Daily Bible Reading for February 11, 2014, with Commentary: Judges 7-11
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Context and Meaning: Continuing with the story of Gideon, the point is re-emphasized that good things only happen to the Israelites through the grace of God.With God leading the Israelites, no matter how few, they would be victorious.From Gideon we can learn that we are not invulnerable to temptation when called as a leader by God.We must remember that victory, physical or spiritual, comes from the Lord.The story of Gideon does not end with his death.Gideon refused to be crowned king, however, he acted like one following his victory.Abimelech, which means "son of a king," was Gideon's son and thought he should be leader after his father, despite not being named or called by the Lord God, and the people embraced him, for a time.God does not always stop what is wrong from happening and leaves the Israelites to live with the consequences.Tola and Jair serve to re-orientate the reader to the pattern of Judges.Next we meet Jephthah, an outcast who saves Israel and vows to offer as sacrifice the first person to meet him when he returns home.It turns out to be his daughter. Scholars speculate if she was actually offered as a burnt sacrifice, or if she was given to the temple in a lifetime of service.
World History: The time during the rule of the Judges was a dark times for the Israelites.They had failed to follow the Lord's instructions of completely killing their enemies, instead allowing them to live and co-exist, which eventually led to cooperation with them and corruption by them.