Posted by: Brad Beaman | April 12, 2015

First Judge (Judges 3:7–11)

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The title First Judge is taken from the movie First Knight. The First Knight story of Camelot. Lancelot is the courageous sword fighter. He runs the gauntlet and wins a kiss from Guinevere, the bride to be of King Arthur. Then Lancelot after another daring deed saves the life of Guinevere and lands him a spot as a knight at King Arthur’s round table.

The First night Lancelot had a moral flaw. He was found with the wife of King Arthur in his arms. He proves his loyalty to King Arthur who dies in battle. Lancelot the first night is able to marry Guinevere, rule Camelot and live happily ever after.

A better movie would have been First Judge. In this movie actor Sean Connery would have played instead of King Arthur the eighty five year old vigorous Caleb. Instead of asking someone brave enough to run the gauntlet he asks for a man brave enough to attack and capture the city Debir.

Judges 3:7–11 (see also Joshua 15:13-20; Judges 1:11-15, 1 Chronicles 4:13)

That brave volunteer marries his daughter Achsah. Othniel becomes the first judge (Judges 3:7–11). Achsah makes a push for an even greater inheritance and Othniel the hero and Achsah the fair maiden live happily ever after (well not quite). Joshua dies (Judges 2:8) the following generation forgot the Lord and forgot all the work that the Lord did for them. (Judges 2:10). This is the beginning of a pattern.

The Judges follow a terrible cycle. It begins with sin and then punishment and then repentance and then deliverance through one of the judges.

In the case of our first judge Othniel the beginning of this cycle is found in Judges 3:6-7.  The children of Israel intermarried and in that adapted the ways of the people they married and forgot the Lord God. This became the case of the prodigal people.  God’s people forgot Him and turned to worthless things. They were tested by the Canaanites who remained in the land and God’s people failed the test.

The second part of the cycle of the Judges is the punishment. The invasions and particularly this invasion was not a random historical accident.  God is not mocked. A man (or people) reap what they sow. Galatians 6:7. Sin brings punishment and judgement. This linked to Israel serving a foreign king for eight years (Judges 2:8).

We see God’s people move to a place of repentance. They cried out to the Lord (vs 9). Their abandonment of God got them nothing but misery and oppression.

God raised up a leader to deliver His people. Othniel did not settle for a comfortable live enjoying his inheritance of the upper springs with his maiden Achsah. Othniel is from the tribe of Judah and a decedent of Kenaz. This makes Othniel a relative of Caleb. His father-in-law Caleb lived in Israel under the Egyptians oppressive rule and Caleb crossed the Red Sea and spied out the land and gave a minority report. Later Caleb crossed the Jorden at flood level and experienced the hand of God in fall of Jericho.

The Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he became the first judge. The people of God hit rock bottom. God showed mercy to His people. He empowered his deliverer. They turned to Othniel a man of courage. God repeatedly shows his mercy to his people.

Othniel did a great work. He delivered God’s people through battle and there was peace for God’s people for forty years. In other words they served God under the leadership of Othniel for forty years.

Don’t get in the trap that repeats itself twelve times through the book of Judges with sin, punishment, repentance and deliverance. Don’t turn your back on the Lord. Don’t forget all the good things the Lord has done for you.

We want to be in our lives where God’s people ended up after all their trouble. That is where they were after Othniel by God’s Spirit took them to where they should have been all along, faithfully following the Lord their God. That was what they did with the help of the first judge Othniel for forty years.

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Responses

  1. […] see also Caleb’s brother   First Judge (Judges 3:7–11) […]


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