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

LESSON 2 - UPS AND DOWNS

INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK OUR STUDY IS CHAPTER 2 OF THE BOOK OF
JUDGES AND JUST A LITTLE BIT INTO CHAPTER 3. NORMALLY, I DO NOT GO
BACK AND PICK UP SOMETHING THAT WE DID NOT GET TO LAST WEEK. BUT
BECAUSE THEY WAY THE BOOK IS WRITTEN, WE NEED TO PICK UP WITH THE
ENDING THOUGHT OF CHPT 1 BEFORE WE GET TO CHPT 2. SO LETS GET INTO
IT!
 
I. BACKGROUND

     A. YOU REMEMBER LAST WEEK WE LEFT OFF WITH THE ISRAELITES 
     TAKING POSSESSION OF THE HILL COUNTRY, BUT NOT TAKING
     POSSESSION OF THE PLAINS BECAUSE (1:19) THEIR OPPONENTS HAD
     IRON CHARIOTS.
     
     B. THE NEXT SEVERAL VERSES -- JUDGES 1:21, 26-35 -- HAVE A 
     DISCOURAGING SIMILARITY. LETS READ AN EXAMPLE. READ JUDGES
     1:33. 
     
          1. IS THE TRIBE OF NAPHTALI UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO DRIVE
          OUT THE CANAANITES? 

          2. WHAT DOES THIS RECORD OF LEVYING TRIBUTE SUGGEST? 
          (THEY HAD OVERPOWERED THE CANAANITES -- ELSE THEY WOULD
          NOT HAVE BEEN WILLING TO PAY TRIBUTE.)

     C. LETS READ ON. JUDGES 2:1-2. GOD HAS A QUESTION: WHY NOT 
     OBEY GOD WHO HAD TOLD THEM TO DESTROY THE CANAANITES? (IN
     NUMBERS 33:55-56 GOD WARNS ISRAEL THAT THEY MUST DESTROY THE
     CANAANITES OR THIS THEY WILL CREATE TROUBLE FOR THEM AND GOD
     WILL DO TO ISRAEL WHAT HE PLANNED FOR THE
     CANAANITES.)(LANGUAGE OF NUMBERS 33 VERY SIMILAR TO JUDGES
     2:3)

          1. SO WHY DIDN'T ISRAEL OBEY? CONSIDER THE SITUATION WITH
          NAPHTALI, WITH IS PROBABLY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REST.

               (a. IMAGINE HAVING THE EXTRA MONEY, AND MAYBE 
               SERVANTS. FIGHTING WAS WORK AND DANGEROUS TO BOOT.
               TRIBUTE WAS A LOT EASIER: YOU GOT MONEY AND HELP.)

          2. DID ISRAEL HAVE A "COVENANT" WITH THE CANAANITES? 
          (YES. A TRIBUTE AGREEMENT. AND THAT COVENANT WAS DIRECTLY
          CONTRARY TO THEIR COVENANT WITH GOD.)

     D. READ JUDGES 2:3-5.

          1. WHAT DOES THIS SUGGEST CAN HAPPEN TO US IF WE
          DISREGARD GOD'S WARNINGS? IF WE BREAK OUR COVENANT WITH
          HIM? (CAN LOSE THE BLESSING TO WHICH YOU WERE CALLED.).


     E. READ JUDGES 2:6-10. WAIT A MINUTE! WE HAVE TWO PROBLEMS 
     HERE:
          1. I THOUGHT JOSHUA WAS DEAD? THE FIRST VERSE WE STUDIED
          LAST WEEK (JUDGES 1:1) SAYS "AFTER THE DEATH OF
          JOSHUA...."

          2. AND IN v.3 WE JUST READ WHERE THE ANGEL SAID THE 
          PEOPLE WOULD NOT DRIVE THE CANAANITES OUT, BUT IN THE
          VERY NEXT VERSE (v.6), WE HAVE THE PEOPLE GOING OUT TO
          TAKE POSSESSION OF THE LAND!  WHAT IS GOING ON?
          
