Book of Judges Chapter Twelve
(Part Two)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Judges is that God blesses obedience and punishes disobedience. Today, we will discuss the judgeships of Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon.

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Read Judges 12:8-15

J. – L. The Judgeships of Ibzan (vss. 8-10), Elon (vss. 11-12), and Abdon (vss. 13-15). Ibzon  is noted for having 30 sons and 30 daughters. He had his children to marry people outside of his clan. Ibzan served seven years and then he died and was buried in Bethlehem.

Elon was a Zebulunite. He served for 10 years. And then he died and was buried. Abdon was the son of Hillel from Pirathon. He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who rode 70 donkeys. After eight years of leading Israel, he died and was buried.

Applications –

- Doing our parts. Notice in vss. 8, 11, 13 that God’s plan is bigger than any one person. First, just as we see the phrase “after him,” in this chapter of Judges, one day, people will say “after you and after me.” God’s plan is bigger than us.

Second, we should do the best that we can, as if we are running a relay race. Someone ran before us, and someone will run after us. We should run our portion, pass the button, and cheer for the team.

Think about how this applies to church, community, and even family responsibilities. Let’s work on doing our part in God’s huge plans.

- Description vs. prescription. Notice in vs. 9 the mention of 60 children and in vs. 14 the mention of 40 sons. We are pretty safe in saying that this called for a number of women/mothers being involved.

First, here is a case of description, not prescription. The fact that these men had so many children from so many women is a description of what happened, not a prescription for what we should do. God wants sex reserved for marriage. God wants us to parent all of our children well.

Second, we should seek God’s wisdom to know whose example we should follow and whose example we should avoid. The prayerful study of God’s word with a mind to obey it and the support of other disciples can help us. Let’s follow God’s word more than bad examples.

- Death is coming. Notice in vss. 10, 12, 15 that each Judge died. In like manner, we all have a date with death (i.e., if the Lord delays His coming). We should prepare for our date with death. This includes our wills, insurances, living wills, relational loose ends, etc.

But most of all, we should make sure that we are saved. Let’s make sure we are ready for our date with death.

- Serving, instead of just surviving. Notice in vss. 11, 14 that these Judges were essentially known for occupying the space. There is no mention of any significant accomplishment or contribution. God has saved us to be the light of the world and salt of the Earth.

We may not do anything that is written in history books. But we should do something that is written in God’s records of how we have lived our lives, especially since we have been saved.

We should be wise stewards of our self-care, love those who are in our network of close relationships, and make positive contributions to the circumstances that we find ourselves in (e.g., voting for candidates and issues, volunteering to help people, contributing to causes, taking care of family and friends, etc.). Let’s serve, instead of simply survive.

- God’s representatives. Notice in vs. 13 that Abdon’s father and place of origin were mentioned. In like manner, we are the children of our parents, descendants of our ancestors, and members of our communities. What we say and do has some influence on how they are viewed.

In other words, we can bring pride to our parents and community or shame. Even if our parents and communities were not as great as we wanted them to be, we are representatives of God.

Let’s work on living in ways that bring glory to God. At the core of this application are the issues of making sure that we are saved and striving to live lives focused on loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.

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