Today’s passage: Judges 12:1-15
- Instead of congratulating their brothers from Gilead, the Ephraimites were angered that they were not included in the previous battle. Jephthah tried to tell them they were invited (Which there is no record of) and also uses the name of God again to excuse his actions (“It’s not my fault you didn’t get to fight, the LORD gave them into my hand.”).
- The point? Ephraim is for Ephraim and Gilead is for Gilead. Israel is not a unit, and civil war breaks out.
- There was no record of rest in the land while Jephthah judged Israel.
- The three judges listed in verses 8-15 may give an illusion of all being well in Israel for some time. However, no repentance is indicated and the men appear to be styled more after Gideon, Abimelech and Jephthah than after Moses or Joshua.
Questions to consider:
- What happens in a nation, a church, or in any group of people when those people are interested first in their own selves and what they are getting?
- Of the four judges mentioned in this chapter, how many of them were able to successfully solidify power for their own heir? Who is in control even when we might think we have everything figured out and perfectly planned?
- How can peace and prosperity lie to people? Should we automatically assume that everything is good and right because we had a “good day” or a “good year”? Does a growing economy and an easy life automatically equal God’s blessing? What else could it be? What could be increasingly true of our hearts in the context of wealth and ease?