9/27 Reading (Judges 1-3; 1 Corinthians 4)

Judges 1: We see a general overview of the conquests of the tribe of Judah against the people who originally lived in the area. There are several instances where the Israelites didn’t drive out the Canaanites, directly violating God’s directive from earlier books in the Bible.

Judges 2: God’s messenger visits the people after the various conquests and warns them against letting the Canaanites stay. They directly violated the covenant they made with God, so God makes it clear that he will not drive out the people:

I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you are not to make a covenant with those who live in this land. You should break down their altars.’ But you didn’t obey me. What have you done? 3 So now I tell you, I won’t drive them out before you, but they’ll be a problem for you, and their gods will be a trap for you” (CEB Study Bible, Judges 2.1-3).  

We are then introduced to the cycle that will be seen throughout the entire book: the people do something God doesn’t like (vv. 11-13), they are punished by subjugation (vv. 14-15) (in this case they are plundered by raiders), they cried out for help and God bestows power on a person (Judge) (vv. 16), and there would be a time of calm (vv. 17-19). The Judge would eventually die and the cycle would start over again. This is the trend for the rest of the book.

Judges 3: Here we see three different judges pretty much follow the cycle established in Judges 2. The first is Othniel, Caleb’s younger brother (referred to as the model judge in the CEB subtitle). He emerged after 8 years of the Israelites serving another. There was peace for 40 years after Othniel destroyed the oppressors. The second is Ehud from the Benjamin tribe. He emerged after 18 years of the Israelites serving another. He secretly kills the ruling King and escapes. This was followed by 80 years of peace. The third is Shamgar, who defeats the Philistines. Only one verse refers to him.

1 Corinthians 4: Paul makes it clear to the people to not “become arrogant by supporting one of us against the other” (CEB Study Bible; 1 Cor. 4.6). Still with the wisdom theme. He ends this chapter explaining that by sending Timothy to Corinth, they would still get the same instruction as if he were there himself.

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