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Saturday Study

Saturday Study

Judges 10-14 (8.4.18)

This week we read Judges 10-14. As Israel continues to struggle with denying God and choosing sin instead of obedience, God is forced to bring punishment to them, as per the terms of the covenant He made with them. Let’s read Judges 10:10-14 again and hear the Lord’s response to them:

Judges 10:10-14 And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, saying, “We have sinned against you, because we have forsaken our God and have served the Baals.” And the Lord said to the people of Israel, “Did I not save you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites, from the Ammonites and from the Philistines? The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you, and you cried out to me, and I saved you out of their hand. Yet you have forsaken me and served other gods; therefore I will save you no more. Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.”

Wow. What a sobering thing to hear God say. While God is completely justified to hold a sinful and rebellious people accountable for their treason and disobedience, we all too often read God’s judgment as being too hard. Why is it that we want to make God soft when it comes to his judgment of sin and lawlessness? I think it is our flesh and its proneness to make little of God’s holiness and righteous justice and to make too little of our guilt and deserved wrath.

To clarify, God is completely within the terms of the covenant He made with Israel. Let’s take a moment to review the Old Covenant God made with physical Israel.

The word covenant can commonly be used in social, marriage, and theological contexts.

A divine covenant is initiated by God. In this, we need to see that God is the sovereign One. God has decreed what covenants He would initiate and enter into. This happens by His eternal will. When God enters a covenant, it was not a good idea of someone else. Rather, it was His decree to do so, and the terms are set by Him. So for the covenants that God has made with man, it was God who initiated them, for wise and excellent purposes, and He sets the terms.

A divine covenant may include obligations, rewards, and/or punishments from God.

Some covenants require specific obligations be met by another party in order for the covenant rewards to be experienced. Some covenants include rewards for one party or another based solely on grace to them. And some covenants include various punishments for the breaking the terms of the covenant.

That is what we see here. God tells Israel they will be held accountable for not keeping their part of the covenant.

The sobering part of this is that it can’t help but feel like our lives at times. Even as Christians, we still fight the temptation to sin and often give into the sin for which our flesh longs. The good news is that we have a better covenant in Christ–a new divine covenant between God and His elect, called the church. This New Covenant has replaced the terms of the Old Covenant that God had made with Israel. While many Jews who were under the Old Covenant have been given saving faith in Jesus and thereby entered into the New Covenant in Christ, many Jews have not. This is a sad reality when we see Jews reject the Messiah and therefore stand condemned. This is an important clarity that many modern-day Christians get wrong. Jesus was clear saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

We must rightly understand that God has not provided another way for people to be saved outside of Christ. This includes the Jews. Any Jew who denies Christ as Lord and Savior is not saved according to Christ and the fullness of God’s word. We must understand that the Old Covenant pointed the true believers of God to the New Covenant and ultimately to the Christ. Any of God’s people who were under the Old Covenant who would be ultimately saved from their sin to reign with God forever put their faith in the future-coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. No one comes to the Father unless through Christ.

Now, this all leads to good news for those of us who truly have placed our faith and lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Not only are we saved by His blood from our sin, but we are secure in this salvation and cannot be separated from God once saved.  Paul says it most famously in Romans 8:37-40: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The Scriptures tell us again and again that the blood of Jesus is enough to cover all our sin. This means that nothing we can do can separate us from God’s saving us in Christ. The Scriptures are clear that those whom the Father has chosen, He will have; and all those He has saved, He will not lose.

Jesus speaks again of our security in His protection and power. For example, we see this in John 10:

John 10:27-29. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”

Our security is in God’s infallible commitment to fulfill the conditions of our eternal standing with Him.

By grace, He caused us to be born again by creating our faith; and, by grace, He protects us on the way to heaven by preserving our faith.

Jesus has and will guard His chosen and redeemed ones to the end.

This is the good news I want us all to understand in light of reading Judges 10 this week. Yes, the conditions of the Old Covenant were that if the people did not obey, God would punish them.

But the conditions of the New Covenant are that all that God truly saves through the perfect blood of Jesus are eternally secure in the power and promise of God and cannot be snatched, lost, or removed from His perfect choice and atonement in Christ on their behalf.

