In the next several blogs we’re going to be looking at a book in the Old Testament called Judges. Now you may not be familiar with the whole book of judges, but there’s one character that is pretty universal and pretty relevant in society. Most people know Samson. Samson was one of the judges. If you’re looking for it in your Bible, this book is right after the book of Joshua. It’s kind of early on in the Old Testament, and it’s a pretty wild time in the history of the Israelites, who are God’s chosen people at the beginning of Scripture.
I want to share with you what I believe is the theme statement for this book. It actually happens a couple of times in the whole book of judges, and I want to read it to you. You’re going to find it in Judges chapter 17 and Judges chapter 21.
“…all the people did what seemed right in their own eyes.” Judges 17:6 (NLT)
Now, if you aren’t quite clear what this could mean, there’s actually a couple of moderns versions of this idea that we use in society today. One of those is…
“If it feels good, do it.”
If you’re comfortable, if you feel good about it, just go for it. Just just go ahead and do it. Another saying is also really popular.
“You do you.”
Why did this happen? Let’s go back a little bit in time, just before the book of Judges. You may know the story of the Israelites, who were slaves in Egypt. And they were there for for a long, long time. And then God called Moses to come and help them be free. You have that whole story about the plagues and Pharaoh and the Red sea opening up, and that was great. They came out and they were freed from slavery and then they moved from there. Moses was their leader for a while. But then Moses got old and Moses passed away. And the next the next leader came on. It was Joshua.
Moses had trained Joshua well. He had taught him well how to be a good leader, and Joshua took over. That’s when they finally were able to go into the promised land–the land God had promised way back to Abraham. God promised Abraham that he was going to give all this land to him and his descendants. They were supposed to go into this land and take it. When Joshua passed away, Caleb came on board. In fact, we can read what happened, because this was a key moment in launching what happens in the book of Judges. It says,
Joshua, son of nun, the servant of the Lord died at the age of 110. They buried him in the land he had been allocated at Timnath serah, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel. Judges 2:8-10 (NLT)
So here’s what happened. Moses trained up Joshua to lead the people after Moses died. Then Joshua died. Caleb took over. And it was a lack of passing along the knowledge and the understanding of who God was to the next generation. A new generation grew up totally disconnected from God. I remember a pastor talking about the book of Judges saying, “what we have here is a lack of mentorship.” Moses mentored Joshua well, but Joshua didn’t mentor Caleb well. As a result, a whole generation grew up that didn’t know God or all the great things that he did. This set the table for “everyone did what was good in their own sight.”
To hear Chaplain Milton share more on this topic click here: https://youtube.com/live/s7SH7t9ovzI