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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Judges 2

Verses 1-5

    1. (2:3) I wonder how this is applied today? Divine aid withheld?
    2. (2:1) The Angel of the Lord - appeared to Moses, Joshua. Also during the time of the Judges to Gideon & the Parents of Samson.
      1. The Angel of the Lord shows them the consequences of their failure & the folly of compromise.
    3. Compromise - In 2 Kings 14:3, we are told why Amaziah did not experience the full blessing of the Lord. The text says, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like David.” He followed the example of his father Joash and failed to put a stop to the semipagan worship conducted on hills throughout the land. He should have patterned himself after his forefather David. He simply didn’t aim high enough.
    4. How Does Compromise Occur? Sherman & Hendricks have a 7-step process that, if left unrecognized, could lead to moral compromise: [New Man, November/December, 1994, Page 74]
      1. Slide15 A failure to commit ahead of time to do the right thing.
      2. Underestimating evil and flirting with dangerous temptations, thus being exposed to far more powerful evils.
      3. A failure to recognize the numerous forms of compromise lurking at every corner of life.
      4. A failure to recognize the smooth flatteries and enticing fantasies of temptations.
      5. Succumbing to slick rationalizations.
      6. A sudden, deliberate choice to give in to sin.
      7. A failure to consider the costly consequences of sin. Slide15b (go away)
    5. Moral character is an evaluation of an individual's moral qualities.
      1. Character is the sum total of the attributes & qualities that form the individual nature of a person. [Like: integrity, courage, honesty, loyalty]
        1. Imagine:
          A pastor who preaches well...but lacks integrity. or
          A plumber who can fix anything...but isn’t honest when he bills you.
      2. Example: Concrete = cement, sand, aggregate, & water.
        1. Not 1 can be left out. Requires proper proportions. Hardens over long periods of time. Once sets up is hard to change.
    6. Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones. Phillips Brooks
      1. Realize you will make many small decisions today that will shape your character (either for good or bad)
        1. Like bricks settling & drying in place in a wall.
      2. Every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character.
      3. Character is simply a long habit continued. Plutarch
    7. How diligently the cavalry officer keeps his sword clean and sharp; every stain he rubs off with the greatest care. [if left dirty...corrosion, pit metal]
      1. Remember you are God’s sword, His instrument. In great measure, according to the purity and perfection of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God. Robert Murray McCheyne
    8. Character Builders are: Righteousness: doing what’s consistent with God’s character. Godliness: a life of respect & reverence for God. Faith: trust in God. Love: self-sacrificefor God and others. Patience: love that endures. Gentleness: a controlled spirit that canhate sin, yet love the sinner. Humility: being willing to serve someone. Integrity: beingtransparent. Courage: remembering we’ve been equipped w/the Spirit & courage of God.
    9. So what produces strong character?
      1. Consistency, Training, Right priorities, Following the right example, Obedience to God's commands, A steady diet of God's Word, Relying on the strength of the Spirit, Making Right choices, Living out the Christian faith, Doing what is right no matter what, Trusting and depending on God, Learning from others.
    10. This is classic existentialism [a philosophical theory that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free & responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will]
      1. No standard of right and wrong. No ultimate underpinning of a value system.
      2. No ultimate standard of morality. It’s what happens when personal rights become lead in a society. It’s when personal rights overcome the good of society and the will of God there is such a deterioration & all you have left is existentialism, because nature abhors a vacuum.
      3. Take away a leader in touch with God, push God and His value system out of your life, and you have to create your own. Your own personal rights, your own personal view of life, your own value system. Apart from any value system you have pure...whatever works for you...is cool.
        1. This is what we have with the nation of Israel, & of course with us today.
      4. Note, the more personal freedoms you have the more in bondage you’ll become. (I saw this in 1991 in post Soviet Union. Bulgaria & Russia when they experience “freedom” after 75 years)
    11. What kind of culture are we living in? (There’re 3 cultures in relation to absolute) (Ravi Zacharaias, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPYRXop7aPA&feature=youtu.be)
      1. Theonomous Culture (God/law) – Law of God is embedded in our hearts
        1. We used to believe (as did our early framers) in Natural Law, “we believe these truths to be self-evident”. We don’t believe this anymore as a society.
      2. Heteronomous Culture (another/law) – main stream of culture is dictated by leadership at the top. i.e. Marxism. Islam.
        1. The few at the top tells the masses what to believe & how to live.
      3. Autonomous Culture (self/law) – Each person dictates their own law.
        1. So if we are an Autonomous Culture, and I answer your question, are you going to give me the privilege of my autonomy too, or as soon as you disagree with my answer will you switch to Heteronomous mode and dictate for me what I must believe as well.
          1. The problem with autonomy/self-law is that everyone runs against each other, then what? It’s the Sociological issue/dilemma of our day.

Verses 6-23

  1. Intro: Israel’s Foreign Affairs
    1. Theologically, the book of Judges shows the need for a savior.
      1. Without divine intervention, the people are hopelessly lost.
      2. The Decisions of individuals affect other people and society at large, all of which stand in need of God’s redemption. Shepherd’s Notes, pg. 59.
    2. Cornelius Plantinga Jr. beautifully described, No matter what we sow, the law of returns applies. Good or evil, Love or hate, justice or tyranny, grapes or thorns, a gracious complement or a peevish this complaint - whatever we invest, we tend to get it back with interest. Lovers are loved; haters, hated. Forgivers usually get forgiven; those who live by the sword die by the sword. ‘God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.’” (Not The Way It’s Supposed To Be, p.68.)
    3. Labeling it a “bird’s eye view of the cycle of men and nations,” one historian has summarized history in this way:
      1. from bondage to spiritual faith.
      2. from spiritual faith to great courage.
      3. from courage to liberty.
      4. from liberty to abundance.
      5. from abundance to selfishness.
      6. from selfishness to complacency.
      7. from complacency to apathy.
      8. from apathy to dependency.
      9. from dependency back to bondage.
    4. At what level is our country? The church today? Our church? Yourself?
  2. RECAP (Ch.2:1-6)
    1. Read vs.1,2
  3. OLD GENERATION (Ch.2:7-10) Death of Joshua
    1. ​​​​​​​They were not even familiar with God’s reputation. Far from knowing Him, in worship & love & obedience, they did not even know about Him.
    2. (10) Importance of passing these truths to the next Gen. Ps.78:4,6 We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. 6 That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children.
  4. NEW GENERATION (Ch.2:11-15) Israel’s Unfaithfulness
    1. ​​​​​​​(11) Religious nature, like any other nature abhors a vacuum, as Aristotle postulated.
      1. Those who did not actively know the Lord must quite as actively serve & worship someone else. Barclay
    2. (13) Baal (m) & Ashtoreths (fem)
      1. Baal: lord, sun god. chief of the male deity. Ashtoreth: moon goddess. Chief fem deity.2. Slide8 Each Baal had a wife which was a colorless reflection of himself. (Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Baal.)
  5. BOOK OVERVIEW (Ch.2:16-23)
    1. ​​​​​​​(18) The Lord was moved to pity by their groaning - a rare word, also found at the beginning of Exodus (6:15). And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant.
      1. ​​​​​​​Only once in NT (once in Acts but was quoting Exodus), it was used by Jesus standing at Laz tomb, Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. Jn.11:38
      2. And used of Jesus words in Ps.22:1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?
    2. Rev.3:1-3nlt I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive - but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Judges 2". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/judges-2.html. 2017.