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Day 85 Judges 2-5
In chapter 2, the angel of the Lord (the OT Christ) came to the people of Shiloh and told them how he had commanded them not to associate with the Canaanites and they did not obey. The angel told the Israelites that these people would lead them to worship idols. The people were sad and cried out to the Lord and they called the place Bochim which means "weepers".
Not all of those who repented were sorry. Some of them did evil and served Baal. This made God angry and he gave them over to their enemies which made war against them. During these times, the Lord raised up Judges who saved the people when they repented. But, when each Judge died, the people went back to worshiping their idols. We will read about this several more times!
In chapter 3, we learn about Othniel, and how God made him the first judge. Othniel saved Israel from the enemy and judged Israel for 40 years. Ehud delivered Israel from Eglon who had ruled Israel for 18 years. Eglon had kept the Israelites very poor. Ehud from the tribe of Benjamin served the Lord and knew that the people must turn from their sins and return to God. In the eighteenth year of Eglon's rein, Ehud crafted a special sword since he has left-handed and the Eglon king of Moab was a fat man. He returned to the palace to see the king and the servants didn't look on his left side for a weapon since all others were right-handed. He then killed Eglon and returned to Israel calling them to battle.
In chapters 4 & 5, we learn that the Lord used a women named Deborah who was filled with the spirit of God to deliver the Israelites. She judged those who came to her and repented. He told her to send for Barak who was to take soldiers from 2 tribes ad go to Mt Tabor. Barak was weak in his faith and wanted Deborah to go with him. Along with 10,000 soldiers they went to battle with Sisera's army.
From heaven the stars fought, from their courses they fought against Sisera. Judges 5:20
Sisera fled on foot and and rested in the house of Jael. She killed him. For 40 years they had rest from their enemies.
Day 86 Judges 6-9
With Deborah and Barak gone, we learn in chapter 6 that Israel had turned again. The Lord sent the Midianites this time. They ruled the land for 7 long , hard years. The angel of the Lord came to Gideon who was hiding in a cave from the Midianites and told him that the Lord was with him. The angel told him that he was to save Israel. Gideon asked for a sign that God was truly with him, and the angel used his staff to set fire to the meat and bread that Gideon had brought him. Gideon tore down the alter to Baal and built an alter to God. Gideon still felt weak and asked for 2 more signs from God.
In chapter 7, the Lord told Gideon that he needed a smaller army. Why? So that it could be known that the victory was God's. Gideon got it down to 10,000, but that wasn't small enough. God set out a test then. He watched as they drank water. There were the dog-lappers(ready for battle) and the kneelers(comfort). Gideon kept the dog-lappers, only about 300.
The Lord then sent Gideon and his servant to the Midian's camp. They listed to a dream and Gideon knew he did not have to be afraid. Gideon went back to his army and gave them each a trumpet and a lighted torch. The Lord once again proved victory.
In chapter 8, Gideon dies. In chapter 9, Abimelech murders and becomes king. He destroys Shechem and is slain.
Day 87 Judges 10-13
In chapter 10-11 we read about Israel's repentance. the Lord called Jephthat. He fought against the Ammonites and won. Jephthat tried to peacefully talk to the king of Ammon to end the war. The king would not listen and wanted to fight. He won. He made a vow to the Lord that whoever came to meet him and celebrate, he would offer as a sacrifice to the Lord. That person was his only daughter. She lived a life of holiness and was never married.
In chapter 13, Israel was back to being sinful. This time is was the Philistines who had been sent to wreck havoc. An angel came to a women and told her that she was to have a special child. There were 3 rules that must be followed. He must not cut his hair, he cannot eat grapes or raisins or drink wine made from grapes, and he may not touch a dead body. This child was named Samson.
Day 88 Judges 14-18
In chapter 14, Samson demanded to his parents that he get this certain Philistine girl to be his wife. Theu didn't understand why he wanted to marry a heathen, but God had planned this so that Samson would have a reason to make trouble with the Philistines. On their way to Timnath, God put a young lion in Samson's path. The spirit of the Lord came upon Samson and he tore apart the jaws of the lion. At the wedding feast, Samson told a riddle to his "friends" and they begged Samson's wife to get the answer. He then knew that his wife's heart was with the Philistines and he killed the 30 friends and gave his wife to someone else.
In chapter 15, He sets off to visit his wife. To make peace with Samson, his wife's father offered to give Samson her younger sister. He refused. He knew that the Israelites would not help him fight the Philistines, so he turned to the forest animals for help. He killed many of them and went to the tribe of Judah and lived in a cave. The Philistines followed him and bound him The spirit of the Lord came upon him. He broke the cords and killed 1,000 of the Philistines with a jawbone. Sampson was very thirsty after his battle. Theplace where the jawbone was, the Lord made a hollow spot and water came out. He judged Israel for 20 years.
In chapter 16, Samson found Delilah and lived with her. The Philistines learned that he was there and they went about finding out where he got his strength so that they may defeat him. They offered Delilah money to find out. Samson told her 3 lies. The 1st was that if she bound him with 7 green branches, he would be like any other man. The 2nd was if she bound him in new ropes, he would be weak. The 3rd was that if she weaved his hair into 7 parts, he would be like any other man. The truth finally came out and she had a barber shave his head and God was gone from him when he awoke. The Philistines blinded him and put him in jail. Samson's hair grew and during one of the Philistines celebrations, he prayed to God and he pulled the Philistines house down and took his own life in the process.
In chapter 17, the Israelites were back to idolatry. Micah hires a Levite to he his priest. In chapter 19, The Danites rob Micah so that their inheritance would be much larger.
Day 89 Judges 19-21
The last 3 chapters talk about the wickedness of the men of Gibeah in Benjamin.
Day 90 Ruth 1-4
In the book of Ruth, we learn about Naomi and Ruth. Naomi and her husband Elimelech who lived in Bethlehem took their 2 sons with them to Moab to escape the famine. Naomi's husband died there and in his death the Lord spoke and told her that she was living in the wrong land. She didn't listen. She raised the boys there and they knew no worship of God and married girls from the Moab's. God spoke harder to her this time and took both of her boys away from her. She then repented of her sins. She set off with her son's wives to return to Israel. Orpah saw that she had no more sons to marry and turned around. Ruth and Naomi came back to Bethlehem.
Nearby, lived Boaz, a relative of Naomi. He was very rich. Ruth, who was poor went out to glean his fields. Boaz was much older than Ruth. When the gleaning was done, Ruth felt alone. Naomi stepped in. She told Ruth, that Boaz was a close relative of hers and that he should do as God's law commanded and marry her (Duet. 25:5-10). He married her. The Lord gave them a son named Obed. Obed was the grandfather of David, the line of Jesus!!
Blessings for your upcoming week and Happy New Year!!