay completely away from unbelievers?
No, not at all. How else will they learn about Christianity except through people who know Christ?
The lesson here is that we do need friends who are not Christians. And, we can’t choose our families so there are always going to be members who don’t believe as we do.
When we get involved in the lives of people we care about, we have to be careful not to copy their behavior or practices.
A good example is ..
I’m in a group of friends who are using abusive language or telling inappropriate stories.
If I join in, what does this say about my Christian views?
How would I ever be able to convince them that I am not just another “hypocrite” church person?
Keep your friends, love them, help them, take opportunities to gently nudge them with your actions – but don’t copy them!
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 here.