JUDGES Chapter 2
Chapter two starts with the Lord's response to Israel's decision to follow their own way and to abandon the Lord. The Lord is only able to use His righteous justice to discipline the Israelites due to their sin and rebellion against Him. Today it is very sad to hear ministers and Christian Leaders say that it is all about grace and that the Lord does not discipline due to Yeshua taking our sin and dying for us. If that is correct, the Lord God Almighty has changed and then the Bible cannot be true. In other words we can sin, get involved in idolatry do what we like and we will not reap any consequences or discipline due to God's grace.
- This is NOT correct and you will not find this in the Tenach (Old Testament) or in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) Even if we are redeemed by what Yeshua did for you and for me it does not mean we can sin and get away with it.
This is what the Israelites did during the time of the Judges and put on airs that they were God's chosen and had been given their own land and that God would bless them. How wrong they were, God is Holy and if He did not administer His justice He would not be Holy. A Holy Father who loves His children will discipline and therefore we need to be following His ways and not man's ways.
Verse one starts with “Now the Angel of the Lord” (וַיַּעַל מַלְאַךְ-יְהוָה ) Vayhaal malach Yahweh
If you do a search on “malach” you will find that it means messenger. In certain contexts it can mean that the Messenger is an angel. Many Rabbi's and Hebrew scholars say that this messenger is a Human messenger or a prophet that is being referred to. This is one way of getting around the words. This still does not tell us who the messenger of the Lord is as the messenger speaks in the 1st person. If this was a prophet or an ordinary angel we would find that scripture would say, “This is a message from the Lord “or “Thus says the Lord”.
- As Believers we know that we have a Trinity of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit which gives us three choices of Who “The Angel of the Lord” is. I would suggest reading a book called “Who ate lunch with Abraham” by Asher Intrater, a Hebrew Scholar and Believer in Yeshua who unpacks the meaning of the words “The Angel of the Lord”.
The Messenger then speaks to the Israelites at a place called Bochim (weepers). It is not known for sure where this place is but it could be near Shiloh. The Messenger we are told has come up from Gilgal and it was at Gilgal that the Israelites had dedicated themselves to the Lord. The Messenger reminds the Israelites that he had brought them up out of Egypt and given them the land that he had promised to their forefathers. He then goes on to say that he will never and take note, will NEVER break his covenant with the Israelites. NOWHERE does it say if you break my covenant I will break my covenant:
- In Matthew 5:17 – 18 it says “ Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to uphold.. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass away from the Torah – not until everything that must happen has happened.”
I would say that both the Father and Yeshua state that they will not break their Covenant with Israel. The messenger reminds the Israelites even though they are about to be disciplined and chastised by the Lord. Therefore we do not have the right to say that due to Israel’s disobedience they are no longer Gods people and that he has broken covenant with them. We need to remember that the Lord God Almighty says that he will not break his covenant. Man today and over the centuries has enjoyed changing Gods written word and putting in their own understanding. This is very dangerous.
- When Yeshua speaks in Matthew he speaks about the Torah and the Prophets. In other words ALL of God's promises will happen.
The Israelites in verse 2 of Judges 2 are reminded that they were to tear down all the pagan altars and not make agreements with the people living in the land, but they had not listened. Therefore, He the Lord would not drive out the enemy. He then reminds them that when Yehoshua (Joshua ) was alive He the Lord led all the battles and made sure that they won. Now the enemy would stay in the land and be a snare and a thorn to them. The Israelites seem to come to their senses and offer sacrifices to the Lord and start weeping and wailing.
Verses 6 - 9 remind us about Yehoshua (Joshua) and this one can read about in Yehoshua (Joshua) 24. We are reminded that as long as Yehoshua (Joshua) was alive, the people had served the Lord. Yehoshua (Joshua) had served the Lord faithfully and had died at the age of 110 and was buried on his own property. Yehoshua (Joshua) was from the tribe of Ephraim.
What I find fascinating that in Judges 2:9 we read that Yehoshua (Joshua) was buried near the boundary of his property in Timnat - Here in the hill country of Ephraim north of Mount Ga'ash.
