Judges Chapter 8

Gideon was called by the Lord, to lead Israel to victory against the army of the Midianites. He had shown his faith and reliance on the Lord, which led to their being able to frighten and destroy the enemy soldiers. This chapter begins as follows:

1 And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.
2 And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abi-ezer?
3 God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that.

The armies of the tribe of Ephraim, were angry and wondered why they had not been called to fight when the army went against the Midianites. Gideon reminded them to be grateful that Lord had delivered the princes of Midian into their hands, and they had done well with that. They were no longer angry with him.

4 And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them.
5 And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.

Gideon led his three hundred men to pursue the Midianites over the Jordan. He asked the people of Succoth, on that side of the Jordan, to give food to his men.

6 And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?
7 And Gideon said, Therefore when the Lord hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.

The request was denied by the people of Succoth, and Gideon promised that after they had destroy the Midianites, they would destroy the people of Succoth for their refusal to assist them. It seems that the people of Succoth did not believe that the army of Gideon was going to be successful in their attempt.

8 And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him.
9 And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.

Gideon went to the place of Penuel, also requesting aid for his men who needed food. They also refused, and Gidoen made another promise to them that when they returned in peace, they would actually bring down the tower of Penuel.

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword.

15,000 men of the children of the east, were remaining in the army in Karkor.

11 And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure.
12 And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host.

Gideon and his army approached the host of Midianites from the east and destroyed them. The kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, ran away and Gideon pursued after them and took them.

13 And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun was up,
14 And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and inquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men.
15 And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men that are weary?
16 And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth.
17 And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.

Gideon returned that day, to the people of Succoth, and found the leaders and destroyed them with thorns of the wilderness, just as he had promised. He made them an example to their people. Then he returned to Penuel and destroyed the tower and killed the men of the city.

18 Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king.
19 And he said, They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the Lord liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you.
20 And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth.
21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels’ necks.

Gideon asked the Midianite kings who they had killed at Tabor. They admitted to killing his family, and Gideon said that if they had left them living, he would not kill them. Gideon commanded his son Jether to kill the kings. He was a young man and afraid to kill them, but the kings recognized to their defeat and told him to go ahead and kill them. Gideon killed the kings of Midian.

22 Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.
23 And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you.

After receiving their freedom from the Midianites, the children of Israel desired for Gideon to become their king. He refused and would not have his family rule over them. He told them that the Lord would be their ruler.

24 And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)
25 And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey.
26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels’ necks.
27 And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

Gideon asked instead, for the golden earrings of their prey and made a garment or medallion of gold, which the people began to seek after. This was a temptation for the household of Gideon. The call for the people to bring their gold, was much like the people being told to bring their treasures for the work of building the tabernacle. I think it was customary in those days to pay this kind of tribute to those who were the rulers and leaders. However, it would have been the duty of Gideon to use it for good, which it seems he did not.

28 Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.

The Midianites had been subdued and they had peace for 40 years.

29 And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house.
30 And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.
31 And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech.

Jerubbaal, the brother of Gideon, lived in his own home. Gideon had many wives, and 70 sons. One of his sons was named Abimelech, son of the concubine Shechem.

32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites.
33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baal-berith their god.
34 And the children of Israel remembered not the Lord their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:
35 Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.

Gideon died, and the Israelites returned again to the worship of Baal, or idolatry. They forgot the Lord and his deliverance once again. They also turned against their family, by not showing kindness to the family of Jerubbaal.

Gideon was truly led by the hand of the Lord, in delivering the Israelites from their enemies. Yet, once again, the people could not retain a remembrance of the power of the Lord if they would only follow His commandments. The ways of the world were once again, too strong for them them to avoid on their own. The treasures of their victory, were a temptation for the people of Gideon, and they returned to their wicked ways. This is yet another lesson to us, of how simple it is to forget the Lord and turn to those things that will bring us down into bondage. If we can remember to follow the commandments of the Lord, we will be blessed with the strength to avoid temptations in our lives.

Judges Chapter 7

The Israelites were up against an army of Midianites, because the Lord had allowed them to fall into oppression for their wickedness. Gideon, had been called by the Lord, to lead the Israelites to victory. After having a confirmation of his calling, Gideon was prepared to answer the call. This chapter begins:

1 Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
2 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
4 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
7 And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.
8 So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

The Lord instructed Gideon to reduce the number in the Israelite army, because they needed to know that the Lord was the reason they were preserved in this battle. He told him to tell the men that anyone who was fearful or afraid could leave. The Lord needed men of courage to stand against their enemy. 22,000 of the men went home and 10,000 were left. Again, the Lord said they had too many men in the army. The Lord told him to take the men to the water and they would be tested and the Lord would reveal who should remain there to fight. Gideon brought them to the water. Those who lapped the water like a dog were separated from those who bowed down to drink. Those who lapped from their hands were only 300 in number and they were those who would remain to fight. Everyone else returned home. The Lord told Gideon that Israel would be saved by these 300 men.

9 And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.
10 But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:
11 And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.
12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.
13 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.
14 And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.

When it was time, the Lord told Gideon he had delivered the Midianites into their hands. He said if Gideon was afraid, he was to go with his servant and hear what the enemy said. The Lord promised that by doing this, he would be strengthened, or have greater courage. Gideon went down and saw the great number of their army. He heard a man talking of his dream. It was that a small loaf of bread fell among the army of the Midianites and into a tent, which it caused to fall. He had interpreted to mean that God would deliver the Midianites into the hands of Gideon’s army.

15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.
16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.
18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

Gideon was strengthened by the mention of this dream and the interpretation of it. He returned to his army and called them to arise, because the Lord had delivered the Midianites into their hands. The 300 men were divided into companies and given trumpets and pitchers. When he blew his trumpet, they were to blow their own trumpets and say “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon”.

19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.
20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.
21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Beth-shittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abel-meholah, unto Tabbath.
23 And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.

At his signal, all the army, which were outside the Midianite camp, blew trumpets, broke pitches, held lights and yelled as Gideon had commanded. The host of Midian, were afraid, and ran away, started to fight one another, and were then pursued by Israel.

24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan.
25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.

The Midianites were destroyed by Israel, and their two princes were slain.

I love this bible story, because it is a great example of the strength of the Lord. The Midianites were so great in number that they were like grasshoppers. More than double the number of Israelites had returned home because they were afraid to face them. On the other side, was Gideon with only 300 courageous men of the host of Israel. The Lord prepared for their victory, by allowing dreams to bring fear to the camp of Midianites. Then, in that moment of fear, the small band was able to scare the Midianites away and they did not even raise a sword to fight. The wisdom of men, would have laughed at this idea for winning a battle against such a great enemy, but the Lord is more wise and powerful than men. I am sure that the 300 men, had to go on complete faith in the Lord, just as Gideon did in order to lead them.

One of the signs of the last days, and the coming of the Savior again, is that their will be wars and rumors of wars. I’ve thought this phrase was interesting in the past, but with this story it has a greater impact. A man had a dream, and I imagine that his personal interpretation of the dream spread through the camp and brought fear into the hearts of many. Then, the army of Gideon needed only to pretend to be large and frightening. The already fearful hearts of the Midianites, had lost the courage necessary to win the fight. I think that this is something that rumors of wars can do to people. Just the idea that someone stronger might be preparing to fight, can bring paralyzing fear. That fear, could be the tool used to destroy enemies.

Greater still, is the power of fear that Satan will use to bring down our own personal courage to do what is right. We are in a war with the adversary, every day. It is becoming increasingly important to take a stand with God on our side, so that the evil voices of our common enemy, will not cause us to retreat and be destroyed. We do not want to be like the Midianites, who allowed fear to destroy their army. We should, however, desire to be like Gideon and his small army, who chose to listen to the Lord and had their courage strengthened because they continued in faith.

Judges Chapter 6

The Israelites had peace in the land, so long as they were drawn to the Lord and kept his commandments. In the last chapter, they had been delivered from Canaanite bondage and had peace for forty years. Their peace would not last, as time passed. This chapter begins as follows:

1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.
3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;
4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.
5 For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.
6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.

Again, the Israelites returned to wickedness. The Lord allowed them to fall into the hands of the Midianites, for seven years. Their enemies destroyed their crops, so they had nothing for themselves or their animals. Great numbers of Midianites entered the land and made the Israelites a poor people. They began again, to remember the Lord, and pray for deliverance.

7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord because of the Midianites,
8 That the Lord sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;
9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land;
10 And I said unto you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.

A prophet was sent to Israel, by the Lord. He reminded the people that the Lord had been their deliverer in times past. He told them to obey the Lord and put away the gods of the Amorites.

11 And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abi-ezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
12 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
14 And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.
16 And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.
18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.

An angel appeared to Gideon, as he worked to gather wheat in secret. The angel said that the Lord was with Gideon. Gideon asked why the Lord allowed them to suffer as they did. He was then called by the Lord to serve Him and deliver Israel from the Midianites. Gideon asked how this was possible, because he was so poor and not the strongest. The Lord promised that he would be with Gideon and he alone would be able to smite their enemy. Gideon asked for a sign that he had found the favor of the Lord. He asked the angel to stay so that he could bring a present out to him and the angel said he would remain there until he returned.

Gideon considered himself to be “least” in his house. The Lord does not strictly choose people for their outward appearance, physical strength or material belongings. In His perfect wisdom, he chooses those whom will show the strength, beauty, and goodness of the Lord. This is an example of what is more eternally significant to God, which is not the things that the world generally values in people. We may often feel that we are not qualified for the callings we receive in this life, but the Lord will strengthen the weak who choose to serve Him.

19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.
20 And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.

Gideon prepared meat, bread and broth for the angel. The angel had Gideon lay the meat and bread on a rock. I think this was meant to seem as a sacrifice being laid upon an altar.

21 Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.
22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face.
23 And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites.

The angel touched the meat and bread with his staff, and a fire consumed it. Then, the angel left. Gideon was amazed and possibly scared to have seen an angel of the Lord face to face. The Lord spoke peace to his heart. Gideon built and altar to the Lord.

25 And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:
26 And build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.
27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the Lord had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.

The Lord commanded Gideon to thrown down his father’s altar of Baal, and destroy his grove near it. He was instead to build an altar to the Lord and make a burnt offering with the wood from the grove. He was fearful of the consequences of this act, but he did it anyway, in the secret of night.

28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built.
29 And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing.
30 Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.
31 And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.
32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.

The men of the city saw what had been done and discovered that Gideon had done it. They wanted to kill Gideon, so they asked his father to give him into their hands. Gideon’s father asked who would speak for Baal. Baal should speak for himself if he was truly a god. He called on Baal to call for Gideon himself, for destroying the altar.

33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel.
34 But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abi-ezer was gathered after him.
35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.

The enemies of Israel were gathered together. The spirit of the Lord rested upon Gideon. He blew a trumpet and sent messengers out into the land of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, to gather the people.

36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,
37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.
38 And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.
40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.

Gideon asked for another sign, that God would indeed cause him to save Israel. He put a fleece on the floor and told God that if the land was dry and the fleece became wet with dew, he would know that the Lord would do this thing. When he rose in the morning, the dew had filled the fleece as he had asked. Then, he asked again, pleading that the Lord would not be angry with him, that the Lord would then make the ground wet with dew and the fleece dry. When he arose, the Lord had allowed the dew to fall on the ground, but the fleece was dry.

We should not ask for signs from God, without entirely pure motives to know and follow what God has in store for us. I think that the Lord knew the heart and intent of Gideon, which I believe was to completely follow the Lord and His commandments. For most of us, signs follow the act of faithful obedience and are for a confirmation or to build testimonies. Those who unrighteously ask God for signs, are asking for the anger of the Lord to be against them. We would not benefit from being shown signs before we are willing to do what God has asked of us, because it is our faith in those things we cannot see, that teaches us truths we will remember forever.

One of the additional things I gather from this chapter, is how easily the adversary lulls people into carnal security. Just a little peace and plenty, can lead us to believe that everything is well with us. In times, when God is allowing us to prove to him that we can be good stewards of the blessings he gives us, Satan convinces us that we can turn to things of the world for our enjoyment and pleasure. The Israelites felt this carnal security when they were at peace with the nations around them. It wasn’t until they had strayed far from the path of God, and their enemies oppressed them greatly, that they remembered the importance of following after the Lord. The same things happen to us today, and this is why we should be striving to keep our feet on the path the Lord wants for us, even when things are going well. Daily prayer, daily scripture study, attending church to partake of the sacrament, and serving in the temple, are some of the simple things that will keep us in remembrance of the Lord.

Judges Chapter 5

The Israelites were blessed to have been delivered from the oppression of the Canaanites. Deborah, the prophetess, and Barak, the leader of their armies, recognized the hand of the Lord in their victory.

1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,
2 Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.
3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.
4 Lord, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.
5 The mountains melted from before the Lord, even that Sinai from before the Lord God of Israel.
6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travelers walked through byways.
7 The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.
8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?
9 My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the Lord.
10 Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.
11 They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the Lord go down to the gates.
12 Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.
13 Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the Lord made me have dominion over the mighty.
14 Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer.
15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.
16 Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches.
18 Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.
19 The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.
20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
21 The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.
22 Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the pransings, the pransings of their mighty ones.
23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.
24 Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.
25 He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.
26 She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.
27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.
28 The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots?
29 Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she returned answer to herself,
30 Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?
31 So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.

They sang a song of praise to the Lord, for their deliverance from bondage. They recognized that in order for their deliverance, the people had to turn back to the Lord. Their idolatry had brought war upon them, but Deborah was chosen by the Lord to be the mother of Israel. They were under the great hand of oppression when Deborah was raised and Barak was chosen to lead Israel in battle. It sounds like some of the leaders had to be brought low, before the people could gather together to fight. Some gathered and some continued in their lives, but Zebulan and Naphtali went to fight their enemy. Meroz and its inhabitants, was cursed for not coming to the aid of Israel. With heaven’s aid, they fought against the army of Sisera. They sang a blessing to Jael, for her role in defending them. They spoke of the mother of Sisera, as she would question what was taking her son so long to return from the fighting, and that possibly his gathering spoils for the Caananites was keeping him. Then Deborah and Barak sang for continued protection of the Lord, for the righteous that loved the Lord, against their enemies. After this time, the Israelites had peace for forty years.

