Archive for the ‘Judges’ Category


Under Gods Command

Life Application Study Bible Named this Chapter

Judgement on Jerusalem and Judah

but I call it

Judgement on the United States of America

Isaiah 3:1-15 NIV
[1] See now, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water, [2] the hero and the warrior, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, [3] the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter. [4] “I will make mere youths their officials; children will rule over them.” [5] People will oppress each other—man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the nobody against the honored. [6] A man will seize one of his brothers in his father’s house, and say, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!” [7] But in that day he will cry out, “I have no remedy. I have no food or clothing in my house; do not make me the leader of the people.” [8] Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence. [9] The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. [10] Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. [11] Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. [12] Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. My people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path. [13] The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. [14] The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: “It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. [15] What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

Love the Commentary Notes

Jerusalem besieged, her leaders destroyed—this unhappy picture would soon become a reality. Disobedience would bring serious affliction and great destruction, as God had warned (Deuteronomy 28).

3:4-9 This section describes what happens when a nation loses its leadership.

3:9-11 The people would be proud of their sins, parading them out in the open. But sin is self-destructive. In today’s world, sinful living often appears glamorous, exciting, and clever. But sin is wrong, regardless of how society perceives it, and, in the long run, sin will make us miserable and destroy us. God tries to protect us by warning us about the harm we will cause ourselves by sinning. Those who are proud of their sins will receive the punishment from God they deserve. Having rejected God’s path to life (see Psalm 1), they had only one alternative—the path to destruction.

3:10, 11 In the middle of this gloomy message, God gives hope: Eventually the righteous will receive God’s reward, and the wicked will receive their punishment. It is disheartening to see the wicked prosper, while we struggle to obey God and follow his plan. But let us keep holding on to God’s truth and take heart! God will bring about justice in the end, and he will reward those who have been faithful.

3:14 The elders and rulers were responsible to help people, but instead they stole from the poor. Because they were unjust, Isaiah said the leaders would be the first to receive God’s judgment. Leaders will be held accountable for how they lead. If you are in a position of leadership, you must lead according to God’s just commands. Put the needs of others before your own. Fulfill the purpose God intended. Don’t seek your own advantage. Corruption will bring God’s wrath, especially if others follow your example.

3:14 Why is justice so important in the Bible? (1) Justice is part of God’s nature; it is the way he runs the universe. (2) It is a natural desire in every person. Even as sinners, we all want justice for ourselves. (3) When government and church leaders are unjust, the poor and powerless suffer. Thus, they are hindered from worshiping God. (4) God holds the poor in high regard. They are the ones most likely to turn to him for help and comfort. Injustice, then, attacks God’s children.

Lets Bring it Home: Its time we take our eyes off the television and point them to God. Stop worrying about how corrupt our Government is, and keep or start praying about it. Lets be sure we keep focus on ourselves also. We do want our prayers to be heard. When we do nothing to help the oppressed, we are, in fact, joining with the oppressor. Because we follow a just God, we must uphold justice. Don’t stop fighting for Justice. In the end God will have the Victory.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 26:23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. 

Are you guilty of one or both of these terrible sins – burning lips that say negative things about others or a wicked heart that thinks such things? If you are guilty of both, you are like a broken piece of pottery covered with the scum from silver refining. What an ugly and worthless person! If you cannot say kind things about others, then say nothing at all.

Here is a simple simile – a stated comparison, by the word “like,” of a man to a clay vessel. An evil man, with a malicious heart and cruel speech, is like a broken fragment of pottery painted over with scum. A good man, with a noble heart and kind words, is like a beautiful work of pottery covered with fine silver, a delightful and valuable object.

What are burning lips? This man has a fire in his mouth, and he regularly burns others with critical and hateful speech. He cannot stay silent for long – he must say something derogatory about others. His lips are set on fire of hell (Pr 4:24; 10:18; 16:27; Jas 3:5-9).

What is a wicked heart? This phrase describes the person whose heart is filled with arrogant contempt and malicious hatred of others, as the context shows (Pr 26:18-28). He does not know God, and he has no affection for others, except to use them for his own selfish ends. He is a murderer at heart, though he may not have committed the crime yet.

Do you have either burning lips or a wicked heart, or do you have both? It is easy to find out. How easily do you argue, backbite, flatter, lie, slander, tattle, or whisper? If you sin in these ways easily, you surely have burning lips. And if you do not grieve after such sins of your lips, then you also have a wicked heart. Reader, examine yourself and repent.

While your lips and heart are not perfectly connected, they are very closely connected. A man may sin once in a while with his lips and have a pure heart, but he will be grieved for it. If a man sins often by attacking others with his words, he shows a violent and wicked heart. Jesus taught that the mouth clearly reveals the heart (Matt 12:34-37).

Many beautiful works of art and household vessels were once made from pottery. A well-formed clay object covered with fine silver could be exquisite in appearance and use. But a potsherd is a broken piece of pottery, and silver dross is the refuse scum from refining.

Wise men examine their hearts and guard their lips – they fear a critical heart and cruel lips that harm others (Pr 6:12-15; 17:20). They will instead choose a pure heart and gracious lips that can win even a king for a friend (Pr 22:11). Reader, examine yourself!


Under Gods Command

Last Chapter and Verse of Judges

Read Judges 21:25 In those days Israel had no King; everyone did as he saw fit.

During the time of the judges, the people of Israel experienced trouble because everyone became his own authority and acted on his own opinions of right and wrong.  This produced unspeakable results.  Our world is similar.  Individuals, groups, and societies have made themselves the finial authorities without reference to God.  When people selfishly satisfy their personal desires at all cost, everyone pays the price.

It is the ultimate heroic act to submit all our plans, desires, and motives to God.  Men like Gideon, Jephthah, and Sampson are known for their heroism in battle.  But their personal lives were far from heroic.

Lets Bring it Home:  To be truly heroic, we must go into battle each day in our home, job, church, and society to make God’s Kingdom a reality.  Our weapons are the standards, morals, truth, and convictions we receive from God’s Word.  We will lose the battle if we gather the spoils of earthly treasures rather than seeking the treasures of heaven.


Under Gods Command

Judges 18:30-31 – There the Danites set up for themselves the idols, and Jonathan son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his sons were priest for the tribe of Dan until the time of the captivity of the land.  They continued to use the idols Micah had made, all the time the house of God was in Shiloh.    

The tribe of Dan had stolen Micah’s idols, and now they set them up in Laish.  Although the Danites were actually denying God by worshipping these images (Exodus 20:1-5), they probably assumed they were worshiping God through them.  Worshiping images of God is not worshiping God, even if it resembles true worship in some ways. 

Lets Bring it Home: People repeat the same mistake today when they claim to be Christians without really believing in God’s power or changing their conduct to conform to his expectations.  Godliness cannot be merely a claim.  It must be a reality in our motives and in our actions.


Under Gods Command

Judges 18:25-27 – The Danites answered, “Don’t argue with us or some hot-tempered men will attack you, and you and your family will lose your lives.”  So the Danites went their way, and Micah, seeing that they were too strong for him, turned around and went back home.  Then they took what Micah had made, and his priest, and went on to Laish, against a peaceful and unsuspecting people.  They attacked them with the sword and burned down their city. 

Did the tribe of Dan have the right to kill the citizens of Laish?  No, God had commanded Israel to clean out and destroy certain cities because of their idolatry and wickedness, but Laish did not fall under that judgment.  It was not within the assigned boundaries of Dan,, and its people were peaceful in contrast to the warlike Canaanites.  But the tribe of Dan had no regard for God’s law.  God’s law said to destroy a city for idolatry.  The Danites themselves were guilty of this sin.  This story shows how far some of the tribes had wandered away from God.  Just because the Danites successfully defeated Laish doesn’t mean their actions were right.  Their idolatry show that God was not guiding them.

Lets Bring it Home: Today many justify their wrong actions by outward signs of success.  They think that wealth, popularity, or lack of suffering is an indication of God’s blessing.  But many stories in the Bible indicate that evil and earthly success can go hand in hand (See, for example, 2 Kings 14:23-29).  Success doesn’t indicate God’s approval.  Don’t allow personal success to become a measuring rod of whether or not you are pleasing God.


Under Gods Command

Judges 17:5-6 Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some idols and installed one of his sons as his priest.  In those days Israel had no king, everyone did as he saw fit. 

Today, as in Micah’s day, everyone seems to put his or her own interests first.  Time has not changed human nature.  Most people still reject God’s right way of living.  The people in Micah’s time replaced the true worship of God with a homemade version of worship.  As a result, justice was soon replaced by revenge and disorder.  Ignoring God’s direction led to confusion and destruction.  Anyone who has not submitted to God will end up doing whatever seems right at the time.

Lets Bring it Home: This tendency is present in all of us.  To know what is really right and to have the strength to do it, we need to draw closer to God and his Word.


Under Gods Command
Idolatry in the tribe of Dan

Judges 17:1-3 Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse-I have that silver with me; I took it.” Then his mother said, “The LORD bless you, my son!” When he returned the elven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said,  “I will give it back to you.”  When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the LORD for my son to make a carved image and a cast idol.  I will give it back to you.” 

Micah and his mother seemed to be good and moral and may have sincerely desired to worship God, but they disobeyed God by following their own desires instead of doing what God wanted.  The attitude that prevailed in Micah’s day was this: “Every one did as he saw fit” (17:6).  Everyone should already know that making carved images and idols are against Gods Commands.

Lets Bring it Home: This is remarkably similar to today’s prevailing attitudes.  But God has given us standards.  He has not left our conduct up to us and our opinions.  We can avoid conforming to society’s low standards by taking God’s commands seriously and applying them to life.  Independence and self-reliance’s are positive traits, but only within the framework of God’s standards.