Lesson 2Othniel and Ehud
We continue our study of Judges by completing our review of Chapter 3. As I indicated at the end of the last lesson, we will now begin to look at events in Israel’s history that almost defy understanding. However, from these stories, God has great truths to reveal to us about ourselves, our salvation, and about God himself.
In this lesson, we will look at two "deliverers" that God sends for Israel: Othniel and Ehud; and we will examine the roles that they played in delivering Israel from their fallen ways. Through the stories about these judges, the Lord will also reveal himself to us in ways that we may not have previously considered, as we look at our own motivations and desires as they relate to the world around us.
Read Judges 3:5-31; then answer the following:
- Re-read Judges 3:5-7. In the context of today’s world, what would it mean to follow after, or to "serve", other gods? Cite some specific examples of what this might mean.
- What is Judges 3:6 referring to? How would we describe this today? Is this happening today?
- Why do we stray from God, and even depart entirely from Him at times?
- Read Judges 3:8-11 and answer the following questions:
- Read Judges 3:12-30 and answer the following questions:
- Consider for a moment both stories that we have just read and some of the potential applications of these stories to our lives today:
- What common elements do you see in both stories?
- What can we learn about the people of Israel that might tell us a little about ourselves today?
- What can we learn about God from these two stories?
- What can we learn about our enemies from these stories?
- What can we observe about the relationship of peace and sin?
- What is revealed to us about God and his relationship to us?
- In each case when did Israel fall away from God, and what does that tell us about ourselves and the world around us?
Clearly we see in the study of Judges a picture of a people whose hearts are easily bent toward sin and a people who quickly turn their backs on God. However, we also see that God’s love is so great for them (and us) that his desire was (and is) to redeem his people. By allowing them to be given over to the hands of their oppressors, God revealed to them their error, and then blessed them by sending a deliverer. He demonstrated His sovereign rule over all the earth through his actions during the time of the Judges, and He also shows us today that all authority is under His control and power, and not man’s.
We can see how easy it is to be enticed away from God by our own lusts and desires. We also see the consequences of those actions, because peace and sin cannot abide together.
If our lives are not what they ought to be today, we need to make sure that sin, compromise, other idols or gods, lusts, and selfish desires have not crept into our lives. These things create barriers to peace in our lives and block out the God of love, who sent his only Son to bring us that peace which passes all understanding.
Examine your heart today: look at each action you take, consider every motivation of your heart, and make sure that God is first in your life in all things. If not, cry out to Him as Israel did, and he will be faithful to deliver you from the bondage and stain of sin.
May God richly bless you this week as you study His Holy Word.