So when picking up my Bible for the first time in a while, I found my bookmark was in the 2nd chapter of Judges – a book that’s got a lot of great (although zany!) stories, and that I’d begun to read through again.

The stories make me laugh!!! XD So far I’ve read about:

  • Ehud, a man who saved the Israelites because he was left-handed, and thus hid his 18″ long sword on his right side, where I guess no one was expecting it to be. The king he killed was so fat (think Jabba the Hut) the sword disappeared into him – “the fat closed over it [the sword hilt]”. Talk about a good story for a Bible study! 🙂 Plus Ehud was able to get away because the king’s servants politely waited outside the closed doors of the king’s room, thinking he was going to the bathroom.
  • Then the judge after Ehud was Shamgar, who killed 600 Philistines (crazy!) with an ox goad, or an 8 foot long cattle prod. Yikes!Re
  • And then of course the story of Deborah, Barak, and Sisera – and how Sisera died at the hands of Jael, who killed him with a tent stake. I’m still not sure why she gave him milk when he asked for water…
  • Interesting note here that I heard from my theology teacher – Deborah’s name means “bee”, and Jael’s name means “goat”. Is it just a coincidence that that matches up with “the land of milk and honey”? Hmmm…

Okay, gross and interesting stories aside, here’s some things that stood out to me:

  • In chapter 3, it says God left some enemies in the land to test the inexperienced younger generation of Israel – as an opportunity for them to gain battle experience, and to “exercise faith and obedience in conquering their enemies”. I thought that was a neat example, of how God teaches us through battles, like a father strengthening his son. Instead of driving out their enemies, though, and learning the lessons God had for them, the Israelites intermarried and worshiped false gods… the consequence was 8 years of enslavement.
  • In Deborah and Barak’s song after the victory over Sisera, they sang, “Israel’s leaders bravely led; the people gladly followed!” I thought that was neat, and could be applied to many areas of our life where there are leaders and followers… let the leaders be brave, let the followers do so gladly…

I love the book of Judges, because it has such crazy stories. 🙂 I’m reminded throughout the book that their judges led, then died, came, then went, caused cycles of abundance and enslavery among the Israelites. But our Judge will never die, resign, abdicate, or commit an error. He leads us faithfully & true.