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Read Judges 10


10 After the time of Abimelek, a man of Issachar named Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo, rose to save Israel. He lived in Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim. He led Israel twenty-three years; then he died, and was buried in Shamir.


He was followed by Jair of Gilead, who led Israel twenty-two years. He had thirty sons, who rode thirty donkeys. They controlled thirty towns in Gilead, which to this day are called Havvoth Jair. When Jair died, he was buried in Kamon.


Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served him, he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, who that year shattered and crushed them. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites on the east side of the Jordan in Gilead, the land of the Amorites. The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim; Israel was in great distress. 10 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, “We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.”

11 The Lord replied, “When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? 13 But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!”

15 But the Israelites said to the Lord, “We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.” 16 Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the Lord. And he could bear Israel’s misery no longer.

17 When the Ammonites were called to arms and camped in Gilead, the Israelites assembled and camped at Mizpah. 18 The leaders of the people of Gilead said to each other, “Whoever will take the lead in attacking the Ammonites will be head over all who live in Gilead.”


Go Deeper

This passage shows us that we cannot serve two gods. We cannot say we love God when our hearts are elsewhere. Even if the Israelites didn’t explicitly say they rejected God, their actions proved otherwise. Their hearts were focused on serving false gods rather than serving the one true God.

Eventually, God gave the Israelites up to their own desires. As a result, they become slaves to the nation they want to be a part of. Through this, the Israelites were oppressed and harassed. This wasn’t God causing them pain, but instead the Israelites inflicting pain upon themselves as a result of their sin. What a reminder that our sin always has consequences, and sometimes we have to bear through difficulties because of our sin (similar to the Israelites). The next thing we need to notice is the Israelites enjoyed their sin. They thought worshiping other gods and indulging in worldly desires was better than following God, so they remained unrepentant. Although it may seem better or more fulfilling to do what the rest of the world is doing, it is harmful to us. What seems good to us is far worse than the life God has to offer us.

The Israelites finally call out to God, but their “repentance” is just to get out of their horrible situation. It isn’t driven by a desire for a right relationship with the Lord. They want the benefits of God’s goodness but do not want God Himself. For the first time, God tells Israel He will no longer save them. As we read this it feels confusing, but one commentator stated, “This apparent rejection, and the apparent indifference to the pleas of His people, was designed to test the sincerity of their response.” For too long the Israelites have been minimizing their sin but have to deal with maximum consequences. As a result, God wants Israel to be fully exposed to the gravity of their sin so they could become sick of it. Sometimes, it isn’t until we hit rock bottom where we finally realize how badly we need God. We do know that God continues to forgive them throughout the Old Testament.

Finally, the Israelites have a sincere repentance. They respond to God by saying, “Do whatever seems best for You.” Here, the Israelites depict a genuine submission and surrender to God. They turned from their idols and turned towards God. Repentance isn’t merely turning away from something. It also means turning to God. God was hurt while His people sinned against Him. His holiness cannot stand us turning away from Him. Yet no matter how many times we fail and fall short, God’s heart is still after us. He eagerly awaits us to turn back to Him, having open arms of a loving Father. His heart is towards you and for you.


  1. What are idols you are serving? How have they taken the place of God in your life?
  2. How are you doing at practicing repentance? Are you actively turning away from the sin in your life and running towards Jesus?
  3. Do you believe God’s heart is for you, ready to offer you grace?

By The Way

Along with this passage, Ezekiel 20:9-13 highlights God’s heart towards their sin. This occurs several books after Judges, and the Israelites are still falling short, like we all do. In response to their sin, God says, “You shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for My name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O House of Israel, declares the Lord our God.” We deserve to be dealt with harshly because of our sin, and we were. All of God’s harshness was put on Jesus who died on the cross for our sins. He dealt with our sins according to His name’s sake, not according to our mistakes. How gracious and good our Father is. He took our sin and canceled our debt.

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4 thoughts on “Judges 10”

  1. Sin always shatters and crushes, as suffering and sin go hand in hand. It’s hard to read “again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight.” They find it hard to follow God over the long haul. When all is well they forget God. He seems to be their last resort. Only when they’ve reached their breaking point, do they cry out to God. Pagan gods will not do, as there is only One who can deliver them. Is God our last resort? Sometimes we use up every available resource before we humbly come to Him. I’ve made it a habit when I wake up and before getting out of bed each morning, to seek God first, to align my heart with His in prayer, and humbly invite Him into my day, and guide me in every decision. I am desperate for Him! Yesterday’s message at HC reminded me that in spiritual warfare we must fight the lies of the enemy by knowing and holding fast to the truth of God’s Word. I’m so thankful for the BRP and how it enables me to better understand and learