RAF: The one-word theme of Judges is: Revealing. In this series of accounts of the Judges God raised up to deliver Israel time after time – is the revealing of their unstable and unconverted hearts. Left to themselves, without a man to lead them in right ways, they stubbornly refused to follow God individually. This sets the stage for God to given them an earthly King. We come more and more under the bonds of human government, the more we fail to serve God individually.
1 – Judges 16:21 (ESV) 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.
RAF: Unrepentant sin will result in being seized by it – mastered by it. Blindness. It will find us away from where we ought to be – in foreign places. It will bind us in judgment. Our labors will increase the kingdom of darkness rather than Christ’s.
2 – Judges 18:29-31 (ESV) 29 And they named the city Dan, after the name of Dan their ancestor, who was born to Israel; but the name of the city was Laish at the first. 30 And the people of Dan set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. 31 So they set up Micah’s carved image that he made, as long as the house of God was at Shiloh.
RAF: This is extremely important. From the time of Moses’ grandson, all the way until the Assyrian captivity of the northern tribes, idolatry had been tolerated. And, it appears, Moses’ own offspring were major participants. And all this happened while The Tabernacle was still present among them and in full use. And yet God will wait hundreds of years before sending the Assyrians to devastate them. They will be part of Israel’s untited kingdom under David’s and Solomon’s leadership. All the while, this corruption never addressed, never abandoned. How patient God is. It is mind-boggling in this case.
3 – Judges 19:27-28 (ESV) 27 And her master rose up in the morning, and when he opened the doors of the house and went out to go on his way, behold, there was his concubine lying at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up, let us be going.” But there was no answer. Then he put her on the donkey, and the man rose up and went away to his home.
RAF: This repulsive account is most revealing. So angry was this Levite with his concubine who run back to her parents, that he was utterly unmoved at her rape and murder. Not to mention that as a Levite his having a concubine was not right in itself, he is utterly bound by his anger. And in his anger and vengefulness, he sleeps the night while who he supposedly valued so greatly is unimaginably destroyed. This is what sin does in us. This is why we cannot tolerate it on any level. Later, he will want vengeance on those who killed her. Totally blind to his own complicity in it all. Sin twists everything beyond reason and recognition.
RAF: The one-word theme of Ruth is: INGRAFTING. Ruth, is not a Hebrew, but a Moabite. She represents God’s ingrafting of the Gentiles into the promises of Abraham by faith.
RAF: The one-word theme of I Samuel is: TRANSITION. Israel moves from the days of the judges, to Saul its first King. The face of the nation begins to change drastically.