Walking Thru The Bible

Old Testament -- Judges & Ruth

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            Walking Thru The  Bible
             JUDGES / RUTH
             Author:  There is no statement or implication about the
            authorship of this 21 chapter book.  Inspiration does not give us
            this information and we have only a tradition attributing the book
            to Samuel.
             Situation:  The book is a continuation of the history of the
            Jews in Canaan after their God-led deliverance from Egypt and
            the conquest of the land by Joshua.  It is a book about and to the
            children of Israel (Judges 1:1). 
             When Written:  The date of the book of Judges can be set
            with fair accuracy.  Since the book is a continuation of history
            following the book of Joshua it is obvious that it was written
            after the death Joshua, or after 1421 BC.  
             It was written even later than this, for Judges 18:1 and 19:1
            imply that there was a king in Israel at the time of writing.  That
            would necessitate a date of 1095 BC or later.  

             Based upon Judges 1:21, 29, it is believe that the book was
            written about 1000 BC.  That would be during the lifetime of
            Samuel and the reign of the kings.  There is neither an inspired
            statement nor an implication as to the place of composition.
             Why Written:  The book of Judges is chiefly a history of the
            Jews under 13 of the 15 judges:  Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar,
            Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elan,
            Abdon and Samson.  Eli and Samuel are found in the book of
            First Samuel.

             We see a cycle of four stages of behavior that the people of
            the time of the Judges continually repeated:  (1) sin,  (2)
            oppression, (3) repentance, and  (4) deliverance.  
             The book seems to have been written to give the Jews a
            history of their life in the promised land.  However, the message
            that seems prominent is:  Obey God and enjoy blessings; disobey
            God and suffer oppression.  It is also seen that people can, and
            often do, depart from God.  There has always been a need for
            someone like the judges to call God's people back to Him.
             Lesson:  Let us remember that we can fall from God's grace
            (cf. also Hebrews 12:15).  May we realize that repentance is
            necessary when we fall and that repentance and obedience will
            bring deliverance.

             Author:  The 4 chapter book of Ruth does not contain the
            name of its author.  Therefore, we cannot speak with any
            certainty, but most scholars think Samuel penned the book.
             Situation:  The book is another important part of Jewish
            history.  It gives a link in the seed-line of the coming Christ. 
            Perhaps this part of Jewish history pertaining to the coming
            Christ is most memorable because it is presented as a love story. 
            There is pictured a loving husband, Elimelech, in a time of
            famine (1:1), a loving wife who was supportive of her husband's
            move (1:4), two loving sons, Mahlon and Chilion (1:1,2) who
            became husbands (1:4), and two loving daughters-in-law, Orpah
            and Ruth (1:6-14).