This song of praise, is a record of gratitude to the Lord. They had been delivered from a harsh life without freedom and peace. They were so grateful for the hand of the Lord in their battles. Gratitude is a sign of humility. The Israelites recognized that they could not be free without the help of the Lord. They needed His protection and peace. In our day, we fight many battles as well. Most, I believe, are personal battles with our own temptations and challenges. When we recognize our faults, repent of our sinful ways, and turn our hearts to God, He will deliver us and protect us as well. We need his help to overcome when we are in bondage. I have felt the peace that His deliverance can bring into my life and I am also so grateful for it. When these times of deliverance come in our lives, we can sing, like Deborah and Barak, songs of praise to the Lord. Our own gratitude, will keep us humble in the sight of God, and will bring us greater peace and happiness.

Judges Chapter 4

The Israelites were living under the leadership of judges, whom the Lord had raised up to deliver His people. Ehud had delivered the people from the oppression of the Moabites when he killed their king, Eglon. This was possible because, while under oppression, the people had remembered the Lord. The cycle of rebellion against God, continues in this chapter, with the following:

1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead.
2 And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.
3 And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.

Once Ehud, judge of Israel, had died, the Israelites returned to their ways of wickedness. The Lord allowed them to fall into the hands of king Jabin of Canaan. They were oppressed for twenty years and the Israelites remembered the Lord and prayed for deliverance. Each time the Israelites turned to worshipping false gods and doing evil, the Lord withdrew his blessing of protection from their enemies. In their weakness, the Israelites were oppressed by the nations surrounding them. They never seemed strong enough on their own, but needed the Lord on their side in order to prosper in the land.

4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth-el in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
7 And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.
8 And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.
9 And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.

A prophetess named Deborah, judged Israel. The Israelites went to her for leadership. She talked to a man named Barak, about leading ten thousand men of the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun, to go up against their enemies. The Lord had promised to deliver Sisera, the captain of the Canaanites, and his army into their hands. Barak would only go if Deborah would go with him. She agreed and told him this would not be for his honor, but that Sisera would be sold into the hands of a woman by the Lord.

We are not always expected to do the things that we want to do. Sometimes it is easier to do hard things, when we have the support of others with us. In this case, Barak wanted the support of Deborah. I think that he trusted that with Deborah there, they could have the Lord’s strength and would win the fight.

10 And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh.
12 And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor.
13 And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon.
14 And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the Lord gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
15 And the Lord discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.
16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.
17 Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.

They gathered their men and went towards their enemy. Deborah told Barak when he was to go, according to when the Lord had delivered Sisera into their hands. Sisera was delivered into their hands by the Lord. Sisera, himself, ran away, while his men were destroyed by the Israelites. Sisera took refuge with Jael the Kenite, who’s family was aligned with king Jabin of Canaan. She was the woman, who Deborah had foretold of taking Sisera.

18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle.
19 And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.
20 Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.
21 Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.
22 And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.
23 So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.
24 And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

Jael met Sisera and asked him to come unto her in her tent. He did and then asked for water to drink. She gave him milk, which I think caused him to fall asleep. He told her to stand watch and if anyone asked if a man had come to her, she was to say no. Then she snuck up to him while he slept and killed him with a nail from her tent, which she drove into the ground. When Barak arrived at her tent, looking for Sisera, she showed him what she had done. Jabin and the Canaanites, had been subdued by the Lord and the Isrealites were able to destroy them and prosper again.

This chapter focuses on the ability for women to be able to deliver the people, which was not common among the scriptures. These women were heroes for the Israelites. Jael had great courage to do what she did to Sisera. Deborah was indeed a prophetess of the Lord, because the things which she foretold came to pass. She was blessed with the ability to deliver the Isrealites and show them that the Lord was their God. Women can be great leaders of courage and faith today, as these were in ancient times. In order for us to stay strong, the world we live in now needs women to be more courageous, faithful, and righteous. I may not be required to lead an army to battle, but I am raising children who need a righteous and faithful mother in their home.

The Lord was the strength of Israel. Even when facing their enemy with chariots, which they could not fight alone as men, they were victorious. The Lord can be there for us in our battles, if we will heed the words of our modern prophets and leaders. If we will keep the commandments, He will strengthen us and help us to overcome the world.

Judges Chapter 3

This chapter finishes the introduction portion of the book of Judges and begins the history of the twelve judges of Israel (see Bible Dictionary). The judges were established by the Lord for the people. According to the Bible Dictionary, “The judge was more than a civil officer. He was generally a military leader as well, and his right to lead rested on the fact that in the eyes of the people he was the strongest and best man for the purpose. Faith in God was always the secret of success; but as a rule the judge was more of a fighter than a preacher.” (see Bible Dictionary) I think that the Israelites would have recognized the judges right to lead, as long as they recognized that the judge was a leader chosen by the Lord to continue to lead His people. The chapter begins as follows:

1 Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
2 Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;
3 Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baal-hermon unto the entering in of Hamath.
4 And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

Many of the Canaanites were left among the Israelites to test their faithfulness to the Lord. They would have to fight them, as well as the enemy nations that were around Israel. If the Israelites would follow the commandments and keep their covenants, they would be blessed to succeed and live in peace, as the Lord had promised their fathers.

5 And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites:
6 And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
7 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgat the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the groves.

