Thoughts on Judges 2

We’re reading through Judges at Oak Tree Church, and I’m posting some observations from my daily readings here. Everyone is welcome to join in the discussion.

Thoughts on Judges 2

The LORD’s angelic messenger went up from Gilgal to Bokim. He said, “I brought you up from Egypt and led you into the land I had solemnly promised to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my agreement with you…” Judges 2:1 NET

“The LORD’s angelic messenger” (or maybe “the angel of LORD” in your version) throughout the Old Testament is a reference to Christ before he was born as Jesus. We call this a “pre-incarnate appearance” (before his incarnation). Notice how he doesn’t say, “God says…”. He repeats words that God said to someone previously and takes the credit for them himself. No regular angel would dare to claim God’s words as his own, yet this “messenger” does all the time.

When the LORD’s messenger finished speaking these words to all the Israelites, the people wept loudly. Judges 2:4 NET

I wonder how this happened. Did they all hear him simultaneously? Was it audible? Or did he do it through a miraculous mass trance or vision?

When Joshua dismissed the people, the Israelites went to their allotted portions of territory, intending to take possession of the land. The people worshiped the LORD throughout Joshua’s lifetime and as long as the elderly men who outlived him remained alive. These men had witnessed all the great things the LORD had done for Israel. Joshua son of Nun, the LORD’s servant, died at the age of one hundred ten. The people buried him in his allotted land in Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of MountGaash. That entire generation passed away; a new generation grew up that had not personally experienced the LORD’s presence or seen what he had done for Israel. Judges 2:6-10 NET

This is the unfortunate, yet predictable, result of not “training up children in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6) or intentionally “entrusting to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). When a generation of people refuse to teach the Scriptures to the next, this is the inevitable result.

But the blame is not solely on the older generation either. The younger generation was not grateful for God’s blessings on them, and they did not chase after him. There is no substitute for a personal encounter with God.

But they did not obey their leaders. Instead they prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned aside from the path their ancestors had walked. Their ancestors had obeyed the LORD’s commands, but they did not. Judges 2:17 NET

Disobedience toward God’s appointed leaders is equated with disobedience toward God himself. (See also Hebrews 13:717)

What did you see in these verses? What was important to you in Judges 2 that I did not see?

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Daniel Goepfrich

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