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Copyr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 3 - DELIVERERS

INTRODUCTION: OUR LESSON THIS WEEK IS ABOUT THE DELIVERERS OF GOD'S
PEOPLE THAT WE FIND IN THE BOOK OF JUDGES.  LETS GO BACK INTO CHPT
2 FOR A WHILE TO FIND OUT THE BACKGROUND FOR THESE DELIVERERS!



I. THE JUDGES  

     A. READ JUDGES 2:14-16. 

          1. WE SEE GOD DOING TWO APPARENTLY CONTRADICTORY THINGS.
          WHAT DO WE SEE? (THAT GOD BOTH DEFEATS THEM (v.15) AND
          RESCUES THEM (v. 16)
          
          2. WHY DO YOU THINK DOES GOD DO BOTH?

               a. IS IT BECAUSE v. 14 SAYS GOD WAS ANGRY?

     
          3. TWO WEEKS AGO YOU WERE AWFULLY SHY ABOUT BUYING INTO 
          A TOE-CUTTING GOD. (JUDGES 1:6-7 - LORD BEZEK)
          
               a. YOU SAID HE WASN'T VINDICTIVE.
               
               b. I ASSUME YOU WOULD NOT BE IN FAVOR OF CALLING HIM
               ANGRY EITHER.
               
               c. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS?
               
               d. IS GOD THE SAME TODAY AS HE WAS YESTERDAY?
               
               e. OR WAS THIS JUST AN UNFORTUNATE TIME IN HIS LIFE?
               (REV.3:19; HEB.12:5-11; PS 94:11-15; PROV.3:11-12;
               2CHRON 36:14-20)
               
(DO YOU LOVE YOURSELF? DON'T FORGET GOD OR WHAT HE HAS DONE.)

     B. LETS LOOK AT HEBREWS ON THIS ISSUE OF DISCIPLINE: READ 
     HEBREWS 12:5-11.

          1. WHAT DOES THIS SUGGEST FOR A "TOE-CUTTING" GOD. (THAT
          HE DOES THIS FOR DISCIPLINARY REASONS)

          2. WHO DOES GOD DISCIPLINE? (THOSE HE LOVES.)
          
          3. DOES GOD LOVE YOU?
          
          4. CAN YOU IDENTIFY A TIME IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU WERE 
          BEING DISCIPLINED?

          5. WHEN THINGS ARE GOING WRONG IN OUR LIFE, SHOULD WE 
          CHECK OURSELVES TO SEE IF THERE IS REASON TO DISCIPLINE
          US? (I THINK IT IS ALWAYS PRUDENT. HE SAYS v. 5, DO NOT
          MAKE LIGHT OF THE DISCIPLE AND DO NOT LOSE HEART.)

          6. WHAT DOES v.11 SUGGEST IS GOOD ABOUT THIS DISCIPLINE?
          (THAT IT PRODUCES A HARVEST OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE
          FOR THOSE WHO ARE PAYING ATTENTION!)

          7. WHAT IF WE SULK WHEN GOD DISCIPLINES US? (SEEMS 
          AWFULLY IMPORTANT TO "BE TRAINED BY IT" (v. 11)

II. THE GOOD NEWS!

     A. READ JUDGES 2:16-19

     B. WE PREVIOUSLY SAW THAT THE SCRIPTURE ATTRIBUTES THE EMOTION
     OF ANGER TO GOD. HERE, IT TALKS ABOUT ANOTHER EMOTION -- GOD'S
     "COMPASSION" ON HIS PEOPLE.
          1. ARE BOTH OF THESE THEORETICALLY CONSISTENT WITH THE
          IDEA OF DISCIPLINE?
          
          2. IS THIS RAISING UP JUDGES TO SAVE THEM, AS A PRACTICAL
          MATTER, CONSISTENT WITH DISCIPLINE? (IF THIS IS
          DISCIPLINARY, KILLING THEM IS NOT DISCIPLINE. GOD IS
          LOOKING OUT FOR THEIR BEST INTERESTS, AND WHEN THEY CALL
          OUT HE HAS COMPASSION ON THEM AND SENDS A JUDGE TO RESCUE
          THEM.)

     C. IT SAYS IN v. 19 THAT THE PEOPLE RETURNED TO WAYS MORE 
     CORRUPT THAN THOSE OF THEIR FATHERS. 
     
          1. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS?
          
          2. IT SEEMS THAT THE PEOPLE WERE NOT "TRAINED" (HEB 
          12:11) BY THE "GOOD TIMES."

          3. IS IT A PRINCIPLE OF LIFE THAT YOU ARE MAKING PROGRESS
          ONE WAY OR ANOTHER? (MATT 12:43-45)

     D. WE HAVE THIS GENERAL PICTURE. THAT IF THE PEOPLE OBEY, THEN
     GOD STANDS UP FOR THEM AND DEFEATS THEIR ENEMIES. BUT IF THEY
     DO NOT OBEY, THEY GET "WHUPPED" BY THEIR ENEMIES.

