So we’re starting a new book today and this one was my favorite when I was growing up and is still in the top five easily. It reads like a superhero comic book and is filled with the stories of some of the greatest heroes of the Old Testament. These people were called the Judges, and the setting is a span of 100-200 years depending on who you ask, and it all starts about a decade after the death of Joshua.
The Book of Judges begins with a recap of the ending of Joshua, and it goes on to tell of how Judah and Simeon went out and took possession of their territories they’d been given, but then all the tribes one by one stop driving the Canaanite peoples out, and begin enslaving them instead. This is in direct violation of what God told them to do, and the reason wasn’t just because they were meeting out divine judgment, it was also because they would become a stumbling block to the monotheism and morality of Israel. And this is exactly what happened.
God sends an angel to give them the bad news; because they hadn’t done what he said to do, and drive the people out, he was going to leave them in place and allow them to become a snare for the people. It’s kind of like a punishment where you get tons of what you wanted and you end up hating it. Israel will get to live along side the Canaanite peoples, and it will always be a rocky relationship with terrible neighbors. There will be no peace for them because of their disobedience.