The Israelites began to intermarry with the Canaanites and other nations, which had been forbidden by the Lord. They began to apostatize and turn to the gods of the other nations in rebellion against the Lord. The choice of worship they made, was evil in the sight of God.

Part of the law of Moses, was to keep Israelite marriages among the Israelites, who had made covenants and were God’s chosen people. I think that today, people will shy from saying that one should marry a member of their faith, for fear that they will offend another. I do believe, however, that this is still the best for any marriage. When we seek for a companion who believes in God the way we do, we will have the best chances for continuing to follow after the Him. When we marry, we should desire to become one with our spouse, in all things. Trying to live different faiths may cause a lot of difficulty in a relationship. I imagine that more often than not, one will begin to follow after the other. If we want to stay true to the Lord, we should seek to marry one who also follows after the Lord, so that we do not fall into apostasy like the people of Israel. As a latter-day saint, I believe that covenant people should marry worthy companions in one of the holy temples where they can be married and sealed by the authority of God that is only available there.

8 Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years.
9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.
10 And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the Lord delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim.
11 And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

The Israelites were no longer protected by the Lord, and He allowed them to be sold into the service of Chushan-rishathaim, of Mesopotamia, for eight years. They were oppressed and cried unto the Lord. The nephew of Caleb, Othniel, was raised by the Lord, to deliver Israel from their oppression. With the spirit of the Lord, he became their judge and went to war against Chushan-rishathaim. The Lord delivered their enemy into his hand and Israel won. Then they were able to have forty years of rest under Othniel, until he passed away.

12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord.
13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.
14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
16 But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
18 And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.
19 But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
20 And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
22 And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
23 Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.
24 When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.
25 And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.
26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.
27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.
28 And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the Lord hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.
29 And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.
30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.

The Israelites turned to wickedness again, and because of this, the Lord allowed strength to come to their enemy, Eglon of Moab. They were defeated and served Moab for eighteen years. When the Israelites cried for deliverance, the Lord raised Ehud, who prepared a gift for the king. Then he made a two-edged dagger and hid it on his leg. He had the present carried to the king. They left the gift and as they went away, the others, who had carried the gift, were sent away and he said he had a secret errand, or message, for the king. Ehud was left alone, and went to the room where the king was. He told Eglon, that he had a message from the Lord. Then, when the king stood, Ehud grabbed the hidden dagger and stabbed him in the belly. Eglon was a fat man, and the blade and handle of the dagger got stuck in him. Ehud locked the doors behind him as he left the room. The guards saw that the door had been locked from the inside, so they left the king alone and went to do their own thing. When enough time had passed for them to wonder, they unlocked the door and saw that the king was dead. Ehud escaped to Seirath and blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim. The Israelites followed Ehud from the mount, because he told them the Lord had delivered the Moabites into their hands. They subdued the Moabites and were at peace for 80 years.

31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.

The next man raised by the Lord, was Shamgar, who killed 600 Philistines, and delivered Israel from their enemy.

One of the typical cycles of the Israelites lives, was that they turned to the Lord in times of difficulties, but turned from the Lord when their was peace in the land. This is a cycle that we can read about in many parts of the scriptures. It takes a very short amount of time, for people to forget the Lord, and we are not immune to this temptation. A friend of mine recently said to me, “we are all only 3 weeks away from inactivity”. It really is that simple. It is so easy to become inactive, or disengaged from the gospel, especially when things seem to be going well for us. One choice can lead to a life of disobedience. But, just as it was with the Israelites, the Lord is always there for us. He will hear our cries in times of need, and when the time is right, he will answer and deliver us from our enemies. The trouble with a life of disobedience, is that the Lord will not be quick to answer our prayers, and we will suffer. We could avoid this self-inflicted suffering through choosing a life of obedience.

Judges Chapter 2

This chapter continues the introduction into the book of Judges. It is good to note that the book of Judges is not in chronological order starting from the events in the book of Joshua. Before this point, at least, each of the tribes had received their inheritance in the promised land, except for the Levites, who were given the responsibility of serving the Lord in his tabernacle. With the settling of their own lands, the people of Israel would begin to succumb to temptations if they did not strictly obey the commandments and guidance they had been given.

1 And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?
3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
4 And it came to pass, when the angel of the Lord spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.
5 And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the Lord.

Israel is rebuked by an angel of the Lord, because they had not listened to the words of the Lord. They had not fully served the Lord, and had not done away with those things that would lead them to worship false gods. The host of Israel wept and made sacrifices to the Lord.

6 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.
7 And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that he did for Israel.
8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

Joshua died when he was 110 years old. After Joshua and the generation that had inherited the land with him passed away, the newer generation did not know the Lord and the things He had done for Israel. If we do not strive to raise our own children with a knowledge of the Lord and His commandments, they will not know these things when we are gone. This is part of the reason that it is so important for us to remember to do the simpler things with our families each day. Praying, studying the scriptures, having family home evening, attending church and the temple regularly, will establish traditions of good in our homes. Hopefully, these things will carry over as good traditions, into the lives of our children and grandchildren.

11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim:
12 And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.
13 And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

This new generation forsook the Lord, and begin to serve Baal (Baalim) and Ashtaroth. This was a fulfillment of the warning that their fathers had been given.

14 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.

The Lord allowed the Israelites to fall into the hands of their enemies because of their weaknesses. His promise had been, that if they did not worship Him alone, He would no longer protect them from their enemies. They failed to keep the laws and worship God, so they suffered at the hands of their enemies.

16 Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so.
18 And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.

The Lord raised up judges, to deliver the Israelites out of the hand of their enemies. The people would not listen to the judges, but continued to sin against the Lord. When the judges were righteous, the Lord was with the people in protecting them from their enemies. When the righteous judges died, the people would return to wickedness even more then previous generations.

20 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;
21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
23 Therefore the Lord left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.

The Lord promised that he would not drive out anymore of the Canaanites from the land, which had been there when Joshua first brought them into the land. He did this to test Israel and see if they could prove that they were able to keep the commandments of the Lord.

The book of Judges, shows a time when the Israelites had truth, guidance and direction from the Lord. They were blessed greatly and then in their time of peace they would forget the Lord and turn to the ways of the world around them. The Lord would be ever merciful and patient, allowing them many opportunities to return to Him. The Lord was long-suffering with the Israelites, just as he is with us. Our lives are not so different from the people of old. We can have blessings of peace and prosperity in times when we strive to do what is right. We are also vulnerable to the temptations of the world. If we allow ourselves to become ungrateful, apathetic, or comfortable with our standing with the Lord, we will also be at risk of falling into the ways of the world. Our choices will lead to the Lord chastening us, and then feelings of sorrow and sadness. On the other hand, if we are continually striving to do what is right, the Lord will be with us and protect us from the dangers of the world. We are here to be tested and to prove ourselves willing and able to follow the commandments of the Lord. I know that we can and will be greatly blessed for our efforts in living righteously. I know that greater blessings will come if we share what we learn and know with other, especially with our loved ones.

Judges Chapter 1

When Moses was preparing the people for his death, the Lord called Joshua as the next prophet and leader of Isreal. Joshua had the duty of leading the people into the land of Canaan, and dividing the inheritances among the tribes, as well as reminding them of the laws God had given to them. As he neared his own death, the Lord did not call a new prophet to take his place as both a prophet and leader. In the bible dictionary, a description is given for the book of Judges, which reads, “This book and Ruth contain all the Jewish history that has been preserved to us of the times between the death of Joshua and the birth of Samuel.” (See Bible Dictionary) The first 3 chapters are described as an introduction. Chapter 1 begins as follows:

1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
2 And the Lord said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.
3 And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.
4 And Judah went up; and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.
5 And they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
6 But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.
7 And Adoni-bezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
8 Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

The children of Israel asked the Lord, who should be the first to fight against the remaining Canaanites. Before his passing, Joshua had been promised that the host of Israel would continue to fight against the Canaanites, and that he was to divide the land because he was in his old age. If this was made known to the host of Israel, they knew that they needed to continue to fight after Joshua had died. The Lord told them, that the tribe of Judah was to fight, and that the land had been delivered to them by the Lord. The tribe of Judah asked for help from the tribe of Simeon, and they were able to destroy the people in Bezek, but the king fled. They caught him and took him to Jerusalem where he died. Jerusalem had been taken and set on fire.

9 And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley.
10 And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.
11 And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjath-sepher:
12 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.
14 And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou?
15 And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.

The tribe of Judah fought against those in the mountain, in the south, and in the valley. They destroyed the people there. Caleb promised the hand of his daughter, Achsah, to whomever took the land of Kirjath-sepher (later known as Debir). Caleb’s nephew, Othniel, took the land and received Achsah to wife. Achsah asked Caleb for a blessing, and he gave her the upper and nether springs. (see also Joshua 15)

16 And the children of the Kenite, Moses’ father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.
17 And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah.
18 Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.
19 And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.
21 And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.

The tribe of Judah, who had the Lord with them, and the help of the tribe of Simeon, fought against their enemies in Zephath, Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron. The people in the mountains were expelled, but they were not able to drive out those who were in the valley because of their chariots. It seems that those who had chariots, had the upper hand in battles of that time. The Jebusites were not driven out of Jerusalem by the tribe of Benjamin, but remained in Jerusalem.

22 And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Beth-el: and the Lord was with them.
23 And the house of Joseph sent to descry Beth-el. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)
24 And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will shew thee mercy.
25 And when he shewed them the entrance into the city, they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family.
26 And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof unto this day.

The tribe of Joseph was also able to fight, with the help of the Lord. They sent spies to city of Beth-el, who learned where the entrance to the city was by offering mercy to a man and his family for telling them. They destroyed the city, and the man who had helped them founded the city of Luz in the Hittite land.

27 Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.
28 And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.

The tribe of Manasseh did not drive out all of the Canaanites in their land, but allowed some to remain and pay tribute to Israel.

29 Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.

Some Canaanites among the tribe of Ephraim were also allowed to stay.

30 Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.

The tribe of Zebulun allowed some to stay as well, and they made them pay tribute.

31 Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:
32 But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.

Likewise, the tribe of Asher did not drive out all of the Canaanites in their land. Interestingly, it reads here that the tribe of Asher dwelt among the Canaanites, which sounds like there were greater number of the other nations, then of the tribe of Asher.

33 Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, nor the inhabitants of Beth-anath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became tributaries unto them.
34 And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley:
35 But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries.
36 And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.

The tribe of Naphtali were also unable to drive the Canaanites out of the land, and so their people lived among the Canaanites, but were able to make them pay tribute. The tribe of Dan could not take their land from the Canaanites, and were forced into the mountain. Because the house of Joseph, the Amorite people paid the Israelites tribute.

The commandment given to the Israelites, was to destroy the people of the land, because this was the land of promise. For one reason or another, they did not do this completely. The Israelites had been warned, and they would need to heed these warnings. In his parting words, Joshua gave them the message from the Lord, that they were not to join themselves with the nations that could possibly remain among them. They were not to mention or turn to their false gods or marry their people, because these choices would separate them from the Lord and eventually bring destruction upon the tribes of Israel. Joshua 23:13 reads, “Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.” I’m not sure why the Israelites were not able to drive all the nations out of the land, but in leaving so many other nations among themselves, they made their chances of eventual failure that much greater. The temptations to follow the ways of these other people, would have been great.

There are many things that we are warned about in our own day. It takes great courage, to truly remove the temptations from our lives, and I think that sometimes we leave just enough to tempt us and cause us to fall back into our old ways. I know that if we have the courage to remove the negative influences around us, the Lord will be there to help us overcome our temptations. He can truly make us strong and He will bless us for our courageous choices.

Joshua Chapter 24

This is the final sermon of the prophet Joshua, to the Israelite people. Joshua had been one who had walked with Moses during the wanderings in the wilderness. He had remained to see and enter the promised land while the rest of his generation had passed away. He was a man of faith and courage, and was called to be the prophet to conquer and settle the promised land. He trusted the Lord, and the Lord was there to help him. His words to the Israelites follow:

1 And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.
2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
4 And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.
5 I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.
6 And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.
7 And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.
8 And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.
9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:
10 But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.
11 And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.
12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.
13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

Joshua gathered the people to hear his words, and then called the elders of Israel and other leaders, to present themselves. He begins to speak to them of their history. The family of Abraham had lived in a foreign land and worshipped the gods of that land. Abraham was led away from the idolatry, by the Lord, to the land of Canaan and was blessed with his son Isaac. The Lord blessed Isaac with two sons, even Jacob and Esau. He told them how Jacob’s family went to Egypt, and that the Lord sent Moses and Aaron and gave plagues there. Then the Israelites were led out of Egypt by the Lord. Then when they were chased by the Egyptians, the Lord protected them and destroyed their enemy in the sea. Then they wandered in the wilderness, and the Lord led them into the land of the Amorites and delivered their enemies into their hands. The Lord stopped Balaam from cursing the Israelites, and caused that he should bless them instead. Finally, the Israelites were led into the land of Canaan, to Jericho, and the Lord delivered their enemies into their hands again. The Lord helped them to gain the promised land, where they had plenty, but they had not prepared it for themselves.

14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods;
17 For the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:
18 And the Lord drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the Lord; for he is our God.
19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
20 If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.
21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord.
22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.
23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel.
24 And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.
25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

Joshua called the people to honor and serve the Lord, and to put away the practice of worshipping false gods, or idolatry, as their ancestors had. He reminded the people that they were free to choose whom they would serve, but they needed to make their choice. Joshua, their prophet and leader, declared that he had chosen to serve the Lord. In response, the people spoke of the commandment God had given them to serve Him alone and to forsake other gods. The congregation of Israel recognized the hand of the Lord in bringing them out of bondage, and preserving them in their wanderings. They knew that the Lord had delivered their enemies into their hands and had driven them out of the land. The Israelites chose to serve the Lord as well. Joshua told them that if they would follow after other gods, they could not serve the Lord and would not be forgiven of their transgressions or sins. The Lord would destroy them if they turned against Him. The people wanted to choose the Lord still, and so Joshua said they were witnesses against themselves, which they agreed to. He called on them again, to put away other gods and turn to the Lord, to which they made a covenant to serve and obey the Lord.

We have the same obligation to choose if we will strive to serve the Lord, or if we will serve other gods. We cannot stand on both sides of the fence, but if we choose to serve the Lord, we will be held to His standard. It is our privilege, to be able to stand and firmly say we will serve the Lord. When we make covenants of baptism, we promise to serve the Lord all our days. If after making covenants, we go against the Lord, destruction will eventually come upon us as well. I hope to be able to remain steadfast and firm all the days of my life, and continually serve God.

26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord.
27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.
28 So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.

A record was made of these things, and a stone was raised as a reminder to the people, of the covenant they had made with the Lord. Then all the people were sent back to their homes.

29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.
31 And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel.

Joshua died at the age of 110. In the days of Joshua, the host of Israel had server the Lord, as well as in the days of all the elders that served with him.

32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.
33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.

The bones of Joseph were buried in the land that his father Jacob had purchased many years before. This was a fulfillment of the request of Joseph which he made while in Egypt, because he knew that God would one day deliver the people of Israel and led them to the land of promise. Then, Eleazar, the priest and son of Aaron, died and was buried in the land of his son, Phinehas.

Idolatry was a sin which plagued the children of Israel in their time. This is why there was a need to continually remind them to love and serve the Lord alone. In our time, we have idolatry of other forms, which plague our generation. We need to be continually reminded to live in the world, but not be of the world. I feel like the greatest reminder we have from our current prophets, is that our focus must be on the family or Satan will destroy us. The strength of the Lord’s people, as a whole, depends upon the strength of our family units. If we allow Satan to break down the family, we will each stand alone and we will fall. It was so important for the congregation of Israel to heed the words of the prophet Joshua, as they heeded the words of Moses before him. Is is just as important for us to heed the words of our own modern prophets, because they speak the word of the Lord for us today. I am so grateful for the prophets which the Lord has called in our day. I am grateful for times when I can hear their words and apply them to my life. I know that they are true and can help us to be strong and courageous in our day.

(If you are interested in listening to the modern prophets and apostles, you can watch or listen to the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Click here for more information.)

Joshua Chapter 23

The role of a prophet, in ancient times as well as today, has been to “act as God’s messenger and make known God’s will.” (see Bible Dictionary: Prophet) What we read of Joshua up to this point, includes the directions he gave from the Lord, to fight their enemies, and to settle the promised land. I am sure that along the way, Joshua was frequently delivering messages of doctrine to the Israelites as well, but those words would most likely be found in the laws and commandments given through the prophet Moses. In this chapter, I believe we receive the parting words of the prophet Joshua to the people. It reads as follows:

1 And it came to pass a long time after that the Lord had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age.
2 And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age:
3 And ye have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the Lord your God is he that hath fought for you.
4 Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward.
5 And the Lord your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the Lord your God hath promised unto you.
6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;
7 That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them:
8 But cleave unto the Lord your God, as ye have done unto this day.
9 For the Lord hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.
10 One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.
12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
13 Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.
14 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.
15 Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the Lord your God promised you; so shall the Lord bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.
16 When ye have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

I believe that the tradition of the time, was for a man to gather his family together before he passed away, to deliver a final message to his posterity, and oftentimes to leave them with a blessing. It seems that this same tradition occurred with the prophets to the people of the Lord as well. Joshua grew old when Israel had received rest in the promised land. In his age, he gathered the elders and leaders of Israel together. First, he reminds them of the blessings from the Lord. It was the Lord, who had given them this land by subduing their enemies and delivering them into the hands of Israel. They are reminded that the land had been divided and given to them for an inheritance, and also, that the Lord would continue to dispel their enemies so that they might continue to gain the land of promise. However, this is not without an expectation of the people of Israel.

Joshua gives and exhortation to the elders, that they lead the people in righteousness. He tells them to be courageous and keep the commandments. He tells them that they need to avoid being part of the other nations that still remained in the land. They should not mention or worship the gods of those other nations, but they should continue to love the Lord by cleaving to Him. He reminds them, that they have been promised that the Lord would fight for them and make them mighty and strong. No nation could stand against even one man with God on His side. They needed to love the Lord wholly, or else they would turn to the false gods of other nations. If they did this, they would begin to marry people of these other nations, even those that remained among them. If they chose that path, the Lord would no longer fight for them. Instead, the Lord would allow those nations to be a temptation in their lives, until the Israelites were removed from the land. Joshua reminded the elders, that God had fulfilled all that He had promised them. All the good that they had been promised, had been given to them. Because they knew this, they could know that everything bad that had been promised if they would be disobedient, would also be given to them.

It takes courage to keep the commandments of God, especially when the ways of the world are so far from them. It takes courage to follow the prophets called to lead us today. I believe as time passes and we draw nearer to the second coming of the Savior and the millennium, that it will take greater courage than ever before. We are preparing for the day when all the wicked will be done away, and the Lord will reign on this earth. Only those who can live in this world, but avoid becoming part of the world, will be able to stand at that day. This message for the ancient Israelites, is the message that all of us need to hear. If we desire to be called the people of the Lord, we must be willing to give up the pleasures of the world and give our whole hearts to the Lord. If we do not follow His commandments and love Him, He will allow us to experience greater temptations. I think that I have enough temptation in my life now, and hope to be able to have the courage to do what is right, so that the Lord will help me to fight my personal enemies.


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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