Judges: Day 1

Failure of the Tribes

by

Today's Text: Judges 1:1-36, Genesis 49:8-12, Psalm 34:17

Scripture Reading: Judges 1:1-36, Genesis 49:8-12, Psalm 34:17

I still remember the misguided giddiness I felt when my eighth grade English teacher announced we would be reading Romeo and Juliet. I knew little of Shakespeare at the time, beyond the belief that he was someone I should read and appreciate. All I really knew of the star-crossed pair was that they, and their love story, were famous.

So when I came to the end of the play, I was livid. Romeo and Juliet were both dead, and there was no happily ever after. What sort of love story was this?

It isn’t one, really. It’s a tragedy. Every twist and turn that leads to the demise of the young couple is meant to bring an ache to our hearts, because we realize how easily it could have been avoided. We’re meant to feel upset and distressed at the ending. That’s how tragedy works.

The book of Judges is the tragic, true story of the people of Israel ignoring God’s instructions, and then abandoning their faith to live like their pagan neighbors. After God’s people endured 400 years of slavery in Egypt, followed by forty years of wandering in the wilderness, Joshua led Israel into the promised land. Toward the end of his life, Joshua warned the Israelites to worship the Lord and serve Him only, and instructed them to drive the Canaanite people out of the land, so they would not be tempted to follow a false religion (Joshua 24:14-15).

But these opening verses in the book of Judges warn us that the Israelites didn’t obey. They repeated the sins of the Egyptians and enslaved the Canaanite people. They failed to drive the Canaanites out completely, and failed to fully establish a land of their own. And like the opening lines of Romeo and Juliet, we are warned that what we are about to read is a tragedy.

In Judges, the people of Israel forsake the Lord and adopt the worship practices of the Canaanites. They experience chaos and catastrophe in a time of unprecedented violence and oppression, led by mostly corrupt and cowardly judges. The Israelites become almost unrecognizable as the people of God. And then the book of Judges abruptly ends, with everyone doing whatever seems right to them (17:6). As readers, we’re left with a sense of longing for how things ought to be.

But God continues to work. The book of Ruth tells us that during this time, famine in Israel sent Naomi’s family to Moab, where her son married a woman named Ruth before he died. Ruth, a Moabite, pledged to stay with Naomi, an Israelite, and embrace the God of Israel. She went on to give birth to Obed, King David’s grandfather. From this lineage came Jesus, the Savior of the world. Our hope, the hope of all creation, is rooted in a foreign widow’s decision to follow God during the bleak time of the judges.

I pray that as we read Judges, we will discover the source of true redemption, and turn back to the One who redeems. For when “the righteous cry out… the LORD hears, and rescues them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).

We can draw hope from the fact that God continues to work through morally compromised, deeply flawed people and circumstances. He isn’t limited by our shortcomings. He isn’t stopped by the brokenness in our world. His story—and because of Him, our story—is not one of tragedy, but one of profound beauty and hope in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God.

SRT-Judges-Instagram-Day1

Jessica Lamb consumes books, tea, and street-style tacos with equal ferocity. When she’s not working as the managing editor for She Reads Truth, she can be found singing Broadway tunes off-key or traveling. She lives with her husband, daughter, beloved mutt, and tolerated chickens in Nashville, TN.

  • Emily Gates

    Like the Egyptians, they enslaved. Like the Canaanites, they worshiped something else. They completely forgot the overall mission, and that was to mirror and trust in the God that gave it to them in the first place. This is so true for my walk with Christ time and time again. Judges, isn’t the book I thought I’d ever be able to understand or relate to. But, God works in crazy crazy, lovable ways. ❤️

    • Jenny Noble

      Forgetting the overall mission is something I am consistently guilty of! This is a pleasant reminder that God is there and to just trust in him!