          1. SINCE JOSHUA WAS SUCH A GOOD GUY, WHY ARE THESE 
          ENEMIES STILL HERE?  
          
          2. JUDGES 2:23 TALKS ABOUT GOD LETTING SOME NATIONS 
          REMAIN WHILE JOSHUA WAS ALIVE. 
          
          3. WHY DIDN'T JOSHUA DEFEAT THEM ALL? 
          
(EX 23:29-30. THE CANAANITES WERE TILLING THE LAND AND KEEPING DOWN
THE WILD ANIMALS. THE ISRAELITES DID NOT NUMBER ENOUGH TO TAKE OVER
ALL THE LAND. TOO MUCH LAND FOR THEM. SO THE IDEA WAS THAT AS THEIR
NUMBERS GREW, THEY WOULD EXPAND THEIR BOARDERS.  A GOOD SENSIBLE
PLAN THAT DEPENDED ON THE PEOPLE HAVING FAITH IN GOD GENERATION
AFTER GENERATION.)


III. OTHNIEL

     A. READ JUDGES 3: 5-8. READ 
          1. WHAT DID THE ISREALITES DO WRONG NOW? (INTERMARRIAGE)
          
          2. WHY DO YOU THINK GOD "SOLD" THEM INTO THE HANDS OF 
          RISHTHAIM? (v.8) ("MAW-KAR'" -- THE WORD YOU WOULD USE IF
          A MAN SOLD A DAUGHTER INTO MARRIAGE OR SLAVERY.) GOD
          "SOLD" THEM JUST AS IF THEY WERE A POSSESSION OF WHICH HE
          HAD BECOME TIRED!)

     B. READ 3:9-11. THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME WE HAVE SEEN 
     OTHNIEL. WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT HIM? (JUDGES 1:12-13 REPORTS
     THAT OTHNIEL, CALEB'S NEPHEW, IN RESPONSE TO AN OFFERRED
     REWARD OF CALEB'S DAUGHTER, CAPTURED KIRIATH SEPHER.)

          1. IS THIS A RINGING ENDORSEMENT? (WOULD BE BETTER IF 
          DEATED THE CANAANITES BECAUSE IT WAS SIMPLE OBEDIENCE TO
          GOD.)

          2. WE SEE THAT GOD USED OTHNIEL, AND THAT THE "SPIRIT OF
          THE LORD CAME UPON HIM." (v.10)

               a. I WANT TO DIGRESS FOR JUST A MOMENT. DO YOU EVER
               WANT GOD TO HELP YOU DO SOMETHING, BUT AREN'T QUITE
               SURE HOW TO ASK?

               b. FOR EXAMPLE, I PRAY THAT GOD WILL HELP ME WRITE
               A BRIEF WELL, THAT MY MIND WILL BE QUICK AND CLEAR,
               AND THAT I WILL HAVE WISDOM. WHO DO I ASK FOR GOD
               TO SEND TO DO THAT?
                    (1) AN ANGEL? (DOESN'T REALLY SEEM LIKE ANGEL
                    WORK.)
                    (2) THE HS? (DOESN'T REALLY SEEM LIKE WHAT THE
                    HS DOES EITHER.)
               (IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THIS CLARIFIES THE SITUATION,
               THAT FOR ASSISTANCE IN TASKS THAT ARE NOT
               "SPIRITUAL MATTERS," THAT WE CAN CALL ON GOD'S
               SPIRIT TO HELP US.)

     C. THE CONCLUSION TO OTHNIEL'S TENURE IS THAT THEY "HAD PEACE
     FOR 40 YEARS." (v.11)
          1. IS THAT GOOD?
          2. IS THAT THE GOAL? (NO. PEACE WAS NOT THE OBJECTIVE,
          THROWING THE CANAANITES OUT WAS THE OBJECTIVE. PERHAPS
          THIS FLOWS FROM THE WORK OF A MAN WHO FIRST CAME TO OUR
          ATTENTION BECAUSE HE WORKED FOR AN EARTHLY REWARD RATHER
          THAN WORKING TO OBEY GOD.)

     D. DOES OTHNIEL SEEM TO BE A "JUDGE" IN THE WAY THAT WE 
     NORMALLY THINK OF A JUDGE? 

          1. VERSE 10 SAYS "AND HE JUDGED ISRAEL." (NO. THE HEBREW
          IS "SHAPHAT" WHICH MEANS "TO JUDGE" "TO VINDICATE" "TO
          PUNISH." WE ARE LOOKING AT THE "EXECUTION" PART OF BEING
          A JUDGE.)