             However, the primary love story has to do with the love of
            Ruth for her mother-in-law (1:14-22).  The love was repaid with
            a husband, Boaz, and the blessing of bearing a child who would
            be in the seed-line of the Christ (4:17-22).  How this brief bit of
            history must have thrilled the Jews when they heard and read it.
             When Written:  The events of the book of Ruth took place
            during the period of the Judges  (verse 1 says "when the judges
            ruled") and hence it's location in the Old Testament following
            that book.  Ruth 4:17-22 gives an abbreviated genealogy from
            Pharez to David.  David was the second of Israel's kings under
            the united kingdom (1 Samuel 9:27; 10:1; 15:1, 12, 13).  Thus
            David had been born at the time the book was written down. 
            With these facts we can date the writing of the book of Ruth to
            around 1100 BC. The last verses of the book date its composition
            in the days of Samuel whom we believe to have penned it by
             Why Written:  There is no stated purpose within the book
            itself, however, we see one thing that is most important 
            information about the lineage of the Christ.  God's providence is
            seen in His care for the seed through which Jesus would come. 
            (Compare Matthew 1:5-6, "And Boaz begat Obed of Ruth; and
            Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king."  Matthew
            goes on to show that Christ came through that line  (cf. Matthew
            1:16).  What God has promised He is able and faithful to do.
             New Testament Ties:  Matthew 1:5  refers to Ruth 4:13-17
            and so does Luke 3:31-32.  The principles of family ties
            exemplified in Ruth are magnified in the second covenant.  It
            serves as an example of God's love for the Gentiles also.
             Historical Outline
            I. Social and Religious Decay after the Days of Joshua1-2
             1.   Failures                   Ch. 1
             2.   Compromise, Departures, God's Anger     Ch. 2
             3.   Heathen scourges, Religious-political cycles 3:1-4
            II.   Oppressions    and  Deliverers3:5 - 16:31
             1. Mesopotamians -  1. Othniel3:5-11
             2. Moabites    -    2. Ehud3:12-30
             3. Philistines   -  3. Shamgar3:31
             4. Canaanites    -  4. Deborahch. 4 - 5
                              -  5. Barak    
             5. Midianites    -  6. Gideon ch. 6 - 10
                              -  ?. Abimelech  (?)
                              -  7. Tola
                              -  8. Jair
             6. Ammonites     -  9. Jephthahch. 11 - 12
                             -  10. Ibzan
                             -  11. Elon
                             -  12. Abdon
             7. Philistines  -  13. Samsonch. 13 - 16
                             -  14. Eli(1 Samuel)
                             -  15. Samuel(1 Samuel)
            III.  Insets -- Incidents of the Judges PeriodJudges 17 - 21
             1. The State of Religion Depicted
               a. Religion of Micah and his house of godsch. 17
               b. Religion of the Danitesch. 18
	     2.   The State of Social Life Depicted
               a. The outrage of Gibeahch. 19
               b. Civil war     ch. 20
               c. The plight of Benjaminch. 21
                        Applications and Lessons From the Book of Judges
            1. Judges depicts a cycle of history often repeated:
             a.   The people fall away from God  (apostasy)
             b.   God permits enemies to fall upon them (oppression)
             c.   Under oppression the people repent and call upon God
             d.   God called out a leader to deliver  (deliverance)

            2. National decay and religious problems will always happen
                           when "Every man does that which is right in his own eyes."
                           (Judges 17:6; 21:25).
             a.   Today in our nation, every man largely does that which
                              is right in his own eyes and national decay has set in.
             b.   In religious circles no central source of authority is
             c.   "No king in Israel" was the reason for the anarchy in
                              Israel.  God was still King, but wasn't recognized as
                              such.  That is our situation also today.

            3. Difficulty led the Jews back to dependance upon God and
                           with renewed dependance upon God they comprehended the
                           need for repentance.
             a.   Samson's cry was typical (16:28).
             b.   Difficulties become avenues leading back to God.

            4. God uses men to achieve His will.
             a.   He raised up judges among the Jews.
             b.   He raised up the apostles in first century.
             c.   God's work needs god-fearing leaders.

            5. "In his own eyes" is a trouble in the church today.
             a.   The Jews sank lower and lower living to own desires.
             b.   Christians sink lower-- living to own desires.

            6. Like the Jews we have received a rich spiritual heritage.
             a.   The generation after Joshua "which knew not the Lord,
                    nor yet the works which he had done for Israel." 
		  (Judges 2:20)
             b.   Our heritage began at Pentecost, Acts 2:42.
             c.   What heritage will we pass on to younger generation?

            7. Ruth's choice sets before us a great example (Ruth 1:16)
             a.   She chose the true God- "Thy God shall be my God"
             b.   She chose the right path- "Whither thou goest I will go."
             c.   She chose a godly home- "Where thou lodgest I will
             d.   She chose godly associates- "Thy people shall be my
             e.   She made a wise choice--  a personal choice--  a
                              determined choice--  and she was rewarded for her

-- Windell Gann -- Walking Thru the Bible --

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