The book of Judges

No one can read through Judges and think it irrelevant for us today. We will see aspects of ourselves reflected in the narrative and the characters. As you go through the reading plan, it’s probably becoming obvious that our general knowledge of the Bible is often very narrow. Most people have a sanitised and flawed, almost ‘superhero’ view of Judges – that it’s all about people who have done great exploits. The majority of people have no clue about the main theme and purpose of this book.

Judges deals with a period of about 260 years between the death of Joshua and the rise of the monarchy under Saul, the first king of Israel. It looks at the history of Israel in relation to their behaviour before God. God had promised they would dwell in the Promised Land with great blessing as long as they obeyed Him. The history is told by looking at several characters that God raises up to keep the nation from self-destruction.

Calling the book ‘Judges’ in modern English is probably not the best. None of the ‘judges’ were judicial officials. They were more like charismatic personalities given profile and authority by God in the eyes of the people. Their roles were different but all were given to save Israel (or parts of it) from themselves and their enemies in the surrounding nations.

Reading Judges can be a rather gloomy affair if we simply look at the nation and the spiral of failure and repentance which never seemed to go anywhere other than to a worse state. But the people are not the only ones on the stage. God is there. God is the only one who is called ‘The Judge’. He is there in the midst of His people. He is there, the perfect judge, allowing sin and issuing redemption to bring about obedience. God is at work in every detail of failure and success.

There is one thing that all the judges did right. They placed their faith in the right place: God. Hebrews tells us God commended them for their trust in Him. Failures, mistakes, serious errors and sin can all be dealt with. People can be used warts and all, but not if they don’t have a rich and true trust in God. Misplace our faith and we will fail and fail indeed.

Picture: “Poussin La Victoire de Gédéon contre les Madianite” by Nicolas Poussin – Aiwaz. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

City Celebration

by Tyrone Daniel
26 April 2015 at Bedfordview PM

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The Grace Of The Father

by Marcus Herbert
26 April 2015 at Bedfordview AM

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Christianity Explored

Invite lots of people! This is a great series and a brilliant opportunity! You can still invite people to this even though it has started.

We’re running Christianity Explored at Bedfordview (6pm) and Rosebank (5:30pm) every Sunday evening from 10 – 31 May. It’s a four week series that gives people space and opportunity to really think through who Jesus is and why he matters. It’s ideal for people who are sceptical about Jesus or have lots of questions.

Each evening will include a short video or two and then a time for Q&A. The video below explains more about the series.

For more details on Christianity Explored visit christianityexplored.org.

Christianity Explored
at Cornerstone Church Bedfordview and Cornerstone Church Rosebank
Sunday evenings, 10 – 31 May

Call 011-616-4073 or email info@cornerstonechurch.co.za

Something Is Missing

by Shane Rielly
19 April 2015 at Bedfordview PM

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The book of Joshua

The mighty salvation promised to Abraham way back in Genesis 12 comes to pass in Joshua. After the unnecessarily long wandering in the desert, Joshua records how they come into the Promised Land. The story is one of conquest and distribution of the land.

The book of Joshua comes to us in three pieces. The three parts relate to Joshua between the ages of 80 and 110. Chapter one talks about Joshua being set in place to lead. Chapters 24 & 25 cover Joshua’s final message and death. The middle portion breaks up into three parts as well.

  • Chapters 2-5 follows Israel entering into the land
  • Chapters 6-12 tells of Israel’s conquests
  • Chapters 13-22 explain the distribution of the land

As with all the books of the Bible there are many layers and beautifully rich stories that intertwine. These stories and perspectives will keep us in God and keep us busy with the Bible’s infinitely deep message.

Joshua is about two very important elements in life: God and us. Its teaching shows how they and we come to inherit what God has promised us. Each of us has been given promises from God. Some of them are general promises. Everyone who loves Jesus has been promised heaven forever with God. Each saved person has promises of being useful to God in their life. People are like Israel – saved from bondage to come into inheriting all that God has for them. But this inheriting is not automatic. Israel had to trust and to remove the inhabitants of the land, who were idol worshippers. We, too, will have to follow Jesus in absolute trust and remove old behaviours.

The book continues to emphasise these two elements – man’s part and God’s part. We trust and we obey. God gives the means, the power, the directives and pretty much everything else! Joshua also defines the type of courage we need – courage is dogged determination to do what we know is right, especially when there is no cheering on from anyone else.

Joshua is a high point in the life of Israel. It is supposed to be that for us: A high point in our understanding that we are saved from bondage but saved to come into some amazing promises. As Peter says ‘what precious promises’ we have! (2 Peter 1:4.) Let us learn from Israel and get all we are supposed to in God! He has an amazing inheritance for you!

Picture: “Poussin Nicolas – The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites” by Nicolas Poussin – Hermitage. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Faith

by Tyrone Daniel
12 April 2015 at Bedfordview PM

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Freedom

by Tyrone Daniel
12 April 2015 at Bedfordview AM

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The Power of the Resurrection (Resurrection Sunday)

by Marcus Herbert
5 April 2015 at Bedfordview AM

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Looking Up Party

with Tyrone Daniel
Friday, 17 April 2015 at Cornerstone Church Bedfordview | 7:30pm
For high-schoolers and early 20-somethings

Spread the word! It’s always great to get input from Tyrone.

It’s going to be awesome. ’nuff said.