Surely, you are thinking about those who seemed to be saved and then walked away from God. What about them? Well quickly, the Scriptures are clear time and time again that there are many who will look to be of Christ and even give much of their lives for the name of Christ but so prove to not be of Christ, in that they do not endure but walk away; thereby, they prove they were never truly saved.

A few quick examples:

  1. Judas who looked like he was among the brethren but was not. In proving not to be truly for God and saved by God, he did not persevere to the end.

John 6:70-71 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.

Jesus ordained from eternity past that 11 would be saved and endure, and one would be reject and betray Him.

Judas proved to be a false disciple—really, the most famous false disciple.

John 17:12 “… I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

Jesus is speaking here of Judas, whom God foreordained to walk with Christ but to never be of Christ; he would prove to be an enemy of Christ.

  1. John 6:66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

This describes the many disciples who, for a while followed Jesus, but eventually walked away. They proved not to truly have given their lives to Jesus; they were only interested in what He offered them, and in the end, they proved their god was their belly or something else in creation that they longed for more.

Understand that this is not special or unusual; it happens all the time. People come and go from the church all the time. They try religion, they try Christianity, and in the end prove to not believe. They prove they are false followers of Jesus. They don’t endure. You must see that this is normal. It is sad but true. In the end, they only had superficial faith.

Understand this: proximity to the gospel doesn’t mean you are saved by the gospel.

It is true and lasting fruit that proves true salvation. Will the saved sin and fall? Yes, but they will repent and return. They will grow and mature. These are the signs of the truly saved.

I pray that you are full of joy today if you have truly given your life to Jesus as Lord, because this means you are secure in Christ in the terms of the New Covenant that He has secured for you in His blood. The eternal commitment and power of God will ensure you remain His forever.

This is the beautiful doctrine known as Perseverance of the Saints.

God will not change His mind and reject them later. We did nothing to gain His love or acceptance. We can do nothing to lose it. We are forever His–forever secure in His power!

When the storms rage in your life, do you stand in this assurance?

Jesus said in John 6:39, “… I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.”

We cannot be lost. Every one of His sheep is precious in His sight.

Not only are we precious, but we will stand with Him in victory. He will raise us up on the last day.

John 6:40 “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Eternal life… Not eternal death and destruction.

This is truly good news. Now go and walk in these assurances and spread this gospel to all whom God puts in your path.  And if you are guilty of sin, repent and honor God with your life, and know that He has you forever!

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Joshua Kirstine

Disciples Church

Judges Era-Judges 14

Judges 14

14:1 Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.”

His father and mother did not know that it was from the LORD, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.

Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she was right in Samson’s eyes.

After some days he returned to take her. And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. He scraped it out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey from the carcass of the lion.

10 His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, for so the young men used to do. 11 As soon as the people saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him. 12 And Samson said to them, “Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can tell me what it is, within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes, 13 but if you cannot tell me what it is, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes.” And they said to him, “Put your riddle, that we may hear it.” 14 And he said to them,


  “Out of the eater came something to eat.
  Out of the strong came something sweet.”

And in three days they could not solve the riddle.

15 On the fourth day they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband to tell us what the riddle is, lest we burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us here to impoverish us?” 16 And Samson’s wife wept over him and said, “You only hate me; you do not love me. You have put a riddle to my people, and you have not told me what it is.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?” 17 She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted, and on the seventh day he told her, because she pressed him hard. Then she told the riddle to her people. 18 And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down,


  “What is sweeter than honey?
  What is stronger than a lion?”

And he said to them,


  “If you had not plowed with my heifer,
  you would not have found out my riddle.”

19 And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father’s house. 20 And Samson’s wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.

(ESV)

Judges Era-Judges 13

Judges 13

13:1 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, so the LORD gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.

There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” Then the woman came and told her husband, “A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. I did not ask him where he was from, and he did not tell me his name, but he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”

Then Manoah prayed to the LORD and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.” And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field. But Manoah her husband was not with her. 10 So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, “Behold, the man who came to me the other day has appeared to me.” 11 And Manoah arose and went after his wife and came to the man and said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to this woman?” And he said, “I am.” 12 And Manoah said, “Now when your words come true, what is to be the child’s manner of life, and what is his mission?” 13 And the angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. 14 She may not eat of anything that comes from the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. All that I commanded her let her observe.”

15 Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, “Please let us detain you and prepare a young goat for you.” 16 And the angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “If you detain me, I will not eat of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to the LORD.” (For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the LORD.) 17 And Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, “What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?” 18 And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it on the rock to the LORD, to the one who works wonders, and Manoah and his wife were watching. 20 And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the LORD went up in the flame of the altar. Now Manoah and his wife were watching, and they fell on their faces to the ground.

21 The angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the LORD. 22 And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.” 23 But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.” 24 And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the LORD blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

(ESV)

Judges Era-Judges 12

Judges 12

12:1 The men of Ephraim were called to arms, and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the Ammonites and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire.” And Jephthah said to them, “I and my people had a great dispute with the Ammonites, and when I called you, you did not save me from their hand. And when I saw that you would not save me, I took my life in my hand and crossed over against the Ammonites, and the LORD gave them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?” Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh.” And the Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead said to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” When he said, “No,” they said to him, “Then say Shibboleth,” and he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell.

Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in his city in Gilead.

After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. He had thirty sons, and thirty daughters he gave in marriage outside his clan, and thirty daughters he brought in from outside for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died and was buried at Bethlehem.

11 After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel, and he judged Israel ten years. 12 Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

13 After him Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys, and he judged Israel eight years. 15 Then Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried at Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

(ESV)

Judges Era-Judges 11

Judges 11

11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute. Gilead was the father of Jephthah. And Gilead’s wife also bore him sons. And when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You shall not have an inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.” Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob, and worthless fellows collected around Jephthah and went out with him.

After a time the Ammonites made war against Israel. And when the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to bring Jephthah from the land of Tob. And they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our leader, that we may fight against the Ammonites.” But Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Did you not hate me and drive me out of my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?” And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That is why we have turned to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the Ammonites and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you bring me home again to fight against the Ammonites, and the LORD gives them over to me, I will be your head.” 10 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The LORD will be witness between us, if we do not do as you say.” 11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them. And Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah.

12 Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites and said, “What do you have against me, that you have come to me to fight against my land?” 13 And the king of the Ammonites answered the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel on coming up from Egypt took away my land, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and to the Jordan; now therefore restore it peaceably.” 14 Jephthah again sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites 15 and said to him, “Thus says Jephthah: Israel did not take away the land of Moab or the land of the Ammonites, 16 but when they came up from Egypt, Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea and came to Kadesh. 17 Israel then sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, ‘Please let us pass through your land,’ but the king of Edom would not listen. And they sent also to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel remained at Kadesh.

18 “Then they journeyed through the wilderness and went around the land of Edom and the land of Moab and arrived on the east side of the land of Moab and camped on the other side of the Arnon. But they did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the boundary of Moab. 19 Israel then sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, ‘Please let us pass through your land to our country,’ 20 but Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory, so Sihon gathered all his people together and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel. 21 And the LORD, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them. So Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, who inhabited that country. 22 And they took possession of all the territory of the Amorites from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the wilderness to the Jordan. 23 So then the LORD, the God of Israel, dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel; and are you to take possession of them? 24 Will you not possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? And all that the LORD our God has dispossessed before us, we will possess. 25 Now are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever contend against Israel, or did he ever go to war with them? 26 While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, 300 years, why did you not deliver them within that time? 27 I therefore have not sinned against you, and you do me wrong by making war on me. The LORD, the Judge, decide this day between the people of Israel and the people of Ammon.” 28 But the king of the Ammonites did not listen to the words of Jephthah that he sent to him.

29 Then the Spirit of the LORD was upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh and passed on to Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed on to the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, 31 then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.” 32 So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the LORD gave them into his hand. 33 And he struck them from Aroer to the neighborhood of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim, with a great blow. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel.

34 Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah. And behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. She was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And as soon as he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the LORD, and I cannot take back my vow.” 36 And she said to him, “My father, you have opened your mouth to the LORD; do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, now that the LORD has avenged you on your enemies, on the Ammonites.” 37 So she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me: leave me alone two months, that I may go up and down on the mountains and weep for my virginity, I and my companions.” 38 So he said, “Go.” Then he sent her away for two months, and she departed, she and her companions, and wept for her virginity on the mountains. 39 And at the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow that he had made. She had never known a man, and it became a custom in Israel 40 that the daughters of Israel went year by year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.

(ESV)