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The word which is often translated judge in the Old Testament does not always have a clear meaning. It conjures a picture in this present century of a person seated behind an elevated desk wearing a black robe swinging a gavel. On each occasion in the book of Judges, as Israel broke Covenant stipulations, God raised up a judge, not a legal expert, but a charismatic military leader who was empowered by God to fight against an enemy.

Judges describes the occupation of the Promised Land as undertaken by individual tribes or sometimes one tribe working with another64 and includes the interval of time when the tribes of Israel, having entered the Promised Land, are learning to live together as well as living with their neighbors while in the midst of hostile nations on their borders.We must think of Israel during this period of time as a loosely bound group of tribes which were held together by the Covenant made with God. It was a theocracy. God was king. The first part of Judges pictures a cycle through which the tribes would orbit as they broke Covenant with God. The phrase “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” might be understood as a technical phrase which means “breaking Covenant.” Several of the dates of the Judges overlap66 because often more than one tribe would be in the cycle at the same time. What the book of Judges presents for its readers is a concept that was developing in the history of Israel about what would happen to them if they did not keep the stipulations of the Covenant.

There is a pattern to Israel’s failures that appears several times:
O pposition to God
R etribution of God
B eseechment to God
I mpartation of Deliverance by God
T ranquility with God

So What?
Judges may be a demonstration of what occurs when there is no recital and recommitment in each generation as seen at the end of Joshua (Joshua 24). Each generation must remember what God has done and recommit to his faithfulness. It also points toward the concept that when one lives in God’s EPIC Adventure, i.e., keeps his Covenant, God is pleased. When one chooses a different story to live in, well, things can get out of hand.

From: God’s EPIC Adventure. 128-129. © 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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Jesus Followers


There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.


(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)