Judges Chapter One (Part Two)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Judges is that God blesses obedience and punishes disobedience. Today, we hope to continue our discussion of the political background of the Judge ruled period. .

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Read Judges 1:11-16

A. The Political Background (continued). In this chapter of the book of Judges Caleb promises his daughter in marriage to the one who kills and captures the enemy.

Othniel won the fight and the hand of the daughter, even though he was a cousin. Caleb’s daughter asked for some land, and Caleb gave it to her.

Applications –

- Faith and works. Notice in vs. 11 that the blessings that God had for His people came as a result of the people fighting for the blessings. In like manner, we should understand that faith in God often calls for works for God, in order for such faith to be effective.

For example, in addition to trusting God to send us a job, we need to do some job searching and making sure that we have our resumes in order and the proper credentials for the jobs we are pursuing. Let’s work on making sure that we have a working faith.

- Impulse control. Notice in vss. 12-13 of the book of Judges that Caleb appears to have made a rash decision and commitment.

First, we should work real hard to control our decisions and commitments, especially when a war or battle is going on. When we are talking about family decisions, it is good to slow the decision making process down.

Second, the fact that the couple in the text were cousins is a historic recollection. It is not a prescription for modern living. In fact, science has taught us that there are grave dangers for the babies that are born to cousins.

Third, at least they got married, instead of simply co-habitating with one another. There are too many people who want to play husband and wife, but don’t have the commitment to God or one another to get married. God is not pleased with co-habitating.

Let’s work on controlling our impulses, especially regarding family matters.

 - Helping the next generation. Notice in vss. 14-15 that Caleb gave land, instead of money. First, it is good when one generation can build upon the accomplishments and wealth of previous generations. This calls for each generation building some wealth and passing it on to the next.

Second, the giving of land, instead of money is interesting. The giving of land required work from the new couple. There is so much character building and maturing that takes place when we work for our living.

Third, giving people land who don’t have the competencies and character to work the land is not good. Therefore, we should work on helping our young people develop the competencies and character to be wise stewards of what they will inherit and earn.

Let’s work on helping the next generation build on top of what we have accomplished. 

- Trusting God to take care of His people. Notice in vs. 16 of the book of Judges that God has enough blessings for all of His people. There is no need to be jealous of what others have or to be scared that God is running low on blessings.

God has the power and love to make sure that all of His people receive what He wants them to have, when He wants them to have it. Let’s work on trusting God to take care of His own, according to His will.

Read Judges 1:17-21

(Continued.) In this section of the book of Judges the people of Judah fought with the people of Simeon to help Simon win their land. The Lord’s favor is upon the people of Judah. The people from the plains were not driven out, however.

They had iron chariots. Moses’ promise to Caleb about having Hebron is fulfilled in the text. The Benjamites were unable to drive the Jebusites out of Jerusalem.

Applications –

- Helping those who have helped us. Notice in vs. 17 that the people of Judah helped Simeon. Remember that Simeon helped Judah earlier in this chapter of the book of Judges. In like manner, it is important for us to help especially those who have helped us along our way.

Think about how this applies to parents, families, friends, churches, schools, jobs, communities, and others. Let’s help especially those who have helped us along our way. None of us made it all by ourselves.

- Doing our best, without being too critical. Notice in vss. 19, 21 that some fights will take longer than others.

First, we should do the best that we can in our given situation. For example, if smoking is your issue, you may have to limit your smoking until you can stop smoking. You may have to limit your poor spending habits, until you can stop them.

Second, we should remember that each of us are different. When we are blessed to completely destroy some bad things in our lives, we must guard against being too critical of others who are still struggling along in stages of conquest.

The truth is, while some of us may be strong in a given area, if we keep on looking, we will find some weak areas in all of our lives. Let’s work on doing our best and refraining from being too critical of others.

- Keeping our word. Notice in vs. 20 that the promise made to Caleb was kept, even after Moses died. In like manner, the people of God should be known for keeping their word.

It doesn’t matter who is in the seat of leadership. If promises have been made by or for the group, the promises should be carried out.

Think about how this applies to promises made to church staff, church members, and the community (e.g., endowment funds). Let’s work on being people of our word.

Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying, instead of disobeying God. God has so much for those who obey His will.

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