Study 8 Presentation 

The Story also talks about five movements that take part in God’s Story: 

Movement 1: The Story of the Garden (Genesis 1-11) 

Movement 2: The Story of Israel (Genesis 12 – Malachi) 

Movement 3: The Story of Jesus (Matthew – John) 

Movement 4: The Story of the Church (Acts – Jude) 

Movement 5: The Story of a New Garden (Revelation) 

A Few Good Men … and Women 

Joshua 23:1 (ESV) 

1 A long time afterward, when the LORD had given rest to Israel from all their surrounding enemies, and Joshua was old and well advanced in years,

 It sounds like the conquest of Canaan is complete. 

Judges 1:1 (ESV) 

1 After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel inquired of the LORD, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?”

What happened between the book of Joshua and the book of the Judges? 

Still pockets of pagan nations located throughout Israel.

 We see in Judges that the people had started to move toward unfaithfulness even toward the end of Joshua’s leadership 

The people were to continue to drive out the various Canaanite nations but some of the nations were difficult to drive out 

Rather than faithfully following God’s command and continuing to strive to carry out God’s command, the people looked for easier ways to coexist with these nations 

The result was the faithful generation under Joshua began to compromise and adapt to the pagan cultures – even to the point of serving the Baals and the various gods of the people around them 

God sends an angel with a message: 

Judges 2:1-3 (ESV) 

1 Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, 

2 and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done?

3 So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” 

The next generation emerges “who neither the LORD nor what He had done for Israel Moses warned the people: 

Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (ESV)

 10 “And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 

11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 

12 then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 

Responsibility to teach the next generation 

Deuteronomy 6:7 (ESV) 

7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 

Timeless Truth: The Call vs. The Culture—An Eternal Problem

Covenant ratified by the people first under Moses and then by Joshua – promise to follow God faithfully – also included blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience 

Punishment from God: God gave the people into the hands of raiders 

Cycle begins 

Disobedience – worship of false gods and sinful lifestyles 

Punishment – other nations would oppress all or part of Israel 

Repentance – the people would cry out to God 

Deliverance – God raised up a deliverer (Judge) – people would be faithful under the 

leadership of the Judge but would fall back into sin 

I. First Cycle 

A. Enemy: Arameans – from the north 

B. Punishment: 8 years 

C. Judge: Othniel – nephew of Caleb, from Judah 

D. Deliverance: 40 years 

II. Second Cycle 

A. Enemy: Moab – from the East 

B. Punishment: 18 years 

C. Judge: Ehud – left-handed assassin and leader, from Benjamin 

D. Deliverance: 80 years 

III. Third Cycle 

A. Enemy: Philistines – from the west; Greek forces with technology – steel and chariots 

B. Punishment: unknown 

C. Hero: Shamgar – kills 600 with an ox goad (8 foot long pole) – son of Anath, may be a town in Naphtali or it is also the name of a Canaanite goddess of war – could mean son of war; son of battle; mighty warrior – took place around the same time as Deborah; defending Israel on the western front 

D. Deliverance: unknown 

IV. Fourth Cycle 

A. Enemy: Canaanites – from within Israel – Jabin was king and Sisera was his commander; 900 chariots 

B. Punishment: 20 years 

C. Judge: Deborah – prophetess; ruling from the hill country in Ephraim; Barak was her commander; Barak was hesitant to go into battle without Deborah’s presence; consequence of hesitancy: Sisera would be delivered into the hands of a woman – Jael kills Sisera with a tent peg while he is sleeping 

D. Deliverance: 40 years 

V. Fifth Cycle 

A. Enemy: Midianites – from the East; very oppressive; raids of total devastation 

B. Punishment: 7 years – God sends a prophet: you have been unfaithful so you are on your own – but God relents and show mercy 

C. Judge: Gideon – small tribe of Manasseh, weakest clan; 

i. Tests 

1. Wet fleece, dry ground 

2. Wet ground, dry fleece 

3. Too many men – 300 of the best against 135,000 

4. Midianite dream 

D. Deliverance: 40 years – given a glimpse into the fragmentation of the nation as Gideon has to deal with conflict with the tribe of Ephraim – not yet a nation but a loose collection of tribes 

VI. Sixth Cycle 

A. Enemy: Abimelech – anti-judge; son of Gideon by a concubine; kills 70 of Gideon’s 71 sons 

B. Punishment: 3 years 

C. Judge: none – conflict arises between Abimelech and leaders in the area he was ruling – Abimelech is mortally wounded by a mill stone thrown by a woman from a tower and killed by his armor bearer 

D. Deliverance – unknown 

VII. Seventh Cycle 

A. Enemy: unknown 

B. Punishment: unknown 

C. Judge: Tola – from Issachar 

D. Deliverance: 23 years 

VIII. Eighth Cycle 

A. Enemy: none 

B. Punishment: none 

C. Judge: Jair – from Gilead in Manasseh 

D. Deliverance: 22 years – sounds like Israel is given 45 years of peace to recover from the challenges and turn to God – instead the people increase their unfaithfulness and worship of false gods 

IX. Ninth Cycle 

A. Enemy: Philistines and Ammonites – from the West and the East 

B. Punishment: 18 years – especially from the Ammonites who oppressed the tribes east of the Jordan river and then invaded Judah; Israel cries out to God but God tells them that they have been unfaithful so God will not help them 

C. Judge: Jephthah – son of Gilead and a prostitute; driven away from home by his relatives; mercenary leader; chosen by the clan of Gilead to lead them against the Ammonites; the Spirit of the Lord comes upon Jephthah so God again relents and supports Israel; foolish vow – sacrifice to the LORD the first thing that comes out of the doors of his house – only child, a daughter – like Isaac, a faithful child and supports her father – asks for time to mourn her fate – becomes a yearly celebration – possible that she wasn’t sacrificed by killing her but rather the sacrifice was that she would be dedicated to the LORD as a servant and would remain a virgin throughout her life 

D. Deliverance: 6 years – again there is conflict with Ephraim but this time Jephthah fights against Ephraim and defeats them 

X. Tenth Cycle 

A. Enemy: none 

B. Punishment: none 

C. Judge: Ibzan – from Bethlehem in Judah 

D. Deliverance: 7 years – intermarried his sons and daughters with other tribes 

XI. Eleventh Cycle 

A. Enemy: none 

B. Punishment: none 

C. Judge: Elon – from Zebulon 

D. Deliverance: 10 years 

XII. Twelfth Cycle 

A. Enemy: none 

B. Punishment: none 

C. Judge: Abdon – a Pirathonite from Ephraim 

D. Deliverance: 8 years 

XIII. Thirteenth Cycle 

A. Enemy: Philistines 

B. Punishment: 40 years – no indication that Israel cried out to the LORD during this time – more evidence from the text that Israel was comfortable living under Philistine rule 

C. Judge: Samson – from Dan; dedicated as a Nazarite; unfaithful to his Nazarite vows; doesn’t lead Israel but serves more as a hero than a judge; listed as a hero of faith in Hebrews 11 

i. Delilah 

1. Samson’s unfaithfulness to God 

2. Samson’s capture 

3. Samson’s death 

D. Deliverance: unclear – Samson’s 20 years of serving as a judge was either during the 40 years of Philistine rule mentioned earlier or in addition to the 40 years – either way the Philistines are weakened but not defeated by Israel – offers a time of relative peace for Samuel’s leadership 

XIV. Appendix 

A. Two stories – indicate how bad things had become in Israel – embracing the pagan cultures around them 

i. Unfaithfulness in the homes 

ii. Unfaithfulness among the religious leaders 

iii. Unfaithfulness in society 

B. Summary: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” 

XV. Applications 

A. We are called to be the people of God – and be witnesses for God, not to conform to the world around us 

B. We are called to be faithful to God in our worship – not to the false gods of this world 

C. We are called to be faithful to God’s commands – we should be dedicated to His word and commands, not to the values of the world 

D. We are to avoid compromise to the world – Israel was “Egyptianized” during their time as slaves and needed the time in the wilderness to learn to be God’s people; then after Joshua they became “Canaanized” and needed to be reminded of the Covenant which often happened by being disciplined by God 

E. When we fail, God is still loving, forgiving and merciful – He is faithful to the covenant He has made with us through Jesus; forgiveness leads us to again try to be faithful

F. We need to pass on the faith to the next generation – this is a responsibility given to all in the church; we are responsible for each other 

Joshua 24:14-15 (ESV) 

14 “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 

15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”