Posts Tagged ‘war’

Timeline of Truth: The Horrific Loss of Doing What Is Right in One’s Own Eyes (Judges 19:29-20:48) – Part 2: Ruthless Violence

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

Very dark days continue in Israel. We are taken from a display of rampant immorality to civil war and ruthless violence. Man’s ideas do not lead to God’s results. The Levite whose concubine is ravaged (to which he was an accomplice, having offered her in his stead) takes his now dead wife and dismembers her into 12 parts, and sends these parts to the 12 tribes of Israel. The horrified tribes assemble to find out the nature of this gruesome message. The Levite misrepresents the account to eliminate his own guilt, and in the process initiates what turns out to be a civil war. The 11 tribes seek to bring justice, and many die on both sides. God often allows great pain and death to bring us to our senses. The 11 tribes go beyond justice and ruthlessly destroy the tribe of Benjamin. Our revenge will not deal with offenses in a godly, just way, and it will only cause greater damage.

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Timeline of Truth: The Wars of Jephthah, the Negotiating Judge (Judges 11:30-12:7)

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  The Wars of Jephthah, the Negotiating Judge (Judges 11:30-12:7)
Jephthah becomes the victim of his own words. Jephthah has negotiated with the elders of Gilead, and he has negotiated with the Ammonite king who leads forces oppressing Israel. Jephthah depends upon God to give him victory over the Ammonites, but seeks to unnecessarily manipulate God’s favor by vowing like a Canaanite. Jephthah promises to offer as a burnt sacrifice the first thing that comes out to meet him. God gives Jephthah victory, and who comes out to meet him but his only child – his daughter. We examine the different views of what happened, and what Jephthah could have done and should have done. Then we look at Jephthah’s merciless killing of his own Ephraimite brethren. Rejecting of God’s ways can lead to us making foolish choices and committing horrible actions. 

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Timeline of Truth: The Victory of Gideon, the Faulty Judge (Judges 7:1-8:12)

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  The Victory of Gideon, the Faulty Judge (Judges 7:1-8:12)
God continues to work through a fearful Gideon. God whittles down the responding army of 32,000 to only 300. He then orders Gideon to attack the Midianites. God does allow Gideon to go listen in on an enemy outpost, which fortifies Gideon’s faith. Then these 300 surround the enemy camp of 135,000 troops with trumpets and torch-containing pitchers as “weapons.” On signal, this tiny army of men break the pitchers (revealing the torches), shout, and blow their trumpets. God does the rest. God has the power to do much with little. 

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Timeline of Truth: Deborah and Barak Lead a Celebration of God’s Victory Over Israel’s Enemies (Judges 5:1-31)

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  Deborah and Barak Lead a Celebration of God’s Victory Over Israel’s Enemies (Judges 5:1-31)
Through Deborah’s prophetic prompting, Barak obeyed God and defeated the occupying, oppressive enemy of Israel. Deborah and Barak sing a song, and the song recounts details that we did not find in Chapter 4. Two key lessons we draw from the song: (1) Leaders need to lead willingly and people need to follow willingly to experience God’s blessing; (2) Our scope of responsibility extends beyond our own needs, but also extend to the needs of others.

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Timeline of Truth: Barak, Reluctant Leader (Judges 4:1-24)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  Barak, Reluctant Leader (Judges 4:1-24)
This study of Judges 4 introduces us to an unusual figure, Deborah the prophetess, and her prompting of God’s deliverer, Barak. Barak seemingly was refusing God’s direction to assemble an army. God used Deborah to encourage Barak to obey God, and to defeat completely the occupying enemy army. Because of Barak’s reluctance, God tells Barak that he will lose the glory normally enjoyed by such a defeat. A woman will receive the glory, and that’s exactly what happened.

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Timeline of Truth: Ehud, Elite Assassin (Judges 3:12-4:1)

Monday, October 8th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  Ehud, Elite Assassin (Judges 3:12-4:1)
The second deliverer God raises up in the book of Judges is Ehud. Israel again commits “the evil” by serving other gods. God Himself strengthens Eglon, a Moabite king, and this enemy comes in and conquers a portion of Israel and makes them serve him for 18 years. Israel cries out to God, and God, in His grace, raises up a military rescuer. Ehud is likely not a military reject, as sometimes presented. His left-handedness is much more likely to indicate his elite military training like other Benjaminites had, allowing him to fight with both is right and his left hand. Eglon is often considered obese, but we challenge that misconception as well. In this study, we run through the timeline, and then present 5 observations regarding Ehud as well as 5 lessons that we can learn from this account.

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Timeline of Truth: Othniel, Faithful Foreigner (Judges 3:7-11)

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  Othniel, Faithful Foreigner  (Judges 3:7-11)
Israel continues in “the evil” in departing from God’s covenant and serving other, false gods. God acts in holy indignation, and “sells” Israel into the hands of an outside invader for eight years. The oppression is real, and Israel cries out to God in anguish. God, in His mercy, sends the first deliverer (in the book of Judges) – Othniel – to defeat the invaders. sending an outside conqueror to oppress Israel. We examine this “best” of deliverers (judges) found in this book, make some interesting observations about his connection to Israel, and draw two key lessons.

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Timeline of Truth: Abram Rescues Lot (Genesis 14:1-16)

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Is it wrong to arm ourselves, to protect ourselves, to defend what is ours? What about helping others who have been wrongly attacked? The Bible gives a great illustration of what is our scope of personal responsibility in self-defense, and in defending others.