IV. EHUD (THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE LEFT-HANDED, PAY PARTICULAR
ATTENTION!)

     A. LETS READ ON. JUDGES 3:12-30

          1. TALK ABOUT DETAIL! MCGEE SAYS "EHUD" MEANS "RED HAIR"
          (THOUGH I DON'T FIND ANY CORROBORATION FOR THAT), AND
          THIS LEFT-HANDED REDHEAD KILLS A VERY FAT MAN -- FAT
          ENOUGH TO ENVELOPE AN 18 BLADE WITH NO PROBLEM!)

     B. WHAT PARTICULAR TALENT OF EHUD DID GOD USE? ("LEFT-HANDED."
     THE TEXT LITERALLY MEANS THAT HIS RIGHT HAND WAS IMPEDED. SO
     IT IS STATED IN A NEGATIVE WAY.)

          1. IS THERE A LESSON IN THAT FOR US TODAY? (YES. LEFTIES
          ARISE! SERIOUSLY, GOD CAN TURN THE MOST MUNDANE TALENTS
          (OR DISABILITIES) INTO USE FOR HIS KINGDOM.)

     C. OUR LESSON HAS A VERY INTERESTING NOTE, WITH AN INTERESTING
     ASSUMPTION. IT ASKS, "WHY WAS SUCH RETRIBUTION [EHUD'S ON
     EGLON] METED OUT BY A SERVANT OF GOD APPROPRIATE IN THAT
     SETTING BUT VERY WRONG IN OUR SETTING?"

          1. I WROTE A MARGINAL NOTE THAT SAYS, "WHO SAYS?"
          2. THE LESSON QUOTES MATT 5:43-48 FOR ITS "VERY WRONG"
          STATMENT?
               a. NOTE THAT "LOVING OUR ENEMIES" HAS AS ITS GOAL
               BECOMING LIKE GOD.  

                    (1) WASN'T GOD BEHIND THIS KILLING? (JUDGES 
                    3:15, 20)
                    (2) ISN'T GOD ALWAYS THE SAME?
                    (3) DOESN'T GOD PROMISE THAT HE WILL KILL OUR
                    ENEMIES IN THE FUTURE? (SEE REV. 11:16-18. YOU
                    HAVE BEGUN TO REIGN ... [TO] REWARD[] YOUR
                    SERVANTS ... AND [TO] DESTROY[] THOSE WHO
                    DESTROY THE EARTH.")

     D. WHY ARE WE GIVEN SUCH GRAPHIC DETAIL? 
          1. FAT COVERED OVER THE KNIFE HANDLE!
          2. KNIFE CAME OUT THE BACK!
          3. SERVANTS THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO THE BATHROOM SO DID
          NOT DISTURB HIM! (COVERING HIS STEPS IN A COOL INNER
          CHAMBER) (I THINK GOD IS LAUGHING AT HIS ENEMIES)

     E. MAXWELL HAS A SERIES OF LECTURES ON THE 66 BOOKS OF THE 
     BIBLE. THE LECTURES ARE INTERESTING IN THAT HE SAYS FOR EACH
     BOOK, WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT GOD? WHAT IS HE TRYING TO
     TELL US ABOUT HIMSELF THROUGH THIS BOOK?
     
          1. MAXWELL HAS A VIEW OF GOD THAT, IN MY OPINION, IS FAR
          TOO TAME, THAT DOES NOT BALANCE THE "LOVING" SIDE OF GOD
          PROPERLY WITH THE "JUDGMENT" SIDE OF GOD.
          
          2. MAXWELL IS NEARLY SPEECHLESS ABOUT THIS BOOK! (HIS 
          POINT, A GOOD ONE, IS SEE HOW GOD CARED FOR HIS PEOPLE,
          EVEN WHEN THEY WERE REAL LOW-LIVES!)

     F. SO, WHAT IS GOD TRYING TO TEACH US ABOUT HIMSELF HERE? 
     (GOD'S PERSISTANT COURTSHIP OF HIS PEOPLE AND HIS CERTAIN
     JUDGMENT UPON HIS ENEMIES.)

     G. WHAT LESSON OF VALUE IS IN A LEFTY STABBING A FAT
     OPPRESSER? (I BELIEVE, FROM THE WAY EHUD IS DESCRIBED, THAT
     THE PROMINENCE OF HIS LEFT HAND IS VIEWED AS A DISABILITY.
     COMMENTATORS SAY THAT HIS WEAPON, HIDDEN ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF
     HIS BODY, WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE THE GUARDS WOULD SEARCH A
     MAN'S LEFT SIDE (ON THE ASSUMPTION YOU ARE RIGHT-HANDED) (GOD
     CAN USE COURAGE -FAITH- AND A DISABILITY TO VINDICATE HIS
     PEOPLE!

V. NEXT WEEK: JUDGES 4 & 5. (OR, BE CAREFUL OF THOSE PEGS WHILE
TENTING ON THE OLD CAMPGROUND)