  • Abbey Webb

    My pastor said this during our sermon this morning. “We think our suffering will end us but God says he will establish us through our suffering. It is not the end, it is the beginning.”
    (studying chapter 5 of 1 Peter)

  • Bertha Bwalya

    this is so amazing, God is great and his love is eternal

  • Dawn Berghone

    Oops!! I meant morally compromised and deeply flawed people! It reminds me of Gods love for us, his lost sheep, and his grace in allowing us to stumble and return to his desire for us. It’s definitely more than we are worthy of or we can ever imagine! He uses that flaw to the betterment of his people and of ourselves individually!! To me it’s freeing to know I’m not in bondage and need not carry the guilt of falling horribly so far away from his love and protection!! That he tells us I will use you because of your short comings! I’ve prepared you for this! You are my child and serve a purpose!! Thank you Jesus!! You constantly reinforce my heart and mind and remind me of your faithfulness when I allow myself to dwell in a place you already freed met from

  • Dawn Berghone

    I love the message here about how Christ seems to choose morally corrupt

  • Emely Dickens

    This was a great chapter. I didn’t understand everything in it but the analysis of the chapter after ward really helped. I read the chapter, read the analysis and then went back to read the chapter again. I’m exciting to be using SKT! Best of luck to all my sisters in Christ ❤️

  • Raevan Parson

    Feeling so disconnected from my relationship with God and I feel physical and mental pain because of it. I can’t seem to find peace in not overthinking and having thoughts that I am unworthy of God’s grace and forgiveness. Today has to be my final day of allowing myself to feel this way. While I don’t have the emotion that matches my words, I must speak out loud what is true; that God has a plan for me and my days will get better because he is the commander over my life. My Lord is my Savior and protector even in situations that seem so impossible to resolve. I am thankful for this journey in Judges and to be reminded not to turn away from my God.

    • Jody Jones

      Dear Raevan – cling to God’s word; listen to songs of praise to our Holy God. You will prevail because of the blood of Jesus. Victory is so sweet.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Raevan, we’re praying for you and are so glad that you’re here reading along with us. -Margot, The SRT Team

    • Sarah S

      Praying for you, raevan! I think we have all felt that way, but those who seek God find Him. His grace is sufficient for you and His power is made perfect in weakness. Praise God that he will ALWAYS love us!

    • Jenna BoxSarkissian

      Raevan, you are loved by our God and you are being lifted up in prayer right now! Grateful to be a part of this study with brave and honest women like you.

    • Janessa Vawter

      Raevan! In the name of Jesus rebuke Satan from your mind! I am praying for you! We all feel unworthy of God’s grace but that’s what makes it sooo sweet!

  • Alexis Hobdy

    I really liked it a lot

  • Jennifer Bryngelson

    Just went through the “Open your Bible” 5 day sample and so touched by how each day’s message feels picked just for me. Very happy to be here and sitting with arms and ears open to what God’s message is for me.

  • Hannah Dills

    I’ve been really struggling lately. I’ve been absorbed in this feeling of loneliness which has led me to believe that I don’t have anyone that I can relate to or be close with. I have also been really distant from the lord. Today at church I was reminded that friendships are destined and you have to be willing to put in the work for it to happen. I was also reminded through the children’s ministry that God’s way is perfect. Now that I just read day one of this study, I really feel like God is trying to tell me something. That I need to trust him and his way. That I need to start picking up my bible and pursuing a relationship with him because he promises so much more if I just put my hope in him to lead me in my relationships with people. I’m excited to continue this study and many more to come. And I hope I will begin to feel God and him moving in my life.

    • Lindsay

      Excited for you, Hannah! Praying that He would keep giving you reminders of His love throughout the week. He is pursuing you!

    • Priscilla A Bonsu

      Hannah I’m glad you met God again, if you’ve God in your life there’s nothing like loneliness and friendship. God is all in one , may he be your friend forever

    • Dana Cowan

      I completely relate to what you said! This was perfect for me at this time too :) God bless you Hannah

  • Paige Arena

    I’ve had the SRT app on my phone for about a year, and I recently bought the SRT Bible to study but I’ve still felt distant and discoccected. I’m hoping the website and the plans here will help me with that. I was to be closer to God, and live His word

  • Marla Jordan

    I am happy to be here. I am trying to find my way in all things. Trying to get closer to God and His ways. I welcome all insight and help. My life has been bleak lately and I know that there has to be light somewhere. I’m hoping I can find it.

  • Frances Marie

    This is exactly where I am today. Strayed, broken, and humbled by this study. Constant reminder that the Lord seeks his people and finds us in our emptiness to bring us home. Already loving this app!

  • Sandy Sampong

    Great insight

  • I am completely new to bible study and just completed day 1 today (started a little late). The old testament is completely new to me but I am excited to do this!

  • Megan Barker

    This was a good start to getting back in the word

  • Crystal Garcia

    Such a beautiful reminder. Feeling very encouraged ☺️

  • Leandra Hatterson

    I loved this!! Very nice to read first thing in the morning!

  • Annissa Hackney

    WOW! Thank you SRT. I needed this today. What a joy and a blessing to be reminded that God’s chosen people were just like me-flawed and disobedient- and God did not forsake them. He is faithful to redeem us for His glory. Submission is hard but so rewarding when we truly cry out to God and let Him lead us. Praising God for his mercy and grace today. Thanks again for a great plan!

  • Lacey Gomez

    Late joining in but I plan to catch up this weekend. This is my first time following a she reads truth plan. Already a great start.

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re so glad that you’re here, reading along with us Lacey! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Jasmine R

    Amen!!

  • Mikia Tarver

    A little late hopping in, but I’m excited!

  • Brittany Thurman

    New to SRT. I’ve been chewing on Day 2s reading all night. I think what struck a cord with me was in being reminded of the importance of raising our children and our children’s children to follow the ways of the Lord. As a mom, this hit home BIG time! In Judges 2:10 “ that whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors. After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works he had done for Israel.” And because they did not know they did evil things and continued to sin and abandon God. Even when He came for the rescue and felt pity for them and delivered them they turned their backs on him. Their is such value in teaching our children the importance of having a relationship and nurturing that relationship with God. Then the verse Deuteronomy 4:9 “only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. TEACH them to your children and your grandchildren.” Wow! We are their best role models and teachers.

    • She Reads Truth

      Welcome Brittany, we’re so glad that you’re here reading along with us. Thanks for sharing this! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Alissa Thompson

    Wow… God isn’t limited by our shortcomings!! New to SRT and Day 1 I’m soooo encouraged and filled with The Lords presence. Thanks SRT. What a blessing.

  • Kimber Hatton

    I loved where I read -hope is rooted in our decision to follow Christ in bleak times . God has a plan and I’m so thankful

  • Faith Pan

    To avoid tragedy from happening in our lives, we must make it a daily choice to fully obey God.

  • Mary Barnard

    But God continues to work in all of us everyday. Continue Your work in me Lord.

  • Adrienna Purdy

    It’s also important to remember that, if we are believers, Jesus took that wrath at the cross. There is no reason to fear. ❤️

  • Really, really good. These devotions are great for youth, like myself. The message is relatable and easy to comprehend.

  • Courtney Cook

    Brand new to SRT and loving it so far!!

    • She Reads Truth

      Welcome Courtney, we’re so glad that you’re here reading along with us! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Mikayla HopeChildersAdams

    ❤️

  • Becky Rice

    I’m having a hard time with all the war and destruction and setting fire to cities in the first place. It’s hard to get past what God’s asking the Israelites to do… kill everyone. What about redemption for them? Is the answer to following God to put yourself in a world/bubble where everyone thinks like you do and everyone else be damned (literally)?

    • Emma Johnson

      Hi Becky,
      I just spent a little while going through Joshua (the book right before today’s reading) which also includes a lot of war and destruction. As a result, I really prayed into understanding what we are to learn at God’s character in these passages.

      One of the most important things to remember through these passages to me is that God is wiser than we are (he is literally all knowing) and he is good. If you trust fully in these aspects of his character you can rest assured that even if it doesn’t make since to us, what he is doing here is not preventing people from coming to know him or hurting people unnecessarily. In fact, all of the warfare that we see here is how God is working to fulfill the promises he made to the Israelites. Since his hand is over it and he is good and all knowing, we can trust in his commands to the Israelites. This is also how we can make an honest distinction between these passages and people acting hatefully or violently to groups of people today, as Jesus’ sacrifice got rid of the need for anything like this today, so anyone who claims to have a justification for violence is not acting under Gods will and authority and therefore is not justified in any way by these passages.

      When you ask about redemption for these people I think it’s important to note that in Judges, the Israelites fail at what god commanded of them, and the people they were supposed to drive out remain living among them. Theoretically, this should allow for redemption for them. Rather than see these people come to know and love the living God however, throughout judges we see the people of Israel turning away from god to follow the idols of these people. Although it might not make full sense to us, this is one reason that we can see that an all knowing god may have commanded the Israelites to act in a way that seems cruel to us.

      Sorry for the super long response, it’s something I’ve been praying through and working through as well so I thought I’d share some of my conclusions. My biggest advice would be to really spend some time asking God to reveal his wisdom to you on this though.

      • Sheila Payne

        Such a good question and such a well studied, beautiful answer. Thank you both.

      • Alex Weikel

        It was a really long response but a good one. It is definitely one that I am struggling with as well. I am going to ask God to really help me understand.

      • Joanna Keene

        Hi Becky. Good comments. It’s hard to read this and not feel the “injustice” of so much loss of life. However, Gods word is also filled with much about His desire that no man should perish – “From one man God made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:26-27, NIV)
        He does not just want to kill everyone off so to speak. However we know that all have sinned and fallen short. This is the very reason God gave us Jesus. In our place. Because without extreme separation from the rest of the world, (full of sin) we are all susceptible to “forgetting God” as the Israelites did. Judges is a clear depiction of the extreme ways we attempted to obey God but ultimately failed. Even in killing off groups of people we could not hide from our own sin. God knew even then we needed saving. And that our level of on and off obedience left much to be desired. Jesus makes it all right. We can live IN the world and with the Holy Spirit not be OF the world. Slaying sin only and dying to self only rather than going into extremes and killing off those that live a life that forgets God.

    • Sierra St John

      It’s impossible to understand “war and destruction” apart from sin and holiness—because that’s the real war. I think your answer is best found in Genesis 3 when we chose a path apart from God. HE isn’t the one bringing destruction on US, we did it to ourselves. And ever since then, in His perfect, unchanging love, not wanting us to be separate from Him, He’s been working to make it right. Sin and it’s repercussions are some hard pills to swallow… but remember, the Lord IS good, and loved us enough to allow the death of his own Son—to make it all right. Death is the result of sin, and only the Lord brings life through death. Ask The Lord as you read His Word to help you see His love and redemption through what seems a mess. I promise, He will show Himself Faithful. ❤️ blessings, sister

    • Kate Greenwood

      Hi Becky, I don’t know a whole lot about this, but earlier this year I went on a women’s camp and we looked at the book of Joshua. I felt really similar to you about all the destruction. I didn’t know the bigger picture. Moses told the Israelites just before they attacked that “It is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you” (Deuteronomy 9:4). These people were being righteously punished. But then there is the story of Rahab and the spies. She begged them for mercy and God gave it to her. God also loves mercy and he can give it to who he chooses. Praise Him for giving it to us in Jesus. Hope that helps you, it really taught me to trust God more!!

    • Karen

      My Bible study at church was on Joshua last year (this year on Judges!) and this is a question we wrestled with. One thing to keep in mind is that the people who lived there and their pagan religions were truly evil…human sacrifice, prostitution, idol worship, even child sacrifice. God did not want these terrible practices to influence the Israelites.

  • JoannaEllía Jiménez

    ❤️

  • Laurie Walker

    “and turn back to the one who redeems” What a refreshing reminder to rekindle that hope that can be found only in God’s Word I’m excited to come back tomorrow! Thanks SRT

  • Tara Todd

    Rather than pursuing victory, the Israelites settled for living with that which God sought to deliver then from. That was their first mistake. I can already see so clearly how this is so like our lives. God seeks to deliver us but we choose to stay in our sin and in our trouble because it’s easier than true change. I pray that God speaks to my heart through this study. I do not want to settle for less than what God has planned for me.

  • Lauren Waguespack

    Exciting to be studying this book! It is not one I have ever really delved into much!

  • Great reminder to Return to Him in times of doubt or trouble. Remember, trust, and obey. God is waiting with open arms ❤️

  • So many times, God tells us to get rid of something in our lives completely and yet we choose to hold on to a tiny part “just in case”. My heart breaks everytime I’ve done that. Especially when I realized I failed to make Him King of my life. He wanted to keep me close to Him, just like He wanted the Israelites to do. He knew and knows that holding on to that “just im case ” will take us where we would feel so lost and hopeless. I’m praising Him for not giving up on His babies. Mercy and Grace have never failed me.

    • Melanie

      Yes! I was just reflecting on this in my own life, as well. And seriously, what are we even hanging onto that little bit for? It always grows back, never staying as just a little bit. May we learn to obey wholeheartedly, confident that relinquishing every little bit will leave us fuller and more satisfied with Him.

  • Jackie Price

    Ruth didn’t give birth to Jesse, she gave birth to Obed; King David’s grandfather, not his father.

    • Jackie Price

      I see this has been changed already. In the version I received in my mail it still said she gave birth to Jesse. Sorry for the unnecessary comment.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Jackie, yes this error has now been corrected but we appreciate you reaching out to let us know. So glad that you’re reading along with us! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Chanda Leger

    This was perfectly timed by God. Looking forward to this study!

  • Cassie Schneider

    I’m excited to jump into this study. The timing is perfect as I am trying to steer myself in the right direction again to find the hope and love of God that I’ve missed so much by getting too caught up in the “chaos” of life.

  • Yes If go and look at the linage of Jesus, I believe in Matthew, you will see that. Boaz was the father of Obed and Obed the father of Jesse and Jesse the father of David. It is amazing if when reading each book of the Bible how you find little things about who followed the Lord and who didn’t. If I remember my Bible right, Judah was the brother of Joseph that convinced the others to sell Joseph into slavery. Yet Jacob’s son Benjamin is one who lived side-by-side with the Caananites. Judah is the one who conquered the areas in the name of the Lord. Isn’t amazing that Joseph’s sons didn’t even try to take possession of the land.

  • Taylor Martin

    I am excited to start reading Judges again. I first read through this book when I was reading through the OT the summer before college. This book has always brought revelation to me, and I can tell already that it’ll happen again. Before, I sort of glanced over the first chapter: murder, murder, murder, slavery, peace, murder. Now however, I see for what it is, only a few of the tribes listening to the commandment of God. A tribe, listening to completion to the word of the Lord and trusting him, even when it was difficult.
    Side note* How amazing the his daughter secured water for all her people?!

  • Leanna Lopez

    I’ve been distant from God for the past month now. Maybe even more. Quiet times became more of an obligation rather than an intimate engagement. And eventually they just stopped. Today, not knowing SRT was starting a new plan, I looked for a plan that would help me renew my joy and stumbled upon this plan! A plan that’s title just terrifies me because it has been my reality. I’m so humbled by God’s sovereign grace that is just so sweet towards me. Today I’m rejoicing in the truth that he loves us!

  • Kerri Darby

    Praying for you now! He’s calling you with open arms!

  • Kerri Darby

    I’m both hesitant and excited to study Judges…chapter 1 has already revealed my cycle of laziness where my heart & mind is concerned. I easily flick away the wispy things that are easy to rid my life of. But the stubborn thoughts? The sinful actions that want to stay? I’m hard pressed to make concerted effort to drive them out. I want to be better at repentance, at digging deep and driving out the sin that so easily entangles!

  • Katie Shawver

    I’m so excited for this study! I feel like I keep coming back to Jesus and then failing and I beat myself up and step away for a bit feeling guilty and then come back! This study reminds us that God can use us even when we’ve stumbled and aren’t perfect! Amen!

    • Callie

      Well said! I find myself stuck in this cycle too. I have to constantly remind myself that grace is endless and is not dependent on my abilities.

  • Rachel Bialoskurski

    I don’t think ive ever read all the way through the book of judges but I’m excited to start with you guys!

  • I love Old Testament study and am looking forward to this. I have to point out, though, Ruth did not give birth to Jesse, but rather to Jesse’s father, Obed. She was King David’s great grandmother.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Kerri, this particular error has now been corrected but thanks for letting us know, we appreciate it! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • I struggle with the concept in Psalm 34:17. Sometimes righteous people cry out to God and their troubles are not removed. In light of eternity, they are delivered from their troubles, so is that what this verse means? This concept is probably why prayer doesn’t come easily to me.

    • Tiffany Nelson

      Hi Julie. I realize this reply is a bit late, but I wanted to share: Read Hebrews 11. It’s been referred to as the Prophets’ Hall of Fame. You will see that many people of faith served God, even to the extent of suffering a brutal death, and never seeing the promises of God fulfilled. And yet, there are others, like Job, that were repaid tenfold for their suffering during their earthly life. I struggled with this myself because I lost my mother at a young age. My mom had amazing faith and we were strong as a family rooted in God’s Word and promised. She was terminally ill for 10 years before we lost her. To your question- why pray if God ultimately chooses who to give mercy to and it seems beyond our pleadings? Because it’s not. God sees the whole puzzle- we are focused on a puzzle piece trying to make sense of it. God works through tragedy and triumph for the good of the Kingdom. Do you know how many people were in awe of my mother’s faith and her platform for Christ was elevated in her illness. Even the newspapers and news followed her story- when she passed, there were people standing and clapping for her testimony. It was incredible. I cannot be upset that my mother was not healed, because she used it for the glory of God. God answers all prayer, even if you can’t see the big picture. My mom (and Steven, and John the Baptist, and other Heroes of Faith) seemingly failed and lost their earthly lives, but look at the impact and souls won for Christ? Who can argue that? Ultimately, we will see the impact of “unanswered” prayers in Heaven and be filled with awe.

    • Tiffany Nelson

      Sorry- I just realized that was maybe confusing to read- people gave my mother a standing ovation at her funeral (to be received by her children and husband) for her testimony. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ll never forget it.

  • I have to say, when I saw that we were reading Judges, I groaned. After all the awesomeness of Joshua, and the conquering of the land… then Judges happens. This book is a hard pill to swallow. God informed me that the Israelites failed because they failed to protect the land that was given to them. They had success, grew comfortable and failed to complete the task the Lord set before them: Drive EVERYTHING OUT. Soon they started looking like those around them, and lost sight of who they were and lost sight of God. Scary stuff.
    This is a reminder to me to follow through with everything God has told me to do and even in success, to protect what He’s given me through prayer and abiding in Him. We have an enemy who wants us to fail. I must always be vigilant in prayer and protect the promises God has given me.

    • NIta

      Alexis you hit the nail on the head! All I kept saying was come through Alexis. Thank you for providing clarity to today’s reading! We must drive EVERYTHING OUT and do not get complacent with success. I’ve found myself here. Just in a “blah” phase, and took my eyes off of God and his word. BUT thanks be to the Holy Spirit that keeps nudging me and guiding me back

  • Abby Hambrick

    I know exactly how you feel and I am in the same boat as you. I have become distant from God and I have a long road of forgiveness ahead. I will be praying for you!

  • My biggest takeaway from today’s reading was that in spite of our failures there is still hope. God never stops working and plans around our mistakes, and we are blessed to have a God who is so thoughtful and wise. Judges is also a good reminder to heed God’s instructions the first time, in order to avoid unnecessary complications and deterrents in life. This week I am working on obeying God at every turn in my life.

  • donna2238

    I may have read through this book a few times, but somehow the connection to Ruth did not resonate with me until today. Hope is always available even in the darkest times.

  • Kristin L

    A slight correction: Ruth have birth to Obed, Jesse’s father and David’s grandfather.

    • She Reads Truth

      We appreciate you pointing this out Kristin, it has now been corrected. We’re so glad that you’re here reading along with us! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Wyneisha Kinsey

    Amen

  • Jen Smith

    I’m excited about this study, it could not be coming at a better time! I’m stepping out of a time of brokenness and trying to find the beauty in all of it knowing it’s all part of His story. Excited to dive into this book!

  • Rachel Hosack

    “Even when I don’t see it, You’re working. Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working. You never stop….You never stop working.” (Bridge to the song ‘Waymaker’)

  • Mia Herne

    WOW ! Did God show up this morning. I begin my devotions with my Good Morning God journal. In this journal I focus on the LORD. Acknowledging who He is . On rare occasions I do leave a prayer request . This morning , I invited the Trinity to join me Father , Son , and Holy Spirit as I entered the banquet room to receive the manna offered at the banquet table. As part of my prayer time I have been praying my way through the Bible for our country and President. This morning I read from Nahum where felt like I was reading the daily news as the topic was people rejecting God’s mercy ! Then came Bible study time. Beginning our study into Judges .Once again , I could have been reading the newspaper for today’s news ! God is at work. He sees what is going on . He is fighting for us . He has our brokeness in His hands . Jesus is our hope.

