Attitude, gratefulness and respect will get you far. (2:11-14)
This way she can have a son to carry on the family name of her dead husband and to inherit the family property here in his hometown. – 4:10 (If Boaz married Ruth to carry on the family name of her dead husband, why is Boaz listed in the heritage of Jesus, but not her dead husband?)
Blessings are an act of peace. (1:6)
Things are far more better for me than for you, because the Lord himself has raised his fist against me.” – Ruth 1:13
“Don’t call me Naomi, ” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[d] me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” – Ruth 1:20-21
(Not everything is as they appear.)
But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” – Ruth 1:16-17 (Loyalty)
Israel appears to be falling apart and falling away from the teaching of God. Micah makes and worships idols, the tribe of Dan steals the idols to worship. Looks like the entire tribe of Dan has fallen away from God. (17:1-18:31)
The story of The Levite and His Concubine disturbs me everytime I read it, however this time I was able to get past the horrible act that happened to a woman, and see the significance of the story.
Starting with the Levites were priests, and weren’t even supposed to have concubines. The story shows just how far from God’s teaching the Israelites had fallen.
And how the tribe of Benjamin got their wives is just so horrendous! So much evil God had to sift through to keep his people unified. It’s grotesque, and yet he loved/loves them after all they had done.
Last verse in Judges…
In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. – 21:25
They had no king. They had stopped following Moses’ teachings. They were influenced by people they didn’t push out of the land, and followed their evil ways. It does not look good for the 12 tribes of Israel.
Much of Samson’s life was not in peace with the Philistines but he did have peace with God.
So God caused water to gush out of a hollow in the ground at Lehi, and Samson was revived as he drank. Then he named that place “The Spring of the One Who Cried Out,”[a] and it is still in Lehi to this day. 15:19
Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” – 16:28
Fighting within Israel. Judges 12:1-6
Did Judges know they were Judges? Or did God just give them wisdom and people instinctively knew to follow them? Were they called Judges back then? Did they say, hey let’s go ask Judge Debra, or did they say, hey let’s go ask Debra? There doesn’t seem to be any training or any kind of inherited right.
Feeding people looks to be an act of peace. 13:15
His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time. – 14:4 (We never know what God could be up to.)
I can image the frustrating Samson’s parents could have felt after being so careful to follow all of God’s commands about what not to eat, and even receiving a gift of a child from God, and then watching him be attracted to Philistines women. They must have felt like they had failed God, when actually God knew this was going to happen all along. He counted on it.
Gilead’s wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. “You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, “for you are the son of a prostitute.” – 11:2 (Not very brotherly)
You keep whatever your God Chemosh gives you, and we will keep whatever the Lord our God gives us. – 11:24
“Israel has been living here for 300 years, …” 11:26 (Wow, that’s a long time.)
When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.” – Judges 11:34-35 (How the heck is this HER fault?)
Everytime Israel cried out, God rescued them.
And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). – 6:23
Gideon humbled himself by elevating the people of Ephraim to bring peace. 8:2-3
Gideon attacked nations who would not feed his warriors. 8:7-9, 8:16-17
Crying out to God for help, is an act of peace.