Joshua, Judges, & Ruth

Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. It’s been an intense couple of weeks! For Joshua, we had the amazing privilege of having archaeologist Col. Dr. David Hansen speaking to our school, not only about Joshua, but about the ways in which archaeological findings over the last century support the historical integrity of the Bible. It has been so amazing to hear about the way in which God is revealing the Truth of His Word through the findings of archaeologists. The Bible is not a “story book” – it is filled with real people, real events, and a REAL GOD who is the author of our salvation, and archaeological findings are pointing to the truth of this more and more every year!

After Joshua, we studied Judges and Ruth. If you’ve never read Judges, let me sum it up for you: without God, humanity is totally lost! Over and over, the people of God stray from the Lord to other “gods;” God allows them to be sold into the hand of their enemies, they cry out to God for help, and God rescues them, only for them to turn away from Him all over again. Needless to say, this is not a cheerful book! Ruth, on the other hand, felt like a ray of sunshine after the darkness of Judges! Ruth is such a beautiful book about sacrificial love. Many look at it as a romantic story, but I would suggest that this book is about a much greater love than this. The sacrificial love of Boaz in this story is a “type” for Christ’s sacrificial love for us; if you’ve never read it, I really suggest you take a look. It’s only four chapters long, and it is a foreshadowing of Christ’s love in the midst of a dark time in Israel’s history.

The next couple of books are 1 & 2 Samuel. We’re studying these books as one book, because they basically tell the story of the beginning of the monarchy, and the way in which David is God’s chosen king. Together, these books take about four hours to read.


Joshua

Main Idea: God’s people conquer and divide the Promised Land.

Reason Written: Written to show God’s people how God fulfilled the promise of land.

Timeless Truth: God shows who He is through what He does (Joshua 2:10-11).


Judges

Main Idea: Israel does what is right in their own eyes and worships other gods; when they cry out to God because of their oppression, God raises up judges to bring the people back to Himself.

Reason Written: Written to show what happens when the people of God do not worship Him and turn to other gods.

Timeless Truth: Without God, there is no good in mankind (Judges 19:12,22-26).


Ruth

Main Idea: Boaz becomes kinsman-redeemer for Ruth, allowing this Moabite woman to become the great-grandmother of King David.

Reason Written: Written to validate David as king and to show the way in which Gentiles could be included in the people of God.

Timeless Truth: God’s people are called to sacrificial love (Ruth 4:5-10).

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Numbers & Deuteronomy

The theme of the Pentateuch that will stick with me long after this school, is just how much God’s people had to do to be right with God, prior to Jesus’ atoning work on the cross. Animal sacrifices were made for unintentional sin in the days of Moses right up until the time of Jesus, and if you sinned with a “high-hand” (intentionally), you were either kicked out of the assembly, or you were stoned to death. Sounds harsh, right? The truth, however, is that God is altogether holy, and He demands His people to be perfectly clean before Him. He gave His people the commandments and the law for their good – so they could receive His blessings and be His people. But of course, people are sinful, and God’s justice demanded discipline. This is why the Israelites spend forty years wandering in the wilderness, and why a whole generation dies out before the next generation is permitted to enter the long-awaited Promised Land.

What does this mean to us today? It means we should be beyond thankful that we have Jesus! Because Jesus was the final, perfect sacrifice, we no longer have to bring animals in sacrifice. We no longer receive death if we sin. The wages of sin are death, but Jesus has paid the price for us. In this act of sacrifice, God’s justice and mercy meet; He sacrificed His Son for you and for me so that He could extend His loving mercy to us, while still being a perfectly just God. As I studied the Pentateuch, I found it amazing what Jesus has saved us from. He has not only saved us from the sacrificial system and separation from God, but He has saved us from the death we deserve to die when we rebel against God through sin.

If you’ve been reading along with me, congratulations on finishing the Pentateuch! The next books I’ll cover are Joshua, Judges and Ruth; you can read all three of these books in about four and a half hours.


Numbers

Main Idea: God’s people are counted as they prepare to enter the Promised Land in accordance with the covenant; as the exodus generation rebels, they are not permitted to enter the land, but the next generation is promised to receive it.

Reason Written: Written to explain why the exodus generation was not permitted to enter the Promised Land, and to show how numerous God’s people were as they prepared to enter the land.

Timeless Truth: Complaining is akin to questioning God’s provision and direction (Numbers 11:1-6; 14:1-4).


Deuteronomy

Main Idea: Moses sums up the events of Israel’s history since God set them free from Egypt, and reiterates the covenant given, telling Israel that if they keep the law, they will be blessed, but if they do not keep the law, they will be cursed.

Reason Written: Written to the people of God who were about to take the Promised Land so that they would know how they were to live, worship and be blessed in the land.

Timeless Truth: God’s people are to remember what He has done for them (Deuteronomy 8:2-6;11-20).