Lessons From Judges

Judges 1 (4/12/18)

April 12, 2018 • Benham Brothers

* The Israelites had ownership of the land but they did not possess it. * They had the power and the authority, but they refused to walk in authority and use their power. * They “could” not take the land because they “would” not. * Why? * 1) They were slothful and cowardly. * 2) They were covetous - they wanted the Canaanites’ labour and money would do them more good than harm. * 3) They pitied those who would lead them astray - they didn’t have the proper view toward the dangers of idolatry. * 4) They didn’t truly believe they could defeat them.

Judges 1:19 (4/13/17)

April 13, 2017 • Benham Brothers

* Luke 9:1 - God has given us two things: * Power - the “ability” to do something. * Authority - the “right” to do something. * As Christians we have BOTH! * ** Side note - Judas had authority as well. * In Judges 1:19 we see that the Israelites owned all the land, but they didn’t possess all of it, so they couldn’t enjoy it. * They “failed” to drive them out because they “refused” to do it. * The Israelites had the authority and power to possess the entire land, but they didn’t. * Judges 1:27-36 - all of these tribes went from defeat to defeat. * We walk in defeat when we cease to walk in faith. * Judges 2:1-3 - the reason they couldn’t drive out the inhabitants - they hadn’t done their part by staying set apart from the people. * If we do our part God will do His part.

Judges 3:1 (4/12/18)

April 12, 2018 • Benham Brothers

* God turned the Israelites failure of driving out the Canaanites into something that could be positive. * For the Israelites who didn’t know how to fight it would teach them how to be warriors. * This is a picture of what we are to do with sin - drive it out! * This will require a FIGHT. * The Israelites had to learn to be militant and so do we.

Judges 3:17-21 (6/14/23)

June 14, 2023 • Benham Brothers • Judges 3:17–21

Proverbs 21:22 tells us that a wise man scales the wall of the mighty and tears down the stronghold in which they trust.  A stronghold, in this sense, is any territory in which Satan has control.  A wise man (those who have knowledge and understanding) does two things:  He scales.  He tears down.  He knows how to get up and over the wall (he uses his talent and skill).  His mission is to tear down the stronghold (he uses his strength).  Here in Judges 3 we see Eglon doing just that.  The Moabites were ravishing the Israelites, and something needed to be done.  Ehud came up with a plan - it was two-fold, just like Proverbs 21 says.  Vs 15-23  Ehud “scaled” by offering a gift to the king.  This is how he got into the king’s good graces.   But Ehud’s goal wasn’t to stay there and becomes buddies with the ruler.  His goal was to take him out!   That’s the second step - he killed the king!   And in so doing, he tore down the stronghold that was keeping Israel enslaved.   Too many people today are buddying up with the enemy (scaling the wall) but they have no intention on tearing down the stronghold the enemy represents.  Ehud shows us a better way, and how he was rewarded with a position of leadership (vs 28) as a result. 

Judges 3:31 (4/22/21)

April 22, 2021 • Benham Brothers

Judges 3:31 - Marketplace Ministry * Our primary form of worship is work. * This is why excellence in the workplace is so important. * The workplace consists of both for-profit and nonprofit models. * People call the for-profit space the “Marketplace.” * They call the non-profit space the “Ministry.” * This is wrong, but it is what it is. * ** God often uses the marketplace as the training ground for His leaders. * Look at Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David - all shepherds. * Look at Elisha, Amos, Gideon - all farmers. * Look at Joseph, Daniel, Obadiah - all employed by kings. * Look at the disciples and Jesus Himself - all trained in the workplace. * God uses the marketplace to winnow and wield strong men and women. * The marketplace judges by ACTION, not INTENTION. * ** So when it came time to find a leader for Israel, God tapped a farmer on the shoulder. * Vs 31 - After Ehud, Shamgar used the tool of his business to fight God’s battles. * He struck down 600 Philistines over time. * His way of life included work, worship, and warfare! (Sword and Trowel - Nehemiah) * The same thing happened years later when Israel was about to go into battle. * Joel 3:10 - "turn your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears"   * The tools of their sustainability would now be used as weapons for their deliverance.   * 100 years later……in a time of peace: * Micah 4:3 - "turn your swords into plowshares and your spears into pruning hooks"   * The weapons of their deliverance would now be used as tools for their sustainability.  * This is why your work is so important. God has made it to be your primary form of worship. * Judges 6:11 - God shows up when you do common work in an uncommon way. * Judges 6:12 - Your work prepares you for warfare. * EX: Love Life.

