Judges 1:1-2:5

Sermon Notes

  1.  (1:1-20, 22-26)
  2.  (1:21, 27-36)
  3.  of half-hearted discipleship (2:1-5)
    1. Thorns and  (v. 1-3)
    2. Israel’s (v. 4-5)

Going Deeper

Themes in Judges (from Tim Keller):

  1. God relentlessly offers his grace to people who do not deserve it, seek it or appreciate it after they have been saved by it.
  2. God wants lordship over every area of our lives, not just some.
  3. There is a tension between grace and law, between conditionality and unconditionality.
  4. There is a need for continual spiritual renewal in our lives here on earth, and a way to make that a reality.
  5. We need a true Savior, to which all human saviors opint, through both their flaws and strengths.
  6. God is in charge, no matter what it looks like.

Cycles have six basic components (from K. Lawson Younger):

  1.  Israel does evil in the eyes of Yahweh
  2. Yahweh gives/sells them into oppression
  3. Israel serves the oppressor for X years
  4. Israel cries out to Yahweh
  5. Yahweh rises up a deliverer (Judge)
  6. The Spirit of Yahweh is upon the deliverer
  7. The oppressor is subdued
  8. The land has “rest” for X years


  1. Read Joshua 24:1-28. What did the Lord do for His people? What does Joshua ask the people to do? What do the people commit themselves to doing?
  2. Judah’s compromise by inviting Simeon to join him in Judges 1:3 does not seem like a big deal. It seemed natural. K. Lawson Younger says, “The natural ways is not necessarily God’s way, for it can undercut his plan and lessen our dependence on him.” In what ways do we do what is natural rather than do what God has commanded?
  3. In what ways do you find yourself compromising? What will you do to stop this week?
  4. “Can’t” or won’t? Examples of justification for disobedience:-I can’t forgive him/her. -I can’t tell him the truth. It will hurt him or me too much.-I can’t resist doing this, though I know it’s wrong.When we do this, we are really saying to God, “I will not obey you.” How will you change? How will the cross of Jesus motivate you to make these changes
  5. In what ways do you find yourself disobeying God’s clear commands? What will you do to change this week?
  6. Read Judges 2:1. There is a parallel with Judges 1:1. Clear in the ESV:“Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?”The Lord now says in 2:1:“I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land”What is God saying to the people of Israel? What is He saying to you?
  7. In Judges 2:2 God says, “What have you done?” This parallels Gen. 3:13. Read that passage. What similarities are there between the first man and woman and the people of Israel in the Judges?
  8. The tragedy of the Promised Land is described by Daniel Block:“Instead of making this the land of the people of God, they become like the people of the land.”-Daniel BlockWe can be agents of change in the world rather than letting the world assimilate us. Let’s seek the Spirit’s help to transform the world around us and not be conform to the immorality in the world!
  9. Timothy Keller explains the tension of the Lord’s command to wipe out the Canaanites (as seen in Deuteronomy 7:2; 20:17-18):The war is not carried out on the basis of race. The war is not carried out on the basis of imperial expansion. Even within the special mandate, God does not allow the Israelites to plunder or enslaves any of the people with whom they do battle (see Achan in Joshua 7).The war is carried out as God’s judgment, and through direct revelation. God gives specific, verbal revelation to the Israelites to evict the Canaanites. Nothing less direct and unmistakable could be the basis for such an action.Therefore, this is not a mandate for believers in general to move coercively against unbelievers, nor any warrant for a ‘holy war’ by one faith against another.

To go deeper with this topic, e-mail Pastor Adam for his paper on the Canaanite genocide: