This happened without him even knowing about the precipitating conversation between Satan and God. As one of the longest books in the Bible, Job can be captured under four headings: Job speaks of foundational themes every human being contends with, especially in times of suffering. Although Job was unaware of the interaction between Satan and God, Job comes to the conclusion that God is just and good.
That is the lesson of the book for anyone who questions God without access to all the facts Job was forced to walk by faith rather than by sight 2 Cor. He could not see what the reader sees in chapters 1 and 2. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. Satan can go only so far. This serves as a template for viewing evil on earth. Satan does not operate as a free agent but is always under the sovereign and deciding hand of God chapters 1 and 2. So what does it mean for you?
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Those who turn fully to God in their great sorrow, even if they argue, plead, and protest in His presence as job did, will find a pathway nearer to the tender mercies of heaven than they have ever walked before. Believers talk about trusting in the Lord with their whole heart and refusing to lean on their own understanding.
But no one really knows what that means until circumstances cast them headfirst into a dark and painful place. If we give ourselves fully to God in those moments, we will obtain keepsakes of Him to treasure now and forever. Why does Job serve God? Job is heralded for his righteousness, being compared with Noah and Daniel Ezek. Job never knew the reasons for his suffering and neither did his friends. The righteous sufferer does not appear to learn about any of the heavenly court debates between God and Satan that precipitated his pain. In fact, when finally confronted by the Lord of the universe, Job put his hand over his mouth and said nothing.
In the end, the lesson learned was that one may never know the specific reason for his suffering; but one must trust in Sovereign God. That is the real answer to suffering. The book treats two major themes and many other minor ones, both in the narrative framework of the prologue chapters 1 and 2 , and epilogue A key to understanding the first theme of the book is to notice the debate between God and Satan in heaven and how it connects with the 3 cycles of earthly debates between Job and his friends.
God wanted to prove the character of believers to Satan and to all demons, angels and people. Satan accused the righteous of being faithful to God only for what they could get. Since Job did not serve God with pure motives, according to Satan, the whole relationship between him and God was a sham.
God released Satan to make his point if he could, but he failed, as true faith in God proved unbreakable. Satan tried to do the same to Peter see Luke When Satan has unleashed all that he can do to destroy saving faith, it stands firm Rom. A second and related theme concerns proving the character of God to men. Does this sort of ordeal, in which God and His opponent Satan square off, with righteous Job as the test case, suggest that God is lacking in compassion and mercy toward Job?
It was to prove the very opposite Daniel Block shows the rationale for his behavior. In the absence of modern technology, grain was threshed by first beating the heads of the cut stalks with a flail, discarding the straw, and then tossing the mixture of chaff and grain in the air, allowing the wind to blow away the chaff while the heavier kernels of grain fell to the floor.
In the present critical circumstances this obviously would have been unwise. Threshing activity on the hilltops would only have aroused the attention of the marauding Midianites. Therefore Gideon resorts to beating the grain in a sheltered vat used for pressing grapes. Generally wine presses involved two excavated depressions in the rock, one above the other. The grapes would be gathered and trampled in the upper, while a conduit would drain the juices to the lower.
Today Christians and non-Christians alike overwhelmingly agree that it is immoral to conduct business in ways that perpetuate armed conflict. Are we the ones who track down whether the businesses, governments, universities, and other institutions where we work are unwittingly participating in violence? Do we take the risk to raise such questions when our superiors might prefer to ignore the situation?
Or do we hide, like Gideon, behind the excuse of just doing our jobs? The fact that he does this at night, out of fear, is a disturbing detail. God does condescend to assure Gideon in this instance, but it is hardly an example for others to follow as many modern Christians argue in relation to guidance and specifically vocational guidance. It is instead a sign of the wavering commitment that will come to ultimately collapse into idolatry at the end of the story. Less well known are his subsequent failures of leadership Judges 8.
The inhabitants of Succoth and Penuel refuse to help his men after the battle, and his brutal destruction of those cities might strike some as disproportionate to the offense. Gideon is again living up to his name, but now he is hacking down anyone who crosses him.
Even more troubling is his subsequent fall into idolatry. How the mighty are fallen! A lesson for us today may be finding gratitude for the gifts of great people without idolizing them. Like Gideon, a general today may lead us to victory in war, yet prove a tyrant in peace. A genius may bring us sublime insight in music or film, yet lead us astray in parenting or politics.
A business leader may rescue a business in crisis, only to destroy it in times of ease. We may even find the same discontinuities within ourselves. Perhaps we rise in the ranks at work while sinking into discord at home, or vice versa. Maybe we prove capable as individual performers but fail as managers. Most likely of all, perhaps, we accomplish much good when, unsure of ourselves, we depend on God, but wreak havoc when success leads us to self-reliance.
Our only hope, or else despair, is the forgiveness and transformation made possible for us in Christ. John Knox, , Instead of growing more faithful, he seems to be growing more faithless and more fearful. Garry Friesen and J. The New American Commentary. Jephthah starts as a brigand, goes on to deliver the people from the Ammonites, but destroys his own family and future with a dreadful vow that leads to the death of his daughter Judg.
The most famous of the judges, Samson, wreaks havoc amongst the Philistines, but infamously succumbs to the seductions of the pagan Delilah to his own ruin Judg. First of all, the stories of the judges affirm the truth that God works through broken people. The book of Judges does not hesitate to point out that the Spirit of God empowered them to bring about mighty acts of deliverance in the face of overwhelming odds Judges 3: Yet the overall tenor of Judges does not encourage us to make these men into role models. He acts according to his plans, not according to our merit or lack thereof.
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We cannot take credit as if we deserved the blessings of success. If the central section of Judges offers us flawed heroes caught in a depressing cycle of oppression and deliverance, the final chapters portray a fallen people seemingly beyond the hope of redemption.
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Judges 17 opens with almost a parody of idolatry. A man named Micah has lots of money, his mother uses the money to make an idol, and Micah hires a free-lancing Levite as his personal priest. In other words, by getting a religious authority to bless his idolatrous enterprise, Micah believes that he can co-opt God into churning out the goods he craves. Human creativity is here wasted in the worst possible way, in the manufacture of make-believe gods as a cover for greed and arrogance. The impulse to turn God into a prosperity machine has never died away.
With respect to work, this leads some to neglect their work and descend into licentiousness while waiting for God to shower them with riches. The Levite goes to Bethlehem to retrieve her. After a five-day drinking binge with her father, the Levite foolishly begins the journey back home not long before sunset. They find themselves alone at night in the town square of a village in the tribe of Benjamin. No one will take them in until at last one old man offers the hospitality of a place to stay the night. That night the men of the city surround the house and demand that the old man bring out the stranger so they can rape him Judg.
The old man tries to protect the stranger, but his idea of protecting visitors is stomach-turning, to put it mildly. Her body is subsequently dismembered and dispersed to the tribes of Israel, who almost exterminate the tribe of Benjamin in reprisal Judg. The Canaanization of the Israelites is complete.
The concluding line of the book sums up things succinctly. In our spheres of work today, threats against the powerless— including abuse of women and foreigners—remain shockingly common. Individually, we have to choose whether to stand with those who face injustice—undoubtedly at risk to ourselves—or lie low until the damage is past. Organizationally and societally, we have to decide whether to work for systems and structures that restrain the evils of human behavior, or whether to stand aside while everyone does what is right in their own eyes.
Even our passivity can contribute to abuses in our places of work, especially if we are not in positions of authority. But anytime others perceive you as having power—say because you are older, or have worked there longer, or are better dressed, or are seen often talking with the boss, or belong to a privileged ethnic or language group, or have more education, or are better at expressing yourself—and you fail to stick up for those being abused, you are contributing to the system of abuse.
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Reading the horrible events in the last chapters of Judges may make us grateful that we do not live in those days. But if we are truly aware, we can see that simply going to work is as freighted with moral significance as was the work of any leader or person in ancient Israel. Note that Block makes the Canaanization of the people the central theme of his commentary on Judges. The journey through Joshua and Judges is a sobering one. We begin with the inspiring example of Joshua, in whom were combined skill, wisdom, and godly virtue.
The Lord himself guides the people of Israel into the land of promise, and they promise to follow him with all their lives. God grants them a society unencumbered by tyranny, with a fresh start free of corruption, domination and institutionalized injustice. They pursue a unifying mission while maintaining a diverse and flexible culture.
They distribute power while at the same time maintaining mutual accountability and learning how to resolve conflicts productively and creatively. They prosper and have peace. But soon after, we see Israel degenerate from a well-governed, smartly organized, secure, covenant nation into a violent and fractious mob. God has given them a bountiful land primed for productive labor, but they forget his work on their behalf and squander their resources on idols.
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They open themselves up to war and consequent economic deprivation, and in short order they begin to fully embrace the evils of the surrounding peoples. At the end, they have become their own worst enemy. When we work in faithfulness to God, obeying his covenant and seeking his guidance, our work brings unimaginable good for ourselves and our societies. But when we break covenant with the God who works on our behalf and when we begin to practice the injustices that we so easily learn from the culture around us, we find that our labors are as empty as the idols we've fallen into serving.
Thanks to everyone who has donated to the Theology of Work Project! Every resource on our site was made possible through the financial support of people like you. Based on a work at www. The Land Joshua Back to Table of Contents Throughout both Joshua and Judges, the land is of such central importance that it is virtually a character unto itself: God chooses to come to his people in the rough-and-tumble of the actual ancient Near East, where the forces arrayed against Israel are vast and violent.
The work of military conquest is certainly the most prominent work in the book of Joshua, but it is not presented as a model for any work that follows it. Recommended Links open chapter in left panel and notes in right Click tab "Constable's Notes" for excellent notes that synchronize to the chapter. See also Judges Devotionals.
Expositions are at top of page. Scroll down for Homiletics and numerous homilies related to each chapter. If you are not familiar with the great saint Charles Simeon see Dr John Piper's discussion of Simeon's life - you will want to read Simeon's sermons after meeting him! Commentary on Judges - links to each chapter. The best commentary on Scripture is Scripture Compare Scripture with Scripture and these cross references compiled by Torrey are the most comprehensive work of this type with over , entries.
However, always check the context Keep Context King to make sure that the cross reference is referring to the same subject as the original Scripture. The Puritan writer Thomas Watson said it this way - "The Scripture is to be its own interpreter or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture. See also Use of Cross-References. Whedon was a central figure in the struggle between Calvinism and Arminianism.
He devoted 25 years to writing the New Testament commentaries. Other authors wrote the Old Testament commentaries with Whedon serving as the editor. Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth John Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture.
Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, " bibliocentric " commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern.
I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil Heb 5: The Lion Of God Judges 3: The Obscure Savior Judges 4: Judges Judges 2: A Second Introduction to Judges Judges 3: Words Matter Judges The First Prophet Voice Judges 2: A Chant of Patriotism Judges 6: Judges 1 - Pictorial Bible Judges 1: Judges Intro Judges History Judges 1: Handbook of Bible manners and customs - Topics Covered some with pictures The Darkness and the Light - Judges Called by God - Heb Expect Consequences for Disobedience - Judges 1: What Goes Around - Judges 1: Courageously Act for Justice - Judges 3: Make the Most of Every Opportunity - Judges 4: Act in Faith, Not Fear - Judges 6: Watch What You Promise!
Jephthah, the Self-Promoter - Judges Life Without Compromise - Judges The Canaanite Within Us - Judges An Unlikely Salvation M. Judges Overview Judges 1: Judges Samson as a Type of Christ Judges Sermon Notes for Judges 2: Men of Faith or Sketches from the Book of Judges. Perils of Sheep and Ships Judges 6: Most Likely to Succeed Judges Whatever Became of Evil Judges 3: Sin is Crouching at the Door.
Discerning the Will of God Judges Why Strong Men Fail Judges Choosing Right Friends Judges Preface Introduction Judges 1: Judges 1 Judges 2: The Prayer of Deborah Judges 6: Commentary on Judges - links to each chapter Sermon Notes for Judges 2: The Results of Samson's Sin Judges Micah's Apostasy Judges Resulting Covenantal Judgment - Judges 2: The Instruments of God's Judgment - Judges 3: Judges 1 Compromise Has Consequences Judges 2: History of the Judges. Failure to Complete Conquest Jdg 1: Curse of the Cycles.
Conditions in the Cycles. War with the Canaanites. Living Like the Canaanites. From Compromise to Confusion! Canaan Conquered Joshua Dies. To obey is better than sacrifice. Man after God's Own Heart. To Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab. To Boaz was born Obed by Ruth.
To Obed was born Jesse. To Jesse was born David the King. Jesus Christ the Lord. Deciding for the One true God. Pursuing Idols who are no gods. Faithfulness of a Gentile alien. Faithlessness of the "chosen people". Judges - Driving Out Your Enemies. Divine Punishment and Preparation of Deliverance Simultaneous. Cheer for the Faint-Hearted. God and His People.
Manoah and His Wife. Manoah's Wife and Her Excellent Argument. Money Bequeathed by Parents to Their Children. Some Lessons of Catastrophes. A Natural Desire and its Gracious Fulfilment.