Talks for Growing Christians
The First Judge of Israel: Othniel
Lesson Number 4
- God uses a believer's mistakes along with His wisdom for testing and training.
- God uses a believer's experience along with His power for victory and deliverance.
- Beware of creeping compromise.
- The period of the judges, about 350 years in Israel's history, extended from the time of the death of ____________ until the time of ____________, the first king of Israel.
- Who is most likely the author of the Book of Judges?
- Who was the first judge in Israel?
- Review the sin cycle from the previous lesson. Now outline the sin cycle found in Judges 3:7-11.
- Joshua, Saul
- Samuel, who is sometimes considered the last of the judges and the first of the prophets in Israel.
- Othniel, the nephew of Caleb.
- a. the sin stage or the wandering away from the Lord stage, where they did evil in the sight of the Lord and served other gods (v.7)
b. the discipline stage, when the Lord was angered and sold them into the hands of the king of Mesopotamia (v.8)
c. the repentance stage, when they cried out to the Lord (v.9)
d. the salvation or restoration stage, when a deliverer was raised up (Othniel), and the Lord delivered the enemy into their hand (vs.9-10)
e. the rest stage, when the land had rest for 40 years, when there was a measure of moral reform and return to the Lord (v.11).
- When God brought Israel into the land of promise at the time of the conquest, Israel's responsibility was to completely cleanse the land of all enemies. God did not want any pockets or enclaves of the enemy left around to influence His people with their idolatrous or immoral practices, but they did not obey. However, God did not give up and reject His people even then, but He continued to work patiently with them, providing deliverance and rest. Furthermore, He used their failures to test them and train them. The lesson here? God uses a believer's mistakes along with His wisdom for testing and training. How has God used your failures and mistakes to test and train you?
- Othniel was already battle-hardened when he was successful in war. Apply this to your life. How has God used your experience along with His power for victory and deliverance?
- Beware of creeping compromise. The children of Israel did not become idol worshippers overnight. As they lived with the enemy, they gradually compromised with them. Today, this is often true in churches, families, and in individuals. Beware of creeping compromise in your life.
- "The Lord left nations that He might test Israel by them...this was so they might be taught to know war...and to see whether they would obey the commandments of the Lord." Judges 3:1-4
- "...the children of Israel dwelt among the 'ites.' They intermarried and served their gods. So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God, and served other gods." Judges 3:5-7
- "When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, He raised up a deliverer...and they had rest." Judges 3:9, 11