Day 19: Judges 1-12

90 Days Through The Bible

Despite years of repeated warnings to obey the Lord and His commandments or you will be handed over to your enemies, the Israelites still haven’t learned. They repeatedly: strayed from God, were handed over to their enemy, cried out to the Lord to be rescued, were sent a judge to rescue and rule over them. Just as soon as their judge was dead, they would quickly descend into behavior much worse than before they were rescued. I was intrigued at how those that lacked faith in their Lord to deliver Israel as promised were handed victory but in a way that was not their own doing. Barak was so terrified and unsure of going by himself to attack and defeat Sisera, that he asked Deborah to go with. The Israelite army successfully defeated King Eglon’s army, but Barak’s victory was tarnished when Jael, a woman, kills his target with a tent stake while he sleeps. Talk about embarrassing for Barak.  God’s repeated promise/warning that if the Israelites did not obey His Law, He would allow their enemies to succeed against them held true. When we don’t trust in God’s plan and try it our own way, God’s plan still prevails, but usually without the blessings that would have come with following His plan.

“So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he said, “Because this people have transgressed my covenant that I commanded their fathers and have not obeyed my voice, I will no longer drive out before them any nations that Joshua left when he died in order to test israel by them, whether they will care to walk in the say of the Lord as their fathers did, or not.” Judges 2: 20-22 ESV


Judges 1-12


  • Judah and Simeon defeated Canaanites & Perizzites in Judah, killed Adoni-bezek, defeated Jerusalem, hill country, Negeb & low country, Hebron, Debir, Zephath, Gaza and others.
  • The tribes did not drive out all of the inhabitants of Canaan, subjected to forced labor.
  • Angel of the Lord appeared confronting them about not obeying – since they did not drive out everyone, they would be thorns in their side.
  • Israel abandoned the Lord, so He gave them over to plunderers, Lord removed His protection in battle.
  • Lord sent judges to save them from plunderers, but they did not listen. When they did listen to the judges and were rescued, they returned to even more corrupt ways after the judge’s death.
  • Israel sent judges to save them from plunderers, but they did not listen, When they did
  • Lord raised up Othniel to deliver Israel from being sold into slavery. They forgot the Lord and worshipped Baal. They went to war & defeated Cushan-rishathaim after 8 years of slavery. They had peace for 40 years, then Othniel died.
  • Israel did evil in sight of the Lord, He delivered Israel to King Eglon on Moab, they served him 18 years. God raised up Ehud, who made a sword and hid it under his clothes when giving a tribute to Eglon. When they were alone, Ehud took the sword and stabbed the fat belly of King Eglon, killing him. Ehud escaped gathering Israel to attack and defeat Moab. Peace for 80 years.
  • Israel did evil: Lord sold Israel to King Jabin of Canaan, they were oppressed for 20 years. Deborah, a prophetess, was judging at the time. She sent for Barak to gather 10,000 men to Mount Tabor and she would deliver commander Sisera to him. Barak chickened out and wanted Deborah to go with. Barak defeated the army but Sisera fled to Jael’s tent, a Kenite woman, and hid. Jael killed Sisera while he slept by driving a tent stake through his head. Israel had 40 years of peace.
  • Midean oppressed Israel for 7 years. God called Gideon to lead/judge Israel. He was unsure and asked for 3 signs. Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal and led 300 men to destroy the army of Midean. Gideon made an ephod from the spoil. Israel had peace 40 years.
  • Abimelech became king after killing 70 of his brothers (Gideon’s son) except Jotham. Abimelech ruled 3 years. Jotham curses Shechem for following Abimelech, Gaal challenges Abimelech and in retaliation ends up destroying Shechem. He killed 1,000 men and women when he burned the Tower of Shechem. Abimelech went against Thebez and was killed by a millstone thrown by a woman.
  • Tola judged Israel for 23 years, Jair judged Israel for 22 years.
  • Israel did evil, were sold to Philistines and Ammonites, oppressed 18 years. Jephtath, a prostitute’s son agreed to fight if he became their ruler. Before the battle, he made a vow that whatever came out to greet him, he would offer as a burnt offering to the Lord. After defeating the Ammonites, his daughter came out to greet him. He honored his vow, she served the Lord for the remainder of her life.
  • Was a civil war between Gilead and Ephraim.
  • 6 years of peace followed by Ibzan judging for 7 years, Elon judged 10 years, Abdon judged 8 years.

Help me to remember:

there were consequences for straying away from You and there will be for me as well.

Lord, I ask that . . .

I learn from the Israelites cycle of self-destruction. They repeatedly strayed from You and despite serious consequences did not learn how to break the cycle of their mistakes.

Heavenly Father, I am thankful for . . .

the times of peace that comes with being obedient to You.

Rachel is a work-from-home mom of two beautiful children. She used to teach middle school math and science and has served in various roles within her local church with the student ministry. Rachel loves being able to watch people grow in their relationship with God, especially by showing them how to study their Bible on their own. She started Honeycomb Wisdom to help people journal their time with God and His Word.
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