Judges: Trust and Obey
 In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. [Jdg 21:25 ESV]
1. Key Characters: God used judges (________________ leaders) to deliver His people out from under their sin.
2. Key Theme: Disobedience results in judgment.
3. Key Verse: “Every man did that which was ________________ in his own eyes” (17:6).
4. Key Chapter: 2—a miniature version of the whole book (summary in 2:7-19).
 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the LORD had done for Israel.  And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110 years.  And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.  And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel.  And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals.  And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the LORD to anger.  They abandoned the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.  So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies.  Whenever they marched out, the hand of the LORD was against them for harm, as the LORD had warned, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were in terrible distress.  Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them.  Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so.  Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them.  But whenever the judge died, they turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them. They did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways. [Jdg 2:7-19 ESV]
5. Observe the structure of oppression and deliverance.
A. Failure to conquer the land (1:1-2:9)
B. Failure to keep the law (2:9-3:6)
C. ________________ and ________________ (repeated 8 times from 3-16)
D. Failure to conquer the land (17-18)
E. Failure to keep the law (19-21)
6. Observe the cycle of disobedience and victory (3-16).
- Observe the gradual deterioration of Israel.
 Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat…  Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she was right in Samson’s eyes. [Jdg 14:6-7 ESV]
I. Orienting Data for Judges…
B. Historical Coverage: Death of Joshua (1360 BC) to Samuel (1060 BC)
1. Decline on four planes: a. Military Decline. b. Spiritual Decline. c. Religious Decline. d. Moral Decline
2. Tenuous conquest…
3. Fading of revival…
4. Preservation of values…
5. How low people can sink…
6. God rescuing…
7. Charismatic leadership…
8. The need for a good king…
9. The attractions of idolatry…
10. Disintegration of tribal unity…
II. Outline of Judges
A. Military decline (1:1-2:9)
B. Spiritual decline (2:9-3:6)
C. Judges (3:7-16:31)
D. Religious disorder (17-18)
E. Moral disorder (19-21)
III. The Deuteronomic Cycle (Judges 2:7-19)
A. Faithful, free (vv. 7-9)
B. Apostasy (vv. 10-12)
C. Anger of Yahweh (vv. 12-15)
D. Enemy oppression (vv. 14-15)
E. Cry for help (v. 18)
F. Rescue via judge (vv. 16, 18)
G. Faithful, free (vv. 16, 18)
H. Apostasy, etc. (vv. 17, 19)