Walking Thru The Bible

Old Testament -- Judges & Ruth

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               Walking Thru The  Bible

                                    JUDGES / RUTH


                JUDGES

            
             Author:  There is no statement or implication about the

            authorship of this 21 chapter book.  Inspiration does not give us

            this information and we have only a tradition attributing the book

            to Samuel.

             Situation:  The book is a continuation of the history of the

            Jews in Canaan after their God-led deliverance from Egypt and

            the conquest of the land by Joshua.  It is a book about and to the

            children of Israel (Judges 1:1). 

             When Written:  The date of the book of Judges can be set

            with fair accuracy.  Since the book is a continuation of history

            following the book of Joshua it is obvious that it was written

            after the death Joshua, or after 1421 BC.  

             It was written even later than this, for Judges 18:1 and 19:1

            imply that there was a king in Israel at the time of writing.  That

            would necessitate a date of 1095 BC or later.  


             Based upon Judges 1:21, 29, it is believe that the book was

            written about 1000 BC.  That would be during the lifetime of

            Samuel and the reign of the kings.  There is neither an inspired

            statement nor an implication as to the place of composition.

             Why Written:  The book of Judges is chiefly a history of the

            Jews under 13 of the 15 judges:  Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar,

            Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elan,

            Abdon and Samson.  Eli and Samuel are found in the book of

            First Samuel.


             We see a cycle of four stages of behavior that the people of

            the time of the Judges continually repeated:  (1) sin,  (2)

            oppression, (3) repentance, and  (4) deliverance.  

             The book seems to have been written to give the Jews a

            history of their life in the promised land.  However, the message

            that seems prominent is:  Obey God and enjoy blessings; disobey

            God and suffer oppression.  It is also seen that people can, and

            often do, depart from God.  There has always been a need for

            someone like the judges to call God's people back to Him.

             Lesson:  Let us remember that we can fall from God's grace

            (cf. also Hebrews 12:15).  May we realize that repentance is

            necessary when we fall and that repentance and obedience will

            bring deliverance.


                   RUTH
            

             Author:  The 4 chapter book of Ruth does not contain the

            name of its author.  Therefore, we cannot speak with any

            certainty, but most scholars think Samuel penned the book.

            

             Situation:  The book is another important part of Jewish

            history.  It gives a link in the seed-line of the coming Christ. 

            Perhaps this part of Jewish history pertaining to the coming

            Christ is most memorable because it is presented as a love story. 

            There is pictured a loving husband, Elimelech, in a time of

            famine (1:1), a loving wife who was supportive of her husband's

            move (1:4), two loving sons, Mahlon and Chilion (1:1,2) who

            became husbands (1:4), and two loving daughters-in-law, Orpah

            and Ruth (1:6-14).


             However, the primary love story has to do with the love of

            Ruth for her mother-in-law (1:14-22).  The love was repaid with

            a husband, Boaz, and the blessing of bearing a child who would

            be in the seed-line of the Christ (4:17-22).  How this brief bit of

            history must have thrilled the Jews when they heard and read it.

            

             When Written:  The events of the book of Ruth took place

            during the period of the Judges  (verse 1 says "when the judges

            ruled") and hence it's location in the Old Testament following

            that book.  Ruth 4:17-22 gives an abbreviated genealogy from

            Pharez to David.  David was the second of Israel's kings under

            the united kingdom (1 Samuel 9:27; 10:1; 15:1, 12, 13).  Thus

            David had been born at the time the book was written down. 

            With these facts we can date the writing of the book of Ruth to

            around 1100 BC. The last verses of the book date its composition

            in the days of Samuel whom we believe to have penned it by

            inspiration.

            

             Why Written:  There is no stated purpose within the book

            itself, however, we see one thing that is most important 

            information about the lineage of the Christ.  God's providence is

            seen in His care for the seed through which Jesus would come. 

            (Compare Matthew 1:5-6, "And Boaz begat Obed of Ruth; and

            Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king."  Matthew

            goes on to show that Christ came through that line  (cf. Matthew

            1:16).  What God has promised He is able and faithful to do.

            

             New Testament Ties:  Matthew 1:5  refers to Ruth 4:13-17

            and so does Luke 3:31-32.  The principles of family ties

            exemplified in Ruth are magnified in the second covenant.  It

            serves as an example of God's love for the Gentiles also.

            

            

             Historical Outline


            I. Social and Religious Decay after the Days of Joshua1-2

            
             1.   Failures                   Ch. 1

             2.   Compromise, Departures, God's Anger     Ch. 2

             3.   Heathen scourges, Religious-political cycles 3:1-4

            
            II.   Oppressions    and  Deliverers	3:5 - 16:31
1. Mesopotamians - 1. Othniel 3:5-11
2. Moabites - 2. Ehud 3:12-30
3. Philistines - 3. Shamgar 3:31
4. Canaanites - 4. Deborah ch. 4 - 5
  5. Barak
5. Midianites - 6. Gideon ch. 6 - 10
  ?. Abimelech (?)
  7. Tola
  8. Jair
6. Ammonites - 9. Jephthah ch. 11 - 12
  10. Ibzan
  11. Elon
  12. Abdon
7. Philistines - 13. Samson ch. 13 - 16
  14. Eli (1 Samuel)
  15. Samuel (1 Samuel)
    
            III.  Insets -- Incidents of the Judges Period	Judges 17 - 21

            

             1. The State of Religion Depicted

               a. Religion of Micah and his house of gods	ch. 17

               b. Religion of the Danitesch. 18

          

	     2.   The State of Social Life Depicted

               a. The outrage of Gibeah	ch. 19

               b. Civil war     ch. 20

               c. The plight of Benjamin	ch. 21

            

                       Applications and Lessons From the Book of Judges

            
            1. Judges depicts a cycle of history often repeated:

	             a.   The people fall away from God  (apostasy)

	             b.   God permits enemies to fall upon them (oppression)

	             c.   Under oppression the people repent and call upon God

                              (repentance)

	             d.   God called out a leader to deliver  (deliverance)


            2. National decay and religious problems will always happen

                           when "Every man does that which is right in his own eyes."

                           (Judges 17:6; 21:25).

 	             a.   Today in our nation, every man largely does that which

                              is right in his own eyes and national decay has set in.

	             b.   In religious circles no central source of authority is

                              recognized.

	             c.   "No king in Israel" was the reason for the anarchy in

                              Israel.  God was still King, but wasn't recognized as

                              such.  That is our situation also today.


            3. Difficulty led the Jews back to dependance upon God and

                           with renewed dependance upon God they comprehended the

                           need for repentance.

	             a.   Samson's cry was typical (16:28).

	             b.   Difficulties become avenues leading back to God.


            4. God uses men to achieve His will.

	             a.   He raised up judges among the Jews.

	             b.   He raised up the apostles in first century.

	             c.   God's work needs god-fearing leaders.


            5. "In his own eyes" is a trouble in the church today.

	             a.   The Jews sank lower and lower living to own desires.

	             b.   Christians sink lower-- living to own desires.


            6. Like the Jews we have received a rich spiritual heritage.

	             a.   The generation after Joshua "which knew not the Lord,

	                    nor yet the works which he had done for Israel." 

			  (Judges 2:20)

	             b.   Our heritage began at Pentecost, Acts 2:42.

	             c.   What heritage will we pass on to younger generation?


            7. Ruth's choice sets before us a great example (Ruth 1:16)

	             a.   She chose the true God- "Thy God shall be my God"

	             b.   She chose the right path- "Whither thou goest I will go."

	             c.   She chose a godly home- "Where thou lodgest I will

                              lodge."

	             d.   She chose godly associates- "Thy people shall be my

                              people."

	             e.   She made a wise choice--  a personal choice--  a

                              determined choice--  and she was rewarded for her

                              choice.  


-- Windell Gann -- Walking Thru the Bible --

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