Judges – Lesson 2

Judges Chapter 1:19-36


Last week, we began our new study on the book of Judges. We talked about how the period of the judges began with the death of Joshua and ended when Saul was chosen as king over the nation of Israel. The book continues the history of the Israelites after the death of Joshua, very similar to the way that Joshua picked up the record after the death of Moses. We saw last week the tribe of Judah going out to battle when God told them to go.

Judg 1:1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?

Judg 1:2 And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.

As promised, God gave the victory to Judah, although he did not go up by himself but also took the tribe of Simeon with him. This week we continue beginning in Verse 19 of Chapter 1.


I. Judah's Failure to Ultimately drive out the Canaanites

Judg 1:19 And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

We see in verse 19 that the reason that Judah could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley was due to the their chariots of iron. Was God unable to overcome chariots of iron? Absolutely not... the reason they were defeated was due to a lack of faith.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

We know that David as a young boy had great faith and went up and conquered the giant Philistine Goliath with just a few smooth stones and a slingshot. And he only had to use one stone. We need to know that if God is fighting the battle in our life, we will win if we faint not. Have faith in God. He won't let you down.

Judg 1:20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.

We gave record that Hebron was given to Caleb. There is a record of Caleb taking Hebron over in chapter 14 of Joshua.

Josh 14:8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.

Josh 14:9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.

Josh 14:10 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.

Josh 14:11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.

Josh 14:12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.

Josh 14:13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.

Josh 14:14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.


II. The Incomplete Victory of Benjamin

Judg 1:21 And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.

We see that Benjamin's tribe could not drive out the Jebusites that inherited Jerusalem. Judah had set a good example if you look up to verse 9. He had gained them a great advantage, but they failed to capitalize on it.

Judg 1:9 And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley.

The tribe of Benjamin did not follow up on the victory and drive out the Jebusites from Jerusalem due to a lack of resolution. If the Christian needs two traits to get things done, they should be resolution and determination. Set your mind to accomplish things for God, and glorify God when you do it. Anyone can talk, but to accomplish things takes work. I was talking to a group of men yesterday in Abilene, and I pointed out that the major groups that Jesus was at odds with in his personal ministry was not the heathen or the uneducated man, but it was the religious leaders. The Pharisees and Sadducees were constantly being condemned. They could talk all the right words, but they were in Jesus' words "whited sepulchres full of dead men's bones." Looked good on the outside, but far from God on the inside. We need to guard against knowing lots of doctrine, but never applying it to our day to day lives.

Judg 1:22 And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them.

We see that the house of Joseph went up against Bethel, and the Lord was with them. God would have been with the other tribes if they would have been obedient and did what God told them to do.

Heb 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

Heb 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Judg 1:23 And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)

Joseph sent spies to observe what part of the city was weakest, or which way they might make their attack with most advantage.

Judg 1:24 And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Show us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will show thee mercy.

They made a deal with a man that came forth out of the city. This man is not to be blamed for giving them this information if he did it from a conviction that he Lord was with them and that the land belonged to them any more. It was much like when Rahab helped to hide the original spies and gave them protection. They tell this man that if he would show them the entrance into the city, they would show him mercy. We see in verse 25 that they kept their word.

Judg 1:25 And when he showed them the entrance into the city, they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family.

The man chose not to dwell among the house of Joseph but went into the land of the Hittites. While he was there, he built a city and called it LUZ which means "an almond tree."

Judg 1:26 And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof unto this day.


III. The Incomplete Victory of Manasseh

Judg 1:27 Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.

Manasseh was the son of Joseph. Like the other tribes, he was not able to drive out the inhabitants totally from the land. We know that God had given a command to drive out the inhabitants of the land and to make no agreement with them.

Deu 7:1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;

Deu 7:2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them:

Deu 7:3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

Deu 7:4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

Deu 7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

Deu 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

Deu 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

Deu 7:8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Deu 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Deu 7:10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.

Deu 7:11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.


Judg 1:28 And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.

We see that the children of Israel put the Canaanites to tribute perhaps thinking that this would be advantageous to them. There seemed to be little thought of the danger of pagan worship and the effect it would have on them. We must guard ourselves from thinking too much in our minds about how to do the things in God's Work If Judah had went down and smote all of the Canaanites as he was commanded, they would not have been a thorn in their side for years and years. J. Vernon McGee in his commentary said that perhaps God was displeased that Judah brought along Simeon and his tribe and allowed this to happen to prove that God's Way is the only pure and perfect way.


IV. The Failure of Other Tribes

Judg 1:29 Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.

Ephraim was one of the sons of Joseph, and he failed to drive out the Canaanites. Ephraim was a powerful tribe but they seems content to let the Canaanites dwell in Gezer. We as Christians have reached a point in America where many times we are content to just let evil continue and never speak a word. For evil to triumph, all Christians have to do is keep quiet. I don't believe we would have a nation that allows abortion and continual increase of laws to promote homosexuality if Christians would be vocal and speak out against evil. But we are sort of like Ephraim, just content to let evil co-exist with us. This past week, we saw where Billy Graham, a man who has been a leading Christian leader, had an opportunity to speak out against sin and the evil that has been going on in our nation, but rather than speaking God's Word he defended President Clinton and made excuses for him. In fairness to President Clinton, he has not been convicted of the crimes, but if the things he has been brought into question about are true, Brother Graham could have politely spoken truth and glorified the Lord and spoke against evil. We can still love the sinner and hate the sin. But too many today are worried about what the public will think, and speak little from conviction for the things of God.

Judg 1:30 Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.

Zebulum failed to drive out the inhabitants of Kitron and Nahalol. It seemed that there was a lack of true committment to the job by all the tribes.

Judg 1:31 Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:

Asher fails on his assignment to drive out the inhabitants of Accho, Zidon, Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, and Rehob.

Judg 1:32 But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.

We see that the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites in the land implying that there were more Canaanites than just the tribe of Asher.

Judg 1:33 Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Bethshemesh, nor the inhabitants of Bethanath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Bethshemesh and of Bethanath became tributaries unto them.

Naphtali failed to drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, or Beth-anath. It says their inhabitants became tributaries unto them.

Judg 1:34 And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley:

Judg 1:35 But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries.

Judg 1:36 And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.

The biggest failure of all came from the tribe of Dan. The enemies that he was to conquer almost ran him out of the country. This led to the migration of Dan to Laish. It says they were driven into the mountains. Because of Israel's unbelief, they seemed to think that in the mountains they were strong enough to defeat the enemies.

1 Ki 20:28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

We see that the Syrians realized that God was the God of the hills and not of the valley. The Amorites chose to dwell in Mt. Heres in Aijalon and in Shaalbim. Joseph id prevail over the Amorites and made them tributaries.


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