by Janth English
Read Together: God chose Moses to bring Israel out of Egyptian slavery and to the Promised Land. He then chose Joshua to lead the people into that land and divide their inheritance among the tribes. God chose judges, or leaders, to teach the people His laws and to judge matters that came up according to those laws. Israel was obedient to God for as long as Joshua and the elders that he trained lived. However, after the generation who saw God’s works in the wilderness died, the people began to turn away from God. They wanted to be like the peoples around them, copying their ways and customs. To punish the Israelites for their disobedience, God sent these nations against them. Time after time, Israel suffered under the cruel hand of their enemies. When they cried out to God for relief, he mercifully sent a judge to save them. After a few years of peace, Israel would forget the God who saved them and return to their foreign idols. Again, God would remove His protection and the neighboring nations would invade the land of Israel. For many generations, the people of Israel followed their own rebellious heart, doing what was right in their own eyes.
Read Together: Exodus 3:6-10; Deuteronomy 31:7; 1 Samuel 12:12; Judges 2:6-23, 21:25
- Discuss with your child God’s criteria for leadership positions (See Exodus 18:21 and Titus 1:7-8). God’s standards have not changed, and they will not change. Remind your child that they are training now for future leadership positions.
- Discuss with your child Israel’s desire to be like the people around them. Do we sometimes fall into the same trap? What was the result for Israel? What would be the result for us if we do the same thing?
- Point out to your child how God showed mercy to Israel time and again. Help them to see that God’s mercy is forever.
- Discuss with your child the consequences of everyone doing what they think is right. What happens when my thoughts and your thoughts are not in agreement? What happens in society when there are no absolute standards?
Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”