- The end of Joshua – Our Bible reading in Joshua focused mainly on the children of Israel’s conquest of Canaan. After conquering 31 kings west of the Jordan River (Joshua 12:9-24), the nation could finally begin to divide the land up among the tribes (Joshua 13:1-33). In chapter 14, one of the original 12 spies (Caleb), asked for the inheritance promised to him by God 45 years earlier. At 85 years old, Caleb requested the hill country of Hebron. He wanted to be able to drive out any giants that remained.
The last two chapters of the book consist of Joshua’s farewell address to the nation. After calling the leaders of Israel, he reminds them of the grace of God that had been shown to them (Joshua 23:1-4). He then urges all the people to serve the Lord and keep His commands (Joshua 23:6; 24:15). He warns them that if they failed to do so, God would in turn remove them from the good land He had just given them (Joshua 23:15-16). The people responded by promising to faithfully serve the Lord (Joshua 24:16-28). Joshua then wrote their covenant in the “book of the law of God” and constructed a great stone as a memorial of the events of the day.
Joshua would die at 110 years of age. He was buried in Timnath-serah in Ephraim (Joshua 24:29-31). The book also concludes by mentioning the burying of Joseph’s bones that were brought from Egypt and the death of the second high priest, Eleazar (Joshua 24:32-33).
- The book of Judges – This book records some of the darkest moments in the history of Israel. The generation that Joshua lead into Canaan is commonly called, “The greatest generation of Israel.” Unfortunately, the next few generations would not even come close to that level of faithfulness. Instead, they would start serving the same false gods as the heathen nations around them (Judges 2:11-15).
The book begins with God promising not to help Israel drive out the rest of the Canaanites. Since Israel refused to obey Him and drive out the remaining nations immediately, God refused to help them any longer. Instead, He would allow those remaining nations to be a “thorn” in their side (Judges 2:1-5).
The period of Judges lasted for about 300 years. During that time, Israel found themselves in a repeated cycle of disobedience to God and suffering. They would RELAPSE in their faithfulness to God (Judges 3:7). The Lord would get RETRIBUTION and allow them to suffer at the hands of heathen nations (Judges 3:8). The children of Israel would then cry to God and REPENT (Judges 3:9). God would then RAISE up a judge (warrior or deliverer) who would save them (Judges 3:10). The land would then be at a period of REST, until the same cycle would repeat itself once again (Judges 3:11).
There were fifteen judges of Israel.
- Othniel (Judges 3:7-11)
- Ehud (Judges 3:12-30)
- Shamgar (Judges 3:31)
- Deborah (Judges 4-5)
- Gideon (Judges 6-8)
- Abimelech (Judges 9)
- Tola (Judges 10:1-2)
- Jair (Judges 10:3-4)
- Jephthah (Judges 10:5-12:7)
- Ibzan (Judges 12:8-10)
- Elon (Judges 12:11-12)
- Abdon (Judges 12:13-15)
- Samson (Judges 13-16)
- Eli (1 Samuel 4:18)
- Samuel (1 Samuel 7:15)
The book of Judges teaches us that life is always better when we listen to and obey God. A life without doing so leads to suffering and chaos (Judges 21:25).