“These people were left to test the Israelites- to see whether they would obey the commands the Lord had given to their ancestors through Moses.” (Judges 3:4)
In this chapter, the Lord left certain nations (Philistines, Canaanites etc) to test His people to see whether they would obey Him or not. They didn’t pass the test, but started to intermarry with the other nations and bow down to their gods. So the Lord handed them over to their enemies, and this chapter begins the story of the Judges who rescued His people as they cried out to the Lord for help. The first three Judges’ stories are told here, who are Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar. Othniel was Caleb’s nephew.
Some people think God doesn’t test His people today, that if they are saved and God’s child, that they are somehow free of trials. When they come along, however, they quickly lose their faith in God, thinking bad things shouldn’t happen to them as Christians. But that is a lie of the enemy. There comes a time in a believers walk, where God takes off the nappy and wants them to go to the toilet instead- usually there is a mess in this process of change! He takes off the training wheels and lets them ride on two wheels, risking falling off the bike, getting hurt. God tested Job by taking away His hedge of protection, allowing Satan to attack him, seeing whether or not Job would keep his faith in God. He even tested His own Son, Jesus, by allowing Satan to tempt Him in the wilderness. The Spirit of the Lord led Jesus out there to be tempted! Job and Jesus passed the test- Adam and Eve failed, and this generation of Israelites in this book failed. But God had mercy on them and raised up Judges to deliver them. God will help you when you cry out to Him, but why not just pass the test and move on to the good things He has for you, instead of going ‘round the mountain again?’ Will you pass the test?
“Lord, Your Word says that blessed is the man who endures trials and temptation, so there can only be a curse for those who don’t. I want to live in Your blessing and pass the tests You allow me to go through, for I know they are only for my growth in Christ- in Jesus’ name, amen.”
*Job 1-2; Luke 4:1-13; Jas 1:12-15