27.3: Jesus in Judges 1: New Generations of Israelites Plunge into a Vicious Cycle

Life is messy. So is the Book of Judges. As we continue our journey through God’s Story, the History of Israel and Jesus’ ancestry, we find a phrase repeated over and over again… “The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight.” Over and over again. It became a vicious cycle. As the generation that knew Joshua dies off, the next generation starts doing what God told them NOT to do — mix with the pagans. So….

  • They get in trouble by worshiping the gods and idols of the local pagans, resulting in oppression and suffering
  • They call to God
  • God sends a “judge” or leader
  • He/She is victorious
  • The judge dies
  • They get in trouble, AGAIN, by worshiping the gods and idols of the local pagans resulting in oppression and suffering

And it starts all over again. A vicious cycle.

We easily get into vicious cycles. Take attempting to lose weight. You try a diet plan, start exercising, you’re very gun-ho. It works and you lose weight, then you slowly starting eating the foods you shouldn’t eat, and you gain the weight back. So you try another diet plan….and on and on. This vicious cycle goes on until you seek help from God — yes, God — for guidance, self-control and self-discipline, along with a professional, who gets you on a meal plan that works for you and you lose the weight for good.

How bad does this Old Testament book get? Pretty bad. We meet a variety of different characters — including familiar names like Deborah, Gideon and Samson. Each with a story. Each with a lesson for us today. See if you can recognize Jesus in these stories. Let’s dig in…

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