The Bible says in Judges 3:7-11, And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years. And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim. And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died. There is a very important spiritual principle revealed in these verses that applies to Christians also. It has to do with Gods chastisement for His believers. The children of Israel sinned due to the bad influence of the unbelievers around them. As a Christian, once you sin, what should you do? You should turn back to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. And make sure that you turn back to Jesus as soon as possible: immediately. What happens if you do not turn back to the Lord immediately? He will chastise you. It says in Hebrews 12:6, For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. The reason that the Lord does that is to increase your motivation to come back to Him. There is one thing you can do to avoid the chastening and the scouring: judge yourself, come back to Him, and confess your sins. It says in First Corinthians 11:30-32, For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. On the same subject it also says in First John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleans us from all unrighteousness. The Lord will always forgive you. And so as a Christian you can always be in fellowship with the Lord as long as you always quickly confess your sins. No doubt every Christian has many sins daily because every second that we slip up with the greatest commandment (not to speak of all the other commandments), we sin. The greatest commandment according to Jesus is: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind, and all thy strength.
During the time period of the
Judges, each time that the children of Israel went away from the Lord and then
were punished by God using the heathen people to punish the Israelites, God
would raise up a judge to lead them so they could be delivered from their
terrible circumstance. The first judge was Othniel the
son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. Verse ten says that the Spirit of the LORD came upon Othniel. One
difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament is that in the Old
Testament the Spirit of God only came upon a few select believers, but in the
New Testament since the Day of Pentecost, every single believer in Christ gets
the Holy Spirit the moment they are saved. For example, it says in Ephesians
4:30, And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,
whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. This verse applies to all Christians, not just
to some. Speaking of Jesus, John the Baptist said, I baptize with water, but
one is coming after me who will baptize you with the Spirit. When does Jesus
baptize a believer with the Spirit: the moment that anyone believes in Jesus;
that is, the moment that anyone gets saved through faith in Christ. That is why
it says in Romans 6:3-4, Know ye not, that so many
of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. What kind of baptism is being spoken about in these verses: spiritual baptism; that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit that takes place when a person believes in Jesus.
After the Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel, it says that Othniel judged Israel. In other words, Othniel became the first judge: the leader of Israel. God chooses the leaders of all nations. That is why we look to the Lord for choosing our leaders. Our prayer is that the Lord will give us the best leaders who love our country and who understand the importance and value of freedom.
It says in verse ten that Othniel went out to war. Unfortunately, war is a reality of life on this earth. People just cannot get along. Some people are evil and they start wars, and so we must be prepared to defend ourselves. Good leaders understand this, and they make sure that their nation is prepared. Jesus said in Matthew 24:6, And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. There is a spiritual application to going out to war. When you get saved, you will face spiritual warfare in your life. Make sure you are ready by having all the spiritual armor on. This armor is described in Ephesians 6:10-13, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Because Othniel had the Spirit of God, and because Othniel surrendered to Gods will to lead Israel, and because Othniel understand that war was a part of life, the result was very good. Othniel prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim. And the land had rest forty years.
The Bible says in Judges 3:12-15, And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees. So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab. The following phrase is used twice in verse twelve, the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD. God sees and knows everything that we do. And He is holy and He is Judge. Once again the children of Israel turn away from the Lord. That will never work out well for anyone. And once again the Lord raises up an unbelieving king (this time the king of Moab) and his people to chastise them.
And then according to verses fourteen and fifteen, after eighteen years, the children of Israel finally turn back to the Lord. I do not recommend waiting eighteen years to turn back to the Lord Jesus. You just might want to make sure that you turn to the Lord immediately and daily. Why not? A lot of bad things can happen in eighteen years. The Lord certainly wants you to return to Him right away, and He will allow you to turn to Him right away. Once they did turn back to the Lord, the Lord started fixing things immediately. The Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded.
The Bible says in Judges 3:16-25, But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man. And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present. But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him. And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat. And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out. Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them. When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber. And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth. It was definitely a violent time. But even in such violent circumstances, God can give the victory. This was war, and once God decided to help the Israelites, that was all it took. God made everything work out for the benefit of the children of Israel. They won, and their enemies lost.
The Bible says in Judges 3:26-31, And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath. And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them. And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over. And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years. And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel. Ehud was courageous and brave. Ehud was determined to do something and to get the job done. Ehud was not afraid. That made him an ideal leader. People will follow a leader. In verse twenty-eight he said, Follow after me. But Ehud knew where his victory really came from: God. And so he also told the people in verse twenty-eight, for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. The result of having the right leader who trusts in the Lord and who teaches the people to trust in the Lord is found in verse thirty, So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.
And then after the eighty years were over, God raised up another judge for the people of Israel: Shamgar. He probably came from the countryside because his weapon was an ox goad (a long stick used for prodding cattle.) It says in verse thirty-one, And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel. God uses a prepared man for a prepared place. God was preparing Shamgar when the Lord put Shamgar in a county setting and put him in charge of animals. God is guiding all of our lives. Some of the things that we are going through now are simply Gods preparation for the future.
Copyright; 2019 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved