“Cooking The Books” – One Year Bible Reading – April 23

Old Testament:  Judges 1:1-2:9

Read this passage on BibleGateway.com

Judges 1: 1 – 10  Thumbs Down

Moses had warned everyone to obey God’s laws or there’d be consequences (e.g. Deut. 20:16-17).  Joshua warned them more than once and especially on his way out (e.g. Jos. 24).  However, what is the key verse in the Book of Judges?  “In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 17: 6; 25: 21).  This would suggest that the book was written looking backward from the days when there was a king in Israel.  Samuel is usually suggested as the author.

Inquiry is made of the Lord probably by Urim and Thummin.  Judah was chosen to fight against the Canaanites.  The Canaanites were never totally driven out of the land contrary to Yahweh’s wishes and gave the Israelites fits for centuries.  At this point, however, they captured Adoni-bezek and cut off his thumbs and big toes as he had done to, supposedly, seventy other kings.  This was a tragic thing for King Adoni-bezek.  He was not able to text for the rest of his life or maneuver or sword or plant his feet in battle.

The warriors of Judah also captured Jerusalem and Hebron.

Judges 1: 11 – 26  Cooking The Books

Judah then went after Debir which was known as the “town of books” so it may have housed a library.  Caleb promised his daughter for a wife.  Othniel, Caleb’s nephew, won the prize.  Othniel was good at capturing towns but must’ve been a little fearful of Caleb.  He let his new wife ask her father for springs.  She got off her donkey and asked him  (Don’t read it in the KJV.  I’m warning you.)  He gave her the land with water that she desired.

They were able to drive out the inhabitants of a few other hill towns as well but got stuck in the valley because they had Cadillacs, I mean, iron chariots.  But Caleb, Caleb, he’s our man, he was able to do it though no one else could.  (I need to work on that.)  Caleb had to be close to a hundred at the time!

The tribe of Benjamin was not able to drive out the Jebusites in Jerusalem so they were still there in the time of the kings (v. 21).

The tribe of Joseph encountered the people of Bethel (v. 22).  Their scouts came across a fella leaving the town and gave him the same deal they had given Rahab years before.  The man and his family were saved same as Rahab’s.

Judges 1: 27 – 36  Fails

Other failures included the tribes of Manasseh, Ephraim, Zebulun, Asher, Naphtali and Dan.  None of them were able to drive out the Canaanites in their inherited areas.  Joseph was later able to subdue the Amorites in hill country that belonged to Dan.

Judges 2: 1 – 4  A Pain In The Neck

The Angel of the Lord Himself spoke to the people of Israel from the town of Bochim.  He said and I quote, “I will never break My covenant with you . . .” (Jos. 2: 1).  The Angel of the Lord is most likely Jesus.  He is quoting Yahweh.  Of course, He IS Yahweh.  But He is telling the Israelites that though they have royally messed up, HE IS NOT GOING TO BREAK HIS COVENANT with them.  In other words, the four covenantal promises of the Bible can NOT be annulled or broken.  They are one way promises for the nation of Israel.  (The four covenants are: Abrahamic in Gen. 12: 1-3; Palestinian in Dt. 30: 1-10; Davidic in 2Sam. 7: 12-16; and the New Covenant in Jer. 31: 31-34).

However, the fact that Yahweh will never forsake Israel does not mean there won’t be consequences for their disobedience.  The Angel told them that their failure to drive out all the pagans was going to result in a pain in their neck, well, literally, “a thorn in their side” (v. 3).

So they named the place where the Angel spoke Bochim which means “weepers” because all the people wept over their sin and what the Lord had said.

Judges 2: 6 – 9  Joshua Dies

Another account of the death of the great man, Joshua (cf. Jos. 24: 29-30).  He was buried in his new home town in Timnath-heres.  He was 110.

New Testament: Luke 21:29-22:13  

Luke 21: 29 -38  Figgy Pudding

You might remember that Jesus had cursed a fig tree in the book of Mark (11: 12-14 cf. (Matt. 21:18- 19).  The fig tree is often taken as symbolic of the nation of Israel (Jer. 24: 1-5; Hos. 9: 10).  Jesus is saying that once things start happening around the nation of Israel, everything will take place quickly, within one generation (v. 32).  When the Israelites see the signs of v. 25-28, they will also see the establishment of the Messiah’s 1,00o year reign.

Jesus taught (v. 36) they should be alert, not living in sin (v. 34) so they will be ready when the Kingdom comes (Mt. 24: 44; Lk. 12: 40; Ti. 2: 13).  Jesus taught in the Temple by day and on the Mount of Olives at night.

Luke 22: 1 -13  The Set Up

Satan was working in Judas Iscariot.  He was also working in the chief priests and scribes.  Satan, Judas, and the religious leaders worked together to deliver up Jesus.  Upon close scrutiny of this entire story, it can be seen that Jesus was in total control.

Jesus had a plan set up to eat the Passover meal at a certain man’s house.  He could be identified by the fact he was carrying water.  Usually women carried water.  The man was probably a believer.  The disciples found the man and prepared the meal.

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