Category Archives: Judges

The Book of Ruth Resolves the Insanity of Judges

In a previous post I went through some reasons that teaching Judges is extremely difficult. Judges is one of those books of the Bible that I can’t imagine Beth Moore teaching a series on. I can’t see it not because she lack the ability but because it wouldn’t appeal to her core audience. It is a book that really doesn’t have much hope in its pages. Storytelling typically follows a pretty well worn path called a “Narrative arc” and it looks like this,

narrative-arcIf you read through Judges the story takes you to the peak of crisis mode but never really lets you find Climax and Resolution. Thankfully the Bible doesn’t end at Judges. The story continues in Ruth where you finally get some hints at the resolution. What is interesting about Ruth is that the first and last verses of the book connect it back into Judges and forward to the Kings. Here are the first and last verses of Ruth,

Ruth 1:1 – “In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land”

Ruth 4:18-22 – “18 Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, 19 Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, 20 Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, 21 Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, 22 Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.”

Ruth is placed firmly in the context of the time of the Judges and concludes with a tiny glimmer of hope in the downward spiral that is the period of the Judges. Ruth has redemption. Ruth has love. Ruth has loyalty. Ruth points to king David and ultimately the Messiah. Judges on its own is pretty much a “hope-free zone”. But Judges/Ruth gives a fuller picture of what God is up to. When you study them together you don’t end the story at the top of the narrative arc (crisis stage). Ruth points to the resolution.

There are a lot of people who live from crisis to crisis without finding the hope and peace that comes through resolution. It is like they are living the story of Judges…partial deliverance here and there but still very much oppressed. It is important that we find our hope and that we embrace that peace that passes all understanding that we can and will find in and through Christ. He is the ultimate Climax of the story of human history who brings resolution and reconciliation to all things.

 

The Difficult Message of Judges

We are studying Judges on Sunday morning and it has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. My initial interest in teaching Judges was its relevance to Western Christianity. You have God’s people living among a pagan culture. Most assimilate and worship the gods of the land. Finally they cry out forContinue Reading

Gideon’s Weakness and the Grace & Peace of God

We usually associate “grace and peace” with Paul’s letters but grace and peace show up in other places in scripture. One of those places is in Judges 6. Gideon was told to deliver Israel from the Midianites but Gideon is concerned because the days he lived in weren’t like the days of his ancestors. HeContinue Reading

Holy Spirit Part 3: Role in the Old Testament

Role in Creation: In the Old Testament the word for spirit is the same as the word wind and breath (רוּח) which occurs 378 times. From the very beginning the Spirit played a role in creation, “and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen 1:2). God’s Spirit not only assisted in theContinue Reading

Samson – Weakness in Power

One of the favorite characters of the Old Testament that any Sunday School teacher worth their salt will cover is Samson. We always think about Samson as a man of great strength. He was able to kill a lion with his bare hands (“as he might have torn a young goat” – as if tearingContinue Reading

This and That

Milk & Honey (Thanks to Wiley Lowe for pointing this one out):In the book of Judges you have the story of Deborah and Jair. Sisera was leading the forces of Jaban the Canaanite king against the Israelites. Deborah, whose name can also mean “bee” calls Barak to defeat Sisera and his men. Barak hesitates andContinue Reading

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