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July 27, 2018

In Judges 2, two reasons are given why God did not drive out the Canaanites out of the land, and Judges 3 starts by giving another reason. It states, “Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof” (Judges 3:1-2). Thus, God used these nations to teach this new generation the art of warfare.

As informed in the previous chapters, Israel sinned by committing idolatry and disobeying God’s instruction to not form matrimonial alliances with the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These grievous actions caused God to be extremely angry with them, and He allowed their enemies to enslave them.

In the remainder of chapter 3, the three enslavements and deliverances of Israel with the cycle of disobedience, defeat, lamenting, deliverance, and rest until the judge dies is recorded.

First Israel was enslaved by King Chushanrishathaim of Mesopotamia, and after eight years the Lord raised up Othniel the son of Kenaz to deliver and judge them resulting in the land having rest for forty years.

Next when Israel backslid and returned to their evil ways God allowed Eglon the king of Moab with the help of the children of Ammon and Amalek to smote Israel, and they took and possessed the city of palm trees for eighteen years until the Lord raised up Ehud, the son of Gera, a left-handed Benjamite to trick and assassinate Eglon with a two-edged dagger under the pretense of giving Eglon a private and secret message. After killing the king, Ehud safely escaped to Seirath and was able to rally the children of Israel in the mountain of Ephraim to follow him and fight their enemy. They were able to slew about ten thousand valiant Moabite men, resulting in eighty years of rest in the land.

The final encounter in this chapter does not share many details; however, God uses Shamgar, the son of Anath, to slay six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad.

Conclusion: Othniel was from the mightiest tribe of Israel and Ehud was from the smallest tribe of Israel, and God used them both to deliver and judge His children.

The Moabites, Ammonites, and Amalekites were all distant relatives of Israel.

After experiencing rest and peace for eighty years, you would think the people would want it to continue by following God’s instructions; however, this was people of another generation who like their forefathers probably did not know God.

Spiritual Application: Your family origin does not matter to God. He uses whom He pleases.

God is the originator of deliverance, and men are His catalyst.

God grants us opportunities for teaching, trusting, and testing.

Understand, failure to cast the enemy out has permitted him to gain a stronghold which he does not easily give up.

Sometimes your enemy and problems are allowed to exist in your life so you can learn warfare strategies.

Sincerity should be coupled with repentance.

Just because a person is related to you does not mean they have your best interest at heart.

God can use strange weapons to destroy your enemy.


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