I know, it’s been a while, but I’m finally picking up my Learning about the Old Testament book again. Last time we met we talked about Worship in Ancient Israel. Today we are going to talk about the Conquest and the period of the Judges.
The history So Far
We know that the exodus happened, Mount Sinai happened, and now they sit on the southeast corner of Canaan. How do they progress?
God has promised them this land. 12 spies, 10 say “It’s a great land but it’s filled with strong, mighty men, it’s a no go”. but two say “we can do this.”
Israel decided to listen to the 10 rather than the 2. They rebelled against God when they did so. They did rebelled again going in without Moses or the Ark of the Covenant. Defeat followed. They then needed to wander through the desert.
They after a fair few years in the desert ended up on the east side of Canaan. The conquest of the land begins. Moses giving over leadership to Joshua.
Harman tells us that there are two aspects to the conquest
- God’s promises regarding this land.
- The Israelites conquered the land but left pockets of Canaanites.
This is where the period of the Judges comes in. Shaking out those pockets of Canaanites.
Because of the Israelites disobedience, these pockets of Canaanites “were a snare to them” (p 66) as well as a testing ground. Would the people of Israel call out to God for help? How would they handle these remaining Canaanites?
The Judges show this result.
- The people call out to God in distress
- God helps them.
- The people again become unfaithful.
- Repeat this cycle.
Eventually the Israelite people settle the land. They are sometimes slow in the doing so, but eventually the land is there. They have two problems.
- Threats from within: the Canaanite faith system threatens the faith of the Israelites to the Lord. At this point the synagogue had not been built. Regular instruction of the things of God were infrequent and not well-organized. Some of the similarities in the Canaanite religion and Jewish religion would have confused some and attracted others.
- Threats from without: the surrounding nations attack frequently. The surrounding nations had establish governing systems.
By the end of this period the people of Israel were becoming unsatisfied with how they were governed. They wanted stable continuity, and they wanted to be more like the nations around them. Israelis wanted a king.