- The name Timnat – means “precinct of the sun” and in rabbinic tradition is connected to the place where Yehoshua (Joshua) commanded the sun to stand still. (Yehoshua (Joshua)10:13) Timnath means “portion of abundance”
In the Book of Yehoshua (Joshua) 19:50 and 24:30 we have a difference in the name and spelling Timnath – Serah. Could this be a simple metathesis or it could be that Timnath – Here is the ancient place name. If you look Serah is the reverse of Heres. I know you are going to say that Serah has an “a” in it but remember written Hebrew has no vowels.
Verse 10 tells us that a new generation of Israelites had grown up who did not know what the Lord had done for Israel. It is very sad that the Lord's great works had faded and that the people had been drawn into idolatry and paganism. If the earlier generation had obeyed the Lord and cleared the land of idols and pagan places of worship this would not have happened. I believe that they knew about the Lord and what he had done but they felt it was irrelevant to their lives. There was no gratitude or thanks for what the people had done before. They knew all about Baal and Ashtoreth and how to worship them.
- I ask the question are we any different to this generation of Israelites? Do we give thanks to our ancestors for fighting two world wars to try to make the world a better place? Do we remember how many of our ancestors had to fight so that we could read the bible?
Verse 12 & 13 are two of the saddest verses in the bible. By worshipping other gods the Israelites had abandoned the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As we carry on reading we can see that God was angry and everything that he had warned the Israelites would happen, happened. Carry on reading and you will see that the Israelites did not think that they had abandoned the Lord God Almighty. They had felt that it was acceptable to have mixture.
- The Lord has standards and do we measure up to His standards. The Lords standards are not our standards. His ways are not our ways. Mixture is unacceptable before the Lord God Almighty.
The gods of the surrounding people who Yehoshua (Joshua) had not cleared the land of, all came from the Babylonian pantheon of gods that stemmed from Nimrod. We need to look at the words “to follow other gods” and we need to understand this. In ancient times and I am sad to say even today statues of a god image or a person dedicated as a saint was and is held and carried by, priests, kings, servants, children and is then worshipped and prayed to. The people would follow and throw flowers and bow down and kiss the statue or dare I say idol. When this was put down gifts are sometimes put at the feet of the statue or idol. Candles are burnt. Prayers are said asking for favours and healing. Children are dedicated to these idols and today saints. This is not what God Almighty accepts. He does not accept mixture or compromise. We are either for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or we are against him. God wants All our worship not part of our worship. He does not want us bowing down to idols.
- I challenge you and even myself, what are the idols in our lives? Who or what do we bow down to? Are we any different to those early Israelites?
There is always a hope and we see that the Lord appoints Judges who he was with and would use them to bring the Israelites back to him. We now have Yeshua who is there for anybody who is willing to repent and ask Yeshua into their life.
* We give thanks to the Lord for how He is touching different people to get back to understanding Torah and the Hebraic roots of Christianity.
* Pray for Beit Echad and for the groups that are coming together in different locations.
* We give thanks to the Lord for the new additions to our family in South Africa and pray that they will all come to know Him.
* We continue to give thanks to the Lord for supplying all our needs through the generous giving of those among you. Thank you!
* Pray for Israel, Jewish people and especially for Bibi Netenhyu as Islam moves into Jihad in the Middle East and other places in the world.
* We praise the Lord for how He is opening up a new home for us to grow this ministry.
* Pray for Penny as she studies through a Messianic Yeshiva to improve her hebrew and understanding of the scriptures. This is a very intense course
* Also pray that the wider churches eyes would be opened to the threat of Replacement Theology, which leads to the anti-Semitism and anti-Israel stance that is a curse.
- Purim Celebration on 5 March at Emmaus Chorley at 7:30 pm All Welcome.
- Parashah Bible Study Mondays at 7:30 pm in Lancaster
- Parashah Bible Study Wednesday at 7:30 pm in Preston
- Parashah Bible Study Thursdays at 7:30 pm in Chorley
Below is the Messianic AlephTav Scriptures image linked to Bill Sanford's website that I would encourage you to invetigate: