Judges 2:6-19

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 28, 2001


The book of Judges is what you might call a “spiritual roller coaster”.  It can almost be depressing at times to see how many times God’s people go through this cycle of following Him, turning away from Him, following Him, etc.

:6-19 The Spiritual Roller Coaster

:10 there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.


Each generation must know the Lord.

As parents, we have an obligation to teach our kids about the Lord.
God very purposefully built into kids a desire to ask questions.  He also very purposefully told parents that they needed to respond to those questions and talk about the Lord.
About the Passover –

(Exo 12:26-27 KJV)  And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? {27} That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

Parents – God has given us a charge to raise our children to know Him.

(Deu 6:7 KJV)  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

:11 served Baalim:

BaalimBa‘al – “lord”.  The plural is “Baalim”.  These were the gods of the Canaanites.  The name “Baal” simply means “lord”, and it is used in a couple of different ways.  The Canaanites worshipped Baal as the “sun-god”.  Baal was also the principle male god of the Phoenicians.  But each city also had its own variation of Baal, and the group of all the “Baals” of the cities could be called “Baalim”.

This begins the cycle of ups and downs for the nation of Israel.

:12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods


Tolerance leads to compromise

The Israelites had become “tolerant” of the religions around them.  Instead of “tearing down the altars” (2:2), they had learned to appreciate the “diversity” in the religions practiced around them.
And as a result, they fell into the worship of these other gods.

:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

Ashtaroth – the Phoenicians worshipped the sun, calling it “Baal”, and they worshipped the moon, naming it “Ashtoreth”.  She was the principle female deity of the pagan world.  She was called Ishtar by the Assyrians and Astarte by the Greeks.  In the time of Saul, there was a temple to her among the Philistines (1Sam. 31:10).  When his wives led his heart astray, Solomon promoted the worship of Ashtaroth (1Ki. 11:33).

:14 he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them

God warned Israel back in Deuteronomy that if they went after other gods, He would bring difficult times on the people to help cause them to turn back to Him.

(Deu 28:45 KJV)  Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:

:16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges

The judges were these men (and women) that God would use to bring the nation back to the Lord, and then deliver them from their enemies.  These judges weren’t “kings” because God was the king of Israel.  They became judges because of a work of God in their life giving them either extraordinary courage or strength.

JFB:  They were without pomp, equipage, or emoluments attached to the office. They had no power to make laws; for these were given by God; nor to explain them, for that was the province of the priests—but they were officially upholders of the law, defenders of religion, avengers of all crimes, particularly of idolatry and its attendant vices.

:17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges

There would be cycle throughout the period of the judges where the people would fall away from the Lord, then they would go through difficult times, then they would cry to God for help, and God would deliver them through the work of a “judge”.

Getting off the Roller Coaster

Normally, I’m a guy who likes to ride roller coasters.  I’m even one of those guys that will put his hands up as much as possible, just to make things more exciting.  But there have been a few times when I wanted the ride to stop.

Once was when the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland had just opened.  Like everyone else who lived within 5,000 miles of the ride, we went to stand in line to go on this new fantastic ride.  The only problem was that I had a sore back at the time.  I didn’t realize what was about to happen.  As the ride started, we were bouncing all over the place, and I was on the left outside seat.  Extreme pain was shooting down my back as I clung to the handrail with all my might.  I wanted the ride to stop.  I wanted to get off.

Last summer we went to the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival.  It was a hot summer day, as we climbed into the Gravitron.  That’s the huge flying saucer like ride where you climb inside and stand against the wall.  The thing spins round and round, faster and faster and the centrifugal force pins you against the wall as the floor drops out.  I could feel my blood pressure going up and I thought I was going to pass out.  I thought for sure I was having a heart attack.  I’m not sure I ever prayed as hard as I did that day for the ride to stop.

The book of Judges is all about spiritual “roller coasters”.

One moment the nation is “up”, and following the Lord.  Then the next thing you know they’ve plummeted to the bottom, as they walk away from the Lord.

Has your life been a giant roller coaster?  Are you ready to get off?

Lesson #1

Know the Lord

(Judg 2:10 KJV)  there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
Know the Lord personally.
For some of you, you might want to write these verses on a blank page in your Bible.  You never know when God may want you to share them with a friend.

(Rom 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

We are all sinners

(Rom 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Our sin separates us from God – we are “dead”

(Rom 5:8 KJV)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God loves us and Jesus died for us to pay for our sins.

(Rom 10:9 KJV)  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

A person needs to believe in Jesus to be saved.

Jesus said,

(Rev 3:20 KJV)  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

He wants to come into your heart, into your life.

Let God work in your life.
The generation that fell away had not seen God’s Works first hand.
In our lives, that comes when we yield ourselves to the Lord.

God isn’t going to force Himself on you.  You have to invite Him into your life.

We know Him best through His Word.
The key to knowing God on a daily basis is through reading His Word. It is through His Word that we find out what God is like, how He thinks, what He wants for us.
(Psa 1:1-3 KJV)  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. {2} But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. {3} And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The person who regularly spends time in God’s Word will be “weather resistant”.  They won’t dry up in the summer.  They will stay fresh all year long because they are planted by the water.


When we first moved into this building, we didn’t have the sprinklers running.  The plants were pretty hearty, but things weren’t all that green around here.  There were a few places where the planters were just hard, dry dirt.  When we finally got the sprinkler system running on a regular basis, things really took off.  Staying in God’s Word on a regular basis is like having a sprinkler system that always waters your plants.

Lesson #2

Don’t compromise

(Judg 2:11-13 KJV)  And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: {12} And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. {13} And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
God had warned the people back in Deuteronomy that when they came into the Promised Land, they needed to be different from the world around them –
(Deu 7:1-6 KJV)  When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; {2} And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them: {3} Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. {4} For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. {5} But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. {6} For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
Yet look what happened when they came into the Promised Land –
(Judg 3:5-7 KJV)  And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: {6} And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. {7} And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.
They ended up doing exactly what God had told them not to do.  It was this allowing of bad stuff into their lives that caused them to plummet downhill.

Lesson #3


(Judg 2:18 KJV)  And when the LORD raised them up judges …for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
God would bring deliverance for His people when they “groaned” and cried out to Him for help because of their condition.  We’ll see this tonight –
(Judg 3:9 KJV)  And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them
(Judg 3:15 KJV)  But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer
If you are in a place where God doesn’t want you, turn around.
(Rev 2:4-5 KJV)  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. {5} Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Part of the process of getting your “first love” for the Lord back is to repent.  If there are things that you are doing that are taking you away from the Lord, they need to change.

God is looking for heart change, not just outward change
True repentance is not just about tears and words.  It’s about heart change that results in life change.
(Mat 15:8 KJV)  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
The Bible says,
(1 John 1:9 KJV)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God wants to forgive you, but you need to admit your need and turn to Him for help.  You need to admit that you’re not where you need to be.

Lesson #4

The Holy Spirit

Look at the role of the Holy Spirit in the book of Judges.
With the first judge, Othniel –

(Judg 3:10 KJV)  And the spirit of the LORD came upon him

When God used Gideon –

(Judg 6:34 KJV)  But the spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon

When God used Jephthah –

(Judg 11:29 KJV)  Then the spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah

When God used Samson –

(Judg 14:19 KJV)  And the spirit of the LORD came upon him

While Joshua was alive, the people followed the Lord. 
But when Joshua died, the people missed their leader.  Things weren’t the same.
There would be another Joshua some day.  We call Him Jesus.  He told His disciples that when He left, He wouldn’t leave them as orphans, He would send another Comforter.
(John 14:16-17 KJV)  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; {17} Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Jesus said,
(Acts 1:8 KJV)  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
One of the steps of getting off the “roller coaster” is learning to let the Holy Spirit work in your life.

Lesson #5

Serve Him

(Judg 2:7 KJV)  And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua
When the people were in a good place, they were “serving the Lord”.
Living a “spiritual life” is more than having some kind of supernatural thrill.
(Isa 6:1-8 KJV)  In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. {2} Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. {3} And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. {4} And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. {5} Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. {6} Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: {7} And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

This is one of the most incredible experiences ever recorded.  Isaiah had a vision of God’s very throne room!

And what’s more, as Isaiah got a glimpse of just who God really is, he became aware of his own inadequacies.  He became aware of his own sin.  And God responded by having Isaiah cleansed from his sin.

For some of us, this is the kind of thing that happens when we come to church.

We can have an experience of encountering the very presence of God.

For some of us, God will be bringing His cleansing as we confess our sin.

But it’s not supposed to end there.  This is not what Isaiah 6 is all about.  It is not just the recording of Isaiah’s incredible vision of God.  Isaiah 6 is all about Isaiah’s call to the ministry –

{8} Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

This is what the chapter was all about.

For some of us, we have the spiritual “high” every time we come to church.  Then we slowly drift down during the week.  We come to church the next week, or sometimes it may be a month later, then we hit another “high”.

God wants you to serve Him.  The “high” this week can continue if you will –
Spend time in His Word.
Yield to the Holy Spirit.
Serve Him.