Read 75.) Joshua 24:29 thru Judges 2:9. We open (and will close) with the death of Joshua. He was 110. We don’t know when, but it is after 1399 BC, and perhaps even after 1350 by now. But, note how the book of Judges opens: They have yet to finish the job. There are still foreign pagan peoples living among them! In any case, we see that thru at least verse 18, of chapter 1, that, as the first part of verse 19 says, the Lord was with them and gave them all the victories just related. It is as verse 19 closes with the word ‘but‘, that we begin to see that which we first noted with Joshua 13:13, 15:63, 16:10, and 17:12+13. So, while Joshua 21:43-45 extols the faithfulness of God to give Israel victory in the taking of the Promised Land; it is a failing of faith, and a lack of wholehearted obedience, on the part of His people, that results in these serious failures. How serious is it? We’re about to see! First, Joshua sternly warned them in 23:13-16 and 24:20, but was it enough?
A key turning point in the story is upon us. With Judges 1:19, Judah was unable… v.21 Benjamin failed… v.27 But Manasseh did not drive out… v.29 Nor did Ephraim drive out… v.30 Neither did Zebulun drive out… v.31 Nor did Asher drive out… v.33 Neither did Naphtali drive out… v.34 The Amorites confined the Danites! And, there it is. A Numbers 33:50-56 record of seemingly minor military setbacks, that will result in their greatest loss, but not for about another 750 years! With that, we turn to Judges 2:1-9. Who is this? It is the Angel of the Lord! We first met Him in Genesis 16:7. It’s been 700 years, and some 7 mentions in Genesis. Then, in Exodus 3:2, unto Moses in the burning bush! Three more times in Exodus, and before Balaam in Numbers 22. He’s shown up at least a dozen times throughout God’s story; this ‘mystery man’: The Angel of the Lord. He is clearly divine. Is this not the pre-incarnate Christ? Why has He come this time? Verse 2; Israel disobeyed the Lord! With this passage, we mark the end of the 4th, the Conquest Phase of the Bible. We’ve seen the Origins Stage with Genesis 1 thru 11, the Patriarchal Phase with Genesis 12:1 thru Exodus 1:7, and the Exodus Stage, beginning at Exodus 1:8 thru Joshua 5:12. With Joshua 5:13 to here, Judges 2:9, we have completed the Conquest Stage.
Besides entering the 5th, the Judges Phase of God’s story, we record the fulfillment of the 4th of The 7 Promises and Prophecies that God has given. They’ve many descendants, been enslaved and delivered, taken The Promised Land, and, now, we begin to enter the very long fulfillment of Israel’s unfaithfulness unto the Lord, until He ultimately destroys them. Because so few read this far into the Bible, they have little concept as to what is actually happening, and ultimately, what it all means. But, here we have a recorded ‘appearance’ of God, Himself, if you will, Who has come onto the scene of His own story, to announce this turning point in its script; so as to, one day, bring forth Messiah, that we might get our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell