Day 125 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. The Judges, Ehud, Othniel, and Shamgar save the Israelites. Jesus converts many Samaritans.

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Judges 2: 6-23

Judges 3

John 4: 27-42

Psalm 56: 1-13

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Show Transcript

Judges 2: 6-23

Disobedience and Defeat

6 Joshua sent the people on their way, so each tribe went to take their area of land. 7 The Israelites served the LORD as long as Joshua was alive. They continued serving the Lord during the lifetimes of the leaders who lived after Joshua had died. These old men had seen all the great things the LORD had done for the Israelites. 8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110 years. 9 The Israelites buried Joshua on the land that he had been given. That was at Timnath Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

10 After that whole generation died, the next generation grew up. This new generation did not know about the LORD or what he had done for the Israelites. 11 So the Israelites did what the LORD says is evil: They began serving the false god Baal. 12 It was the LORD, the God their ancestors worshipped, who had brought the Israelites out of Egypt. But they stopped following him and began to worship the false gods of the people living around them. This made the LORD angry. 13 The Israelites stopped following the LORD and began worshipping Baal and Ashtoreth.

14 The LORD was angry with the Israelites, so he let enemies attack them and take their possessions. He let their enemies who lived around them defeat them. The Israelites could not protect themselves from their enemies. 15 When the Israelites went out to fight, they always lost. They lost because the LORD was not on their side. He had already warned them that they would lose if they served the gods of the people living around them. The Israelites suffered very much.

16 Then the LORD chose leaders called

judges. These leaders saved the Israelites from the enemies who took their possessions. 17 But the Israelites did not listen to these judges and were unfaithful to God. Instead of worshipping him, they worshipped other gods. For a short time, they had followed the example of their ancestors, obeying the LORD’s commands. But then they turned away from him.

18 Many times the enemies of Israel did bad things to them, so the Israelites would cry for help. And each time, the LORD felt sorry for the people and sent a judge to save them from their enemies. The LORD was always with those judges. As long as the judges lived, the Israelites were saved from their enemies. 19 But when each judge died, the Israelites again sinned and started worshipping the false gods. They acted worse than their ancestors did. The Israelites were very stubborn and refused to change their evil ways.

20 So the LORD became angry with the Israelites, and he said, “This nation has broken the agreement that I made with their ancestors. They have not listened to me. 21 So I will no longer defeat the nations and clear the way for the Israelites. Those nations were still in this land when Joshua died, and I will let them stay in this land. 22 I will use them to test the Israelites. I will see if the Israelites can keep the LORD’s commands as their ancestors did.” 23 The LORD allowed those nations to stay in the land. He did not quickly force them to leave the country. He did not help Joshua’s army defeat them.

Judges 3

1–2 The LORD did not force all the other nations to leave Israel’s land.

He wanted to test the Israelites. None of the Israelites living at this time had fought in the wars to take the land of Canaan. So he let those other nations stay in their country. (He did this to teach the Israelites who had not fought in those wars.) These are the nations the Lord left in the land: 3 the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the people of Sidon and the Hivites who lived in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath.


4 He left those nations in the land to test the Israelites. He wanted to see if the Israelites would obey the LORD’s commands that he had given to their ancestors through Moses.

5 The Israelites lived with the Canaanites, Hittites, the Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 6 The Israelites be- gan to marry the daughters of those peo- ple. They allowed their own daughters to marry the sons of those people. The I raelites also began to worship their gods.

Othniel, the First Judge

7 The Israelites did what the LORD says is evil. They forgot about the LORD their God and served the false gods Baal and Asherah. 8 The LORD was angry with the Israelites, so he allowed King Cushan Rishathaim of Aram Naharaim to defeat the Israelites and to rule over them. The Israelites were un- der that king’s rule for eight years. 9 But the Israelites cried to the LORD for help, and the LORD sent a man named Othniel to save them. He was the son of Kenaz, who was Caleb’s younger brother. Othniel saved the Israelites. 10 The Spirit of the LORD filled Othniel, and he became a judge for the Israelites. He led the Israelites to war. The LORD helped Othniel defeat King Cushan Rishathaim of Aram. 11 So the land was at peace for 40 years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.

Ehud, the Judge

12 Again the Israelites did what the LORD says is evil, and the LORD saw them doing these things. So the LORD gave King Eglon of Moab power to defeat the Israelites. 13 Eglon got help from the Ammonites and the Amalekites. They joined him and attacked the Israelites. Eglon and his army defeated the Israelites and forced them to leave the City of Palm Trees. 14 King Eglon of Moab ruled over the Israelites for 18 years.

15 The Israelites cried to the LORD for help, so he sent a man named Ehud son of Gera to save them. Ehud was from the tribe of Benjamin and was trained to fight with his left hand. The Israelites sent Ehud with a gift to King Eglon of Moab. 16 Ehud made himself a sword with two sharp edges that was about 50 centimeters long. He tied the sword to his right thigh and hid it under his clothes.

17 So Ehud brought the gift to King Eglon of Moab, who was a very fat man. 18 After offering the gift, Ehud told the men who had carried the gift that it was time to return home. 19 Ehud went with them as far as the stone statues‡ at Gilgal. There Ehud turned back. He returned to King Eglon and said, “King, I have a secret message for you.”

The king told him to wait, and then all the servants left the room. 20 Alone with the king in his throne room, Ehud came closer to where the king was sitting. When Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you,” the king stood up. 21 Ehud reached with his left hand and drew the sword that was tied to his right thigh. He stabbed the sword into the king’s belly. 22 The sword went into Eglon’s belly so far that even the handle sank in and the fat closed around it. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the king’s bowels emptied.

23 Then Ehud closed and locked the doors to the throne room and went out another way. 24 After he left, the servants found the doors to the throne room locked. So they thought the king must be inside using the toilet. 25 The servants waited for a long time, but the king never opened the doors. Finally, they got a key and unlocked the doors. Inside they saw their king lying dead on the floor.

26 Ehud had already escaped during the time the servants were waiting for the king. He passed by the stone statues and escaped to Seirah. 27 When Ehud came to Seirah, he blew a trumpet to call together his people in the hill country of Ephraim. The Israelites joined Ehud, and he led them down from the hills. 28 He said to the Israelites, “Follow me! The LORD has helped us defeat our enemies, the Moabites.”

So the Israelites followed Ehud. They went down with him to take control of the places where people could easily cross the Jordan River into the land of Moab. The Israelites did not allow anyone to go across the Jordan River. 29 They killed about 10,000 strong and brave men from Moab. Not one Moabite man escaped. 30 So on that day the Israelites began to rule over the Moabites, and there was peace in the land for 80 years.

Shamgar, the Judge

31 After Ehud saved the Israelites, another man saved Israel. That man’s name was Shamgar son of Anath. Shamgar used an ox goad to kill 600 Philistine men.

John 4: 27-42

27 Just then Jesus’ followers came back from town. They were surprised because they saw Jesus talking with a woman. But none of them asked her, “What do you want?” or asked him, “Why are you talking with her?”

28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back to town. She told the people there, 29 “A man told me everything I have ever done. Come and see him. Maybe he is the Messiah.”

30 So the people left the town and went to see Jesus. 31 While the woman was in town, Jesus’ followers were begging him, “Teacher, eat something!”

32 But Jesus answered, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

33 So the followers asked each other, “Has someone already brought him some food?”

34 Jesus said, “My food is to do what the one who sent me wants me to do. My food is to finish the work that he gave me to do. 35 When you plant, you always say, ‘Four more months to wait before we gather the grain.’ But I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields. They are ready for harvesting now. 36 Even now, the people who harvest the crop are be- ing paid. They are bringing in those who will have eternal life. So now the people who plant can be happy together with those who harvest. 37 It is true when we say, ‘One person plants, but another person harvests the crop.’ 38 I sent you to harvest a crop that you did not work for. Others did the work, and you get the profit from their work.”

39 Many of the Samaritans in that town believed in Jesus. They believed because of what the woman had told them about him. She had told them, “He told me everything I have ever done.”

40 The Samaritans went to Jesus. They begged him to stay with them. So he stayed there two days. 41 And many more people believed in Jesus because of the things he said.

42 The people said to the woman, “First we believed in Jesus because of what you told us. But now we believe because we have heard him ourselves. We know now that he really is the one who will save the world.”

Psalm 56: 1-13

For the music director: to the tune “The Dove in the Distant Oak”. A miktam of David written when the Philistines captured him in Gath.

God, people have attacked me, so be merciful to me.

They have been chasing me all day, closing in to attack me.

2 All day long, my enemies attack me.

There are so many fighting against me.

3 God Most High,* when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

4 I trust in God;

I praise him for his promise to save me.

So I do not fear what people can do to me!

5 All day long my enemies hurt me with their words.

They are always making plans against me.

6 They hide together† and watch every move I make,

hoping for a way to kill me.

7 God, send them away because of the bad things they did.

Show your anger and defeat those people.

8 You know how upset I have been.

You have kept all my tears in a bottle.

You have counted each one.

9 When l call for help, my enemies will turn and run.

Yes, I know that God is on my side!

10 I praise God for his promise.

I praise the LORD for his promise to me.

11 I trust God, so I am not afraid of what people can do to me!

12 God, I will keep the special promises I made to you.

I will give you my offering of thanksgiving.

13 You saved me from death.

You kept me from being defeated.

So I will serve you in the light that only the living can see.