(1. THIS IS NOT A STRICT CHRONOLOGY. INSTEAD, JUDGES 1:1 TO 2:5 IS
AN OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK. (WHICH IS THE REASON I HAD TO GO BACK
SINCE WE DID NOT FINISH LAST WEEK)
2. AS A RESULT, v.5 FOLLOWS v.6)

     F. SO WHAT EXPLAINS THE DIFFERENCE IN ATTITUDE? THE "CAN DO"
     ATTITUDE OF 2:6 VERSUS THE "CANNOT DO" ATTITUDE OF 1:19 AND
     FOLLOWING? (2:10 IS THE KEY. A NEW GENERATION CAME WHO DID NOT
     KNOW GOD OR WHAT HE HAD DONE!)

          1. PARENTS! WHAT KIND OF OBLIGATION DOES THIS SUGGEST IS
          ON OUR SHOULDERS? (WE NEED TO TELL OUR CHILDREN WHAT GOD
          HAS DONE FOR US; WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT THEY KNOW GOD.)

          2. IT APPEARS THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD CAN DISAPPEAR IN ONE
          GENERATION!
               a. IS THIS SIMPLY THE PARENTS FORGETTING TO TELL THE
               CHILDREN? (NO! THIS IS ALSO THE RESULT OF LIVING
               WITH THE CANAANITES. JUDGES 2:3. THE CANAANITES
               WERE NEIGHBORS, NOT ENEMIES, AND THEIR GODS
               "SNARED" THE CHILDREN!)

          3. DO YOU PARENTS SEE A LESSON HERE? WHAT? (THAT WE HAVE
          NOT ONLY A DUTY TO TRANSMIT THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND WHAT
          HE HAS DONE FOR US TO OUR CHILDREN, BUT WE HAVE A DUTY TO
          KEEP THEM AWAY FROM CANAANITES WHO WILL SNARE THEM WITH
          THEIR VALUES!)

     G. LETS CONSIDER TWO PASSAGES OF DEUTERONOMY FOR A MINUTE:

          1. DEUT 4:9-10 SUGGESTS WE NEED TO ASSEMBLE TO HEAR GODS
          WORDS AND TEACH THE CHILDREN.

          2. DEUT. 6:4-9 SUGGESTS THAT WE AS PARENTS SHOULD:

               a. v. 6 HAVE GOD'S COMMANDMENTS ON OUR HEARTS
               b. v. 7 TALK ABOUT THEM TO OUR CHILDREN WHEN:

                    (1) SIT AT HOME
                    (2) WALK ALONG THE ROAD
                    (3) LIE DOWN
                    (4) GET UP
                    
               c. v.8 TIE THEM AS SYMBOLS ON YOUR HANDS
               d. v.8 BIND THEM ON YOUR FOREHEADS
               e. v. 9 WRITE THEM ON HOUSE DOORFRAMES AND GATES

          3. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN WE SHOULD DO? PHYLACTERIES AND 
          MEZUZAHS? (A CONSTANT WITNESS TO YOUR CHILDREN: WHAT YOU
          DO, SAY AND THINK. IN THE MORNING, DURING THE DAY, IN THE
          EVENING, WHETHER HOME OR ON THE ROAD!)

     H. LETS READ MORE OF THE RESULTS OF NOT KNOWING GOD: READ 
     JUDGES 2:10-13.
     
          1. THIS MAKES VERY CLEAR THAT THE NEXT GENERATION WAS 
          "SNARED" BY THE CANAANITE GODS: BAAL AND THE ASHTORETHS.

          2. WHAT IS GOD'S RESPONSE? (v. 12 ANGER.)

     I. READ 2:14-15. DOES THIS STILL HAPPEN?
     
     J. SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED ABOUT THIS IN YOUR LIFE IF YOU DO NOT
     OBEY?
     
          1. LAST WEEK YOU WERE AWFULLY SHY ABOUT BUYING INTO A 
          TOE-CUTTING GOD. (JUDGES 1:6-7)
          
               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. DO YOU
LOVE YOUR CHILDREN? TALK UP GOD ALL THE TIME!)

     K. LETS LOOK AT HEBREWS ON THIS ISSUE: READ HEBREWS 12:5-11.

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

          4. 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.)

          5. 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!)

          6. WHAT IF WE SULK WHEN GOD DISCIPLINES US?

II. THE GOOD NEWS!

     A. READ JUDGES 2:16-19

     B. HOW COULD GOD'S HAND BE AGAINST THEM (2:15), YET GOD WOULD
     RAISE UP JUDGES TO SAVE THEM? (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. IS THIS A PRINCIPLE OF
     LIFE?
          1.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. NEXT WEEK: JUDGES 3: THE DELIVERERS! STUDY!