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In Case You Missed It -- Judges 2:6-3:5, Psalm 137

The writer of Judges plainly spells out God’s purposes for the generation after Joshua and also tells us why this new generation failed. Joshua’s generation did not completely drive out the Canaanites, for God had two purposes in allowing a Canaanite remnant. God intended to train a new Israelite generation in warfare and to test this generation’s faithfulness to God (Judges 3:2 and 3:5). Israel would have their fill of war, but they would also fail to obey God’s commands and remain true (Judges 2:12-15). This information from today’s reading is part of the second introduction of Judges. There we also learn what role the judges, after whom the book is called, played in Israel’s history. The judges were meant to rescue Israel (Judges 2:16), and in fact some have suggested that the word translated as “judges” could be better translated as “saviors”. Even so, these savior judges could not save Israel from themselves, and thus we will see God’s increasing judgement on His chosen people, allowing them to experience the results of their idolatry, or as some have called it “Israel’s Canaanization”. Then, like now, there are grave consequences for everyone when God’s people lose their distinctive identity through spiritual infidelity. The book of Judges will tell the story of those consequences.

Jeremiah Vaught