Judges 10:1-11:40; John 6:25-29; Psalm 59:1-8
“Deliver me from my enemies” (Psalm 59:1).
The Psalmist had enemies. The people of Israel had enemies. Jesus had enemies. We have enemies. There will, however, be a Day of God’s judgment. There will be deliverance for the Lord’s people. No mercy will be shown to wicked traitors. The Lord will “laugh at them.” He will “scoff at all those nations” (Psalm 59:5,8).
Judges 12:1-13:25; John 6:60-7:13; Psalm 59:9-17
Judges tells us of Samson, a man of great strength. The Psalmist teaches us that true strength comes from the Lord. Samson’s true strength was God-given. Our true strength is God-given. True strength is more than physical strength. It’s spiritual strength. The Psalmist says to God, “O my Strength, I watch for You … I will sing of your strength … O my Strength, I sing praise to You” (Psalm 59:9,16-17). We receive this strength as we read the Word of the Lord. When Jesus asked His disciples if they were about to draw back from following Him, Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
Judges 14:1-15:20; John 7:14-44; Proverbs 11:29-12:7
True strength comes from the Spirit of the Lord – “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Samson) in power” (Judges 14:19); “Whoever believes in Me (Jesus), as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive” (John 7:38-39). This strength is not only inner strength. It’s strength that’s to be used to benefit others – “he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).
Judges 16:1-17:13; John 7:45-8:11; Psalm 60:1-4
Samson “killed many more when he died than while he lived” (Judges 16:30). The chief priests and Pharisees were anxious to bring Jesus in – to destroy Him. Little did they realize that His death was to be His greatest victory. Even when His people are at a very low ebb, God does not abandon them. His purpose is restoration – “for those who fear You, You have raised a banner” (Psalm 60:4). Jesus was brought low. He was raised again. We may be brought low. We will be raised again.
Judges 18:1-19:30; John 8:12-30; Psalm 60:5-12
In Judges, we read of idolatry and adultery. Into this kind of situation comes the Lord’s warning – “if you do not believe that I am He, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24). There is much resistance to the Gospel. There will, however, be those who believe – “Even as He spoke, many believed in Him” (John 8:30). In a situation full of many temptations, we must learn to say, with the Psalmist, “Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies” (Psalm 60:11-12). The problems are great. The Lord is greater. There are many difficulties. With the Lord on our side, we will be victorious – victors in Christ.
Judges 20:1-21:25; John 8:31-59; Psalm 61:1-8
The Book of Judges ends on a very sad note: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit (or “everyone did what was right in his own eyes”)” (Judges 21:25). The sadness doesn’t come from the political situation – “no king”. It comes from the moral and spiritual situation – people doing as they pleased with respect for the authority of God and His Word. In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders refused to crown Jesus as King of their lives. When He spoke to them of the truth which could set them free, they said that they didn’t need to be set free (John 8:32-33). Persisting in their unbelief, they confronted Jesus: “Who do you think you are?” (John 8:53). Israel had times when there was “no king”. They had times when there was a king. We now have a King who is greater than all Israel’s kings. Jesus is the King of kings. He is “enthroned in God’s presence for ever” (Psalm 61:7).