  • What an awesome reminder! When everything seems to be going haywire, God is still working!!!

  • Stephanie Lynn

    In a season of brokenness, I have been “hiding” from God. How silly am I to think that is even possible?! Time and time again I do this. Why do I feel so unworthy unless my life is perfect?! “He isn’t stopped by the brokenness in our world.” That spoke to me! He can use me even in my broken state. But only if I obey Him and stop trying to do it my way ❤️

    • Mimi

      I seem to do this too! I just end up more broken and just exhausted! This is just all a part of Satan trying to keep us from the Lord!

    • Katina Jordan

      Thank you for your transparency, that hit me right between the eyes that I do the same thing!

  • Wanda Smith

    Amen

  • Churchmouse

    400 years of slavery in Egypt. 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. One would surely think that the Israelites would have learned to trust and obey God. Surely He would have gotten their attention. Surely they would have been eager for good news – time to enter the Promised Land! No need to fear because God had promised to hand it over to them. Go Israel! Just do it! Yep that was God’s plan. But Israel, foolish forgetful Israel, forsakes the Lord. They are halfhearted in their attempt to follow Him. They don’t take possession of the land; they posess prisoners who become their slaves. The Israelites are not the conquerors Gods intended them to be. They are compromisers. This is their downfall. I can relate. Sometimes I am halfhearted, disobedient and compromising. No doubt studying the book of Judges will be a sharp reminder of the consequences of my choices. May I finish the study with a renewed commitment to know, love, serve and obey Him more. So grateful I have the Hope to do just that!

    • Kay

      As usual, you captured my thoughts. How often do I “compromise” on God’s plans for me instead of “conquer” what is before me?! I am praying that during this time of transition in my life, that I will approach my service to God with my whole-heart and be fully obedient wherever He directs me.

  • Anna Buchanan

    Father keep me from the danger of apathy and awaken my heart to your great plans for me as your child!

  • Eliza Bulz

    This reading is a great reminder of the mistakes I made, when I was faithful only outwardly but in fact I was running on my own power and status in the world. I was focus on conquest, doing things my way, never consulting God about things. I never want to go back to that, I want Christ in my life forever

    • Jess

      I am so with you, Eliza! I went through the same struggle recently and hope to submit to a place where I never do things in my own again.

  • Janna Jackson

    Judges is a picture of humanity and our need for a Savior. As humans, including me, I easily trick myself in to thinking that I can live a good life on my own and please God. We take the parts of what we like about God and try to mold the rest of his commandments to fit our lives so we are not inconvenienced. Christians and non Christians are guilty of this. Oh may I daily acknowledge my need for the Savior and bask in the truth of the Gospel.

  • Kristine Loughman

    To the rest of the world, the Israelites’ actions were probably right on target: invade, conquer, inslave, assimilate. But God’s People have never been called to live as the world does. This story reminds me that God has a different, better plan for us. We live in a broken world, but praise God, we are not of that world!

  • Kelly Chataine

    As people, we want God’s blessings, His full blessing when, at the same time, we don’t want to obey Him fully. As if, we have the better idea. We want it all from God but are not willing to give Him our all. In the past ten months, God has placed His finger on some areas of my life and I want to obey Him fully. May God give me the strength to obey Him fully. May God grant us the strength and wisdom to be like Caleb and Ruth.
    The throne is God’s and I need not be a usurper.

  • Shelley Langley-Grey

    This as show me the importance of sharing my testimony with my children. I want them to see God through me.

  • Candacejo

    I am sure I am missing something obvious here but in Judges 1:8 it says that “the men of Judah attacked Jerusalem and captured it, killing all its people and setting the city on fire.” Moving on to verse 21 we read, “The tribe of Benjamin, however, failed to drive out the Jebusites, who were LIVING IN JERUSALEM. So to this day the Jebusites live in Jerusalem among the people of Benjamin.”
    I know we don’t know the exact timeline here but I am curious if someone can enlighten me. If Judah killed everyone in Jerusalem and set it on fire, how were there Jebusites there for Benjamin to get rid of?
    Yes, I got more out of the reading than that :) thanks for any insight!

    • Elizabeth

      Maybe check different translations? I have an NASB and in verse 8 it does not use the word all… it says “Then the sons of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire.” In the study notes it just says for this verse that although the Israelites conquered Jerusalem they did not occupy it until the days of David with a reference to see 2 Samuel 5:6-10…

    • Pam

      I wondered the same thing.

    • Jessie Chatigny

      Some scholars point out that the language of hyperbole (exaggeration) was part of the art of the Israelites telling and shaping their story. Not a very satisfying answer I know, but we have a messy, beautiful bible. But seriously messy. I highly recommend Inspired by Rachel Held Evans.

    • Dorothy

      In my version it says that Judah set Jerusalem on fire but did not kill them. Also many nations of people would inhabit an area and some areas could expand over a vast area. The Jebusites could have been on the border of one other cities. It also doesn’t say that the sons settled there it says they captured it or at least in the version I am reading.

    • Amanda Cotton

      I have also read while doing a study on the book of Ruth that there were two Jerusalem’s in the time of the judges (one in the north and one in the south). So it’s possible that Judah conquered the holy city Jerusalem while Benjamin only partially conquered the other.

    • Brittany Ringler

      Yeah, this reading got confusing at times with all of the killings and capturing! It was hard to follow!

  • I found it so sad that the Israelites made those they failed to conquer into slaves. How often do we complain about the injustice of what someone else is doing, and then, when we get the upper hand, turn around and do exactly the same thing?

    • Kay Coughlin

      We are so broken! But we can choose salvation instead of wallowing in our sad history and traditions of violence and oppression. Praise God for giving us new meaning and a chance at living a kinder life through Christ.

  • So Caleb gave his daughter in marriage to her uncle?

    • Marianne

      Yes, it seems so. Wasn´t unusual in those times … Abram even married his half-sister.

      • Erica Chiarelli

        I know it’s not major, but Ruth gave birth to Obed, the father of Jesse. Not Jesse himself. ;)
        But that’s not all I got! Lol
        I’m always saddened reading Judges. What a hard and rough time to live, although if only the Israelites followed God and not the endless cycle of going after idols, being captured, calling out to God only then… they would have lived the life God had for them.
        Thankfully God never gives up on us!

    • Jamie Williams

      I read that verse a couple of times…If I am reading it correctly, Caleb gave his daughter to the son of his brother, her cousin.

      • Dorothy

        I think you are right, Caleb gave Othniel his daughter. Othniel was Kenaz’ son. Kenaz was Caleb’s brother at least that is the way I decipher it.

    • Juanita T

      It is legal to marry your cousin in Australia today

      • Zoë

        As an Australian I only just learnt this. I never knew these would be the things I was learning when I started my first SRT devotion. Haha

  • Marianne

    Thanks for turning our eyes on Ruth, the hope-bringing foreigner, in this glum beginning of a story. It´s true, that God isn´t dependent on our weakness but will work for the outcome of the story he planned.
    I thought that the Israelites were content with less than God had planned. God promised them the whole country, without any constrictions. But they stopped fighting at some point. Isn´t this our situation so often? We are content with some blessings, a little strength from above but aren´t willing to keep on fighting. There would be so much more to conquer if we only kept on trusting …

    • Desiree Masters

      Love this added insight!

    • Stephanie Lynn

      Wow! I too love this insight! Thank you :)

    • Diane Hogan

      That is so true! We become content instead of using our God given powers to keep going!

    • Mercedes Cadena-Ellis

      Very encouraging:)!

    • Kay

      Marianne, I have thought that too. How often do I stop short of what God truly had planned for me because it was to hard or took too long?

    • PamC

      You have nailed this for me and I see how often I too have just settled. Thank you.

    • Dorothy

      Marianne you have given me new hope and encouragement, lately I have been just settling. Now I will be able to keep fighting and fighting and fighting. But most of all I will continue to trust in the Lord, and come back when necessary to trust in the Lord.

    • Lauren Waguespack

      So good!!! Thanks for sharing!

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