Judges 3:7-31 “Unlikely Deliverers”
If you will turn in your Bibles please to Judges 3, we are going to be looking at verses 7-31. now, you might be thinking, really, you are going to preach an easter message from the book of Judges? Yep. You may or may not know that it in every book of the Bible, there is a connection to Jesus, infant to preach a passage from the Bible and not relate it to Jesus, is incomplete preaching. He is there, on every page. So, what we are going to do today is look at the first three judges and see how they figure in to God’s plan of redemption and ultimately bring glory to the risen Christ.
A word of warning, this is going to be a little violent today. Now, what I am going do this morning is read the description of each of these first three Judges, then talk a little bit about it, and then at the end we will see what we need to learn from them, and how it ties into the story of the resurrection of Christ.
Othniel: SO in this section about Othniel, we see that the people did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. We know that from last week the people had failed to drive out the Canannites from the promised lad, and they were accountable to God for that disobedience, but we also saw that God, in his sovereignty left those people in the land to test Israel and see what was in their hearts. The purpose of that testing was to show them and us, that what they had was not faith, and that in their own strength they will never be able to obey God’s commands. Now, one thing I didn’t speak much to last week was how much the picture of marriage was used to illustrate the downfall of the people. Primarily when the people not only failed to drive out the people and their culture but also married into their culture essentially becoming one with people who worshipped false gods. Furthermore, the adultery against God was the outcome. they served the other God’s forsaking the God who rescued them from Egypt, and joining themselves to false gods. The term often used to describe this in scripture, is adultery. they were God’s Covenant people and they broke that covenant and worshipped other gods. It says in this passage that they forgot the Lord, and served the Baals and the Asheroth. Now, there were probably the most common false gods in the Bible. Both Cannanite deities that were common to worship in those times. the people worshipped them through all types of ritual sacrifice. Ashera is often referred to as a sex god. So, here we see the people of the Lord falling into the worship of these gals Gods, and this stirs up the anger of the Lord, Yahweh. and so he sells his people into the hands of Cushan-rishothaim, the King of mesipotamia. They were then slaves for eight years. Then they cried out to God for deliverance, and he raised up a deliverer for them. The first Judge we see in this book. Now remember a judge as it is used in this book is not a judicial judge, but a deliverer, a leader. So Othniel, we have met before. If you recall, Othniel was the one who went down and defeated Kiriath-sepher for Caleb, and won the hand of Caleb’s daughter Achsah. God raid him up in this time also and it says that God’s spirit was upon him and He went out to war and and the Lord Gave Cushan Reshothaim into his hands, and their was peace again for forty years, until Othniel died.
now lets look at the next Judge: Ehud
So this story is crazy right? This is the story that has kept me up at night while prepping this sermon. here is my question, “Why in the world did God include this story with these details in the Bible.” Is has some very descriptive details right. Even to the fact that Ehud was left handed. You may or may not know this, but there are only three people called out in scripture as being left handed, and they are all from the tribe of Benjamin.
We do see that same pattern in this story that we will see in just about every Judge. We see that Israel was again doing evil in the sight of the Lord, and so God gathered the Ammonites and Amalekites to himself, you see the sovereignty of God in action? and they went down and defeated the Israelites and took possession of the City of Palms, that is Jericho. and then they were in possession of Moab for 18 years, then the people cried out to God, and he raised up Ehud.
Now, we all heard the story of what happened then. after his defeat of Eglon, there was peace for 80 years.
Then we see the third Judge raise up, his name was Shamgar. now, after all that detail about Ehud, Shamgar gets one verse. All we know about him was that he killed 600 philistines with an oxford, and saved Israel.
So, here is the question that I have for this text on this day. You might be asking yourself the same question. Well, here in this text we see all that is needed to understand in order to prepare ourselves to hear the truth of the resurrection of Jesus.
- God’s people are incapable of following his commands in and of themselves. We will always fall into adultery from our covenant with God. We call this sin. It is the pattern of scripture all the way through. Ever since Adam and Eve ate the apple, sin has reigned in the hearts of every person born. Romans tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, there is none righteous, no not one. No one seeks God. We all like Sheep have strayed.
- Sin always separates: One person wrongs another person, it always causes a separation between them… When Israel worshipped other Gods, it caused a rift between
- God uses unlikely means to deliver his people.
- When the deliverer dies, the people fall away.
- Our Redeemer lives!