God's Command To The Israelites

When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. (Deut. 7:1-6)


The period addressed in the book of Judges is a period of time defined by lawlessness, rebellion and moral failure among the people of Israel.

The whole attitude of Israel during this time could be summed up in the words of Judges 17:6; 21:25, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”


God had redeemed Israel from Egyptian bondage.

He had led them for 40 years through a wilderness.

He had brought them safely into the land of Canaan.

He had promised to defeat all their enemies, if they would only walk with Him in holiness.


God commanded them to enter Canaan and to conquer it.

They were to:

  • Possess the land.
  • Utterly destroy all the nations of Canaan.
  • Make no peace treaties with them.
  • Show them no mercy.
  • Refuse to intermarry with them.
  • Completely destroy every trace of their pagan religions.


The reason they were commanded to do this was because Israel was to be different from all the people around them (Deut 7:6).

They, among all the people of the earth, had been chosen by God.

God had saved them, blessed them and promised them victory, if they would walk with Him.


God demanded total separation among His people.

He knew that if Israel allowed themselves to be entangled with the Canaanites, they would become corrupt spiritually and be drawn away from God.

When that happened, God promised that He would visit them suddenly, in His wrath (Deut. 7:4).


We are to be in the world, but not of the world in our walk with the Lord.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

A Nation Maimed By Grim Consequences

Judges 2: 1-23

Because of their sin, the nation of Israel faced God’s judgment.

They Endured A Divine Sentence (Judges 2:2-3). God vowed to remove His protecting hand from Israel. He would allow the Canaanites they had compromised with to be a thorn in the side of Israel. He would allow the false gods of Canaan to be a snare to them.

They Expressed Deep Sorrow (Judges 2:4-5). They called on the Lord because of their sins.

They Evidenced Deepening Sin (2:6-15). The day came when Israel totally walked away from God (2:11-15). Their compromise was transformed into wholesale sin and total disregard for the Word or will of God. For this, Israel paid a terrible price. Judgment came and they suffered the awesome wrath of a holy God.

In spite of their failures, God still sent them men to lead them and speak to them.

Sometimes they listened, sometimes they did not.

God continued to be patient and loving.

He continued to give them every chance to set things right.

A Nation Marred By Gradual Compromise

The old generation that had seen God move in power and glory had died out.

A new generation came of age. They forgot their heritage and they denied God.

Israel began a slow and steady descent down the slope of compromise.


When they entered the land of Canaan, they had been commanded to utterly destroy the people of Canaan (Num. 33:51-56).

They were warned that if they failed to drive out the nations, they themselves would be afflicted and that God Himself would turn against them. This had become a reality in Israel.


The Fear Factor. After some initial success (Joshua 1:4-19a), the men of Judah came up against some people that they feared. They did not drive these people out because of fear.

The Money Factor. Many of the tribes did not drive out the people of the land (1:27-30). They enslaved the people and forced them to work for them.

The Love Factor. Some Israelites dwelt among the Canaanites (Joshua 1:32-33). They became accustomed to the vile and wicked ways of the Canaanites and accepted them for who they were.


We too are busy compromising with the Canaanites of our day.

We cannot seem to deal with drugs, crime, abortion, immorality, sexual perversion and moral decay. We simply adjust to them and accept them as part of our lives.

We legalized gambling, lotteries and alcohol because they bring revenue. We tolerate them because they are working for us!

We live around sin so much that we begin to get desensitized to it. Instead of maintaining our spiritual purity, we begin to adopt the ways of the world. We have adopted the attitude that sin is not all that bad anymore!

We too have become a nation of compromisers!

A Nation Marked By Glorious Conquest

After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?” The LORD answered, “Judah shall go up; I have given the land into their hands.”
(Judges 1:1-2)

When Israel entered Canaan, God had promised them the land.

All they had to do was to claim it by faith.

Notice what they enjoyed during those early, heady days of victory:

  • They Enjoyed God’s Providence. God was going before them, preparing the way for certain victory. There was no way they could lose.

  • They Enjoyed God’s Protection. God was actively involved in helping Israel conquer the land of Canaan. He not only prepared the way; He also protected them in the way.

  • They Enjoyed God’s Power. God was the real power on the battlefield. He is the God of all power!

  • They Enjoyed God’s Promises. For hundreds of years, beginning with Abraham (Gen. 12:1), God had been promising to give the nation of Israel a homeland. He is in the process of fulfilling that promise.

Israel was a nation marked by glorious conquest!

Confronting A National Disaster

The book of Judges describes a period in Israel’s history when they were without a strong and godly leader.

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”(Judges 17:6)


God had delivered them from the horrible slavery in Egypt.

He had led them through the wilderness.

They were a favored people. They were the chosen ones of the Lord God Almighty. He led them; fed them and protected them.

Eventually, He led them into the land of Canaan.

This was their Promised Land. It was a land flowing with milk and honey.

It was given to them by the sovereign will of God. All they had to do was to enter the land, destroy the people who were living there and take up residence.


God had given Israel Himself.

He had led them into Canaan.

He had handed to them His commandments.

But Israel denied the Lord, defiled the land, and defied the Law.

As a result, God was forced to judge this people He loved so very much.


Many nations also had a great beginning.

They had achieved tremendous success, only to suffer a horrible fall and a tragic end.


This is an important lesson for us to learn.

We are to honor the Lord, extend His kingdom, and keep His Law if we are to prosper in His Land.

Pointing Men To Jesus

And he brought him to Jesus (John 1:42)

Andrew brought his brother Peter to Jesus.

A successful soul winner points men to Jesus.

Jesus Alone Is Our Message. We are to share only His word.

Jesus Alone Is Our Mission. We are to bring men only to Jesus; not to our denomination, to our church, to ourselves or our way of thinking.

Jesus Alone Is Our Master. Remember our Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20). Each of us is to point men to Jesus.

Notice three very important facts from this passage:

  • Jesus will go with us (20).
  • He will guide us (20).
  • He will gift us (18).

Let's point men to Jesus.