Judges 4:4-8 (4/11/19)

April 11, 2019 • Benham Brothers

* God is spirit - He’s not male or female. * In Genesis 2 we see God made “them” in HIS image - both male and female are His image. * In the Bible we see the fatherly spirit AND the motherly (Matthew 23:37) spirits of God. * We see God working through men and women. * Eastern culture was and is a very male dominated culture. * Deborah arose a mother in Israel (Judges 5:7). * She was a very well known prophetess who became a deliverer for the people. * This was probably a great encouragement to women. * She heard the peoples’ cries and spoke to Barak God’s command to lead them into battle. * Prophets didn’t go into battle - commanders did. * vs 8 - Barak says, “I won’t go unless you go.” * Hebrews 11:32 - Barak was commended for his faith. * vs 9 - Deborah gave him the warning - “you won’t get the credit.” * In a male dominated culture the person who got the credit was “the man!” * Barak didn’t care about all that - he didn’t care what it looked like. * He wanted the presence of God, and Deborah represented that. * vs 21 - Deborah’s prophesy came true - Jael is now seen as the deliverer. * But Barak was mentioned by Paul in Hebrews. * vs 5:15 - The men of Issachar, who understood the times, went with Deborah into battle. * You would think if it wasn’t right for her to be there then they would’ve stayed back.

Judges 4:8 (6/21/23)

June 21, 2023 • Benham Brothers • Judges 4:8

I used to think it was a lack of faith in Barak to ask Deborah to go with him into battle, but now I see it differently.   Yes, it was a male dominated culture at this time so for a woman to go into battle as a leader was certainly a sign of cowardly men.  But it was also a sign of courageous faith on the part of Barak.   He didn’t care what it looked like, he wanted the prophet to come along as a representative of God’s presence in the battle.   He didn’t care if it was a girl or guy, God’s presence was the most important thing.   This is why I believe in Hebrews 11:32 Barak made it into the Hall of Faith where all the heroes of the faith are listed.  Vs 6-9 - “She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’” Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.”  Barak made it into the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 because he elevated the Spirit over Strategy!   You would think Barak would enlist the help of a military strategist, but he didn’t do that.  He insisted, rather, on a spiritual giant - someone who had a direct line into God and could get His advice on what to do next.  EX: This would be like the CEO of a company hiring a pastor to be his right-hand man to lead and guide the company.  Who would do that? Someone who truly believed that God could lead the company better than he could!   This is what Barak did, and he was rewarded for it in history.  Yes, while he was alive a woman got credit for the victory.  But who ended up listed in the Hall of Faith? Barak! What an example to follow.  Matthew Henry - “He could do nothing without her head, nor she without his hands; but both together made a complete deliverer, and effected a complete deliverance. The greatest and best are not self-sufficient, but need one another.” 

Judges 4:21 (4/14/16)

April 14, 2016 • Benham Brothers

• Two women God raised up to defeat the enemy - Deborah and Jael. • They both knew their place. • vs 14 - Deborah didn’t try to take Barak’s place. • vs 21 - Jael defeated the enemy “inside her tent.” • The minute we abandon our place of responsibility we lose our authority. • The key to staying in your place is: • 1) Contentment - being thankful for what you have & not comparing yourself to where others are. • 2) Faithfulness - doing the little things with excellence and leaving the results to God.

Judges 5:6-7 (8/28/18)

August 28, 2018 • Benham Brothers

Learn a lesson from traffic lights as it shows us what must take place for God to move on behalf of a nation. When Deborah arose a mother Barak awakened a warrior.

Judges 5:7 (4/16/15)

April 16, 2015 • Benham Brothers

After Joshua died a new generation of kids grew up who did not know God. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love the Lord YOUR God. This is an intimate knowledge both intellectually and experientially. vs 11 - because they didn’t know God they did evil in His sight. God uses people to punish and to deliver: vs 14 - God’s anger was kindled and He handed them over to their enemies. vs 16 - God then raised up judges to deliver the people. The period between Joshua’s death and Saul’s kingship was when God used “judges.” Judges were deliverers - they acted as "fathers" and "mothers" in Israel. Our nation needs a “Father’s heart revival.” The last verse of the OT ends with fathers and the first chapter of the NT opens with a list of fathers. A father’s love looks like something - it won’t sit back and let evil take his kids. Often times God uses mothers to awaken the fathers. This is why God made them male and female - we need women! Deborah was not just a woman or a prophetess, but a mother. A mother groans for her kids - just like Jesus said in Luke 13:34. The mother in her aroused the father in Barak. The spirit in her aroused the soldier in Barak. My own testimony of Jake sleep walking - I was looking for the bad guy while she was looking for her son. She “awakened” me to what I really needed to do. Mom got dad moving in the right direction.

Judges 5:9 (4/13/17)

April 13, 2017 • Benham Brothers

* Deborah arose a “mother” in Israel (Judges 5:7). * Notice what she then says in this verse. * “My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel, the volunteers among the people….” * The motherly spirit is a warrior spirit and wants men to step up and fight! * True mothers want fathers to protect their kids. * True mothers in culture want fathers to rise up and protect the family of God.

Judges 6 (5/14/14)

May 14, 2014 • Benham Brothers

vs 3 - The Midianites would wait until Israel had sown their crops before they stole them. The Israelites had to do the work but they coudln't enjoy the fruit of their labor - same as Cain. When we disobey God we find that our work will not satisfy. We cannot enjoy the fruit of our labor. vs 11 - Gideon was threshing wheat when God showed up. Gideon was being faithful in a common job before God called him to do something uncommon. The Marketplace Training Ground - David, Amos, Peter, Gideon, Jesus....... All of these men were trained for "vocational" kingdom work by doing "marketplace" work. vs 12 - God knows us even better than we do! God called him valiant because He knew what was going on in Gideon's heart. I'm sure Gideon was beating the wheat while pretending he was killing the Midianites! God also believed in Gideon before Gideon believed in himself - God knew what He was going to ask Gideon to do so Gideon needed to believe that he could do it (we need to do this with our kids). vs 13 - Gideon's response revealed a selfless heart. Gideon didn't ask God to explain why He thought Gideon was so valiant. Gideon's concern was about his people and their depravity - this revealed a selfless heart. God will stand with us to help us when we are fearful, as Gideon was, but He will stand against us to resist us if we are selfish and prideful. vs 14 - God told him to go "in this his strength." The same strength he saw in Gideon as he was threshing wheat he needed to now go and thresh the Midianites. What had been played out in Gideon's heart was now going to be played out in Gideon's life!

Judges 6:11-14 (4/11/13)

April 11, 2013 • Benham Brothers

Where was Gideon when God showed up? Taking care of BUSINESS! He was doing a common thing in an uncommon way Valiant Warrior (vs 12) - what had he done to prove it? The way he worked! He was vigorous (beating), shrewd (secret), got his hands dirty (he didn't rely on his servants alone) God believed in Gideon even though Gideon may not have believed in himself - Gideon knew he was a scaredy cat! Man of Strength (vs 14) - his anger towards God abandoning them - ZEAL! Gideon was FIT to thresh the Midianites because he was FAITHFUL to thresh the wheat!

Judges 6:25-26 (4/24/15)

April 24, 2015 • Benham Brothers

Gideon was appointed by God to deliver the Israelites away from their enemy the Midianites. His first item of business was to bust up his dad's false gods. He had to destroy the high place before he engaged the enemy. Isaiah 29:13 - Their reverence was tradition learned by rote - it was religion, not relationship. This needs to be busted up today. Before we go and defeat the enemy we need to get rid of the high places, and many times these are the very institutions we erect to represent God.

Judges 6:34 (4/14/16)

April 14, 2016 • Benham Brothers

• There was an authority shift from the feckless leadership of Israel to the bold leadership of Gideon. • Much like the Shebna-Eliakim shift in Isaiah 22. • God is in the business of shifting authority - the question is: • Which person are you - the one He has to shift it from or shift it to? • Notice what Gideon did before authority shifted to him: • 1) He was faithful in his work (vs 11) - he was going a common task in an uncommon way. • 2) He was more concerned about his people than himself (vs 13) - he had a nations mindset. • 3) He refused to worship the false god everyone else worshipped (vs 15) - before he tore down the altar he refused to bow to it. • 4) He walked in obedience (vs 27) - this paved the way for God’s power to flow through him. • 5) He dealt with the stronghold of his day (vs 28) - he was willing to tear down the tradition of his people where his father was the ring leader. • 32,000 people rallied to Gideon after he did this - he didn’t try to come up with some strategic way to recruit them. • Judges 7:14 - even the enemy knew he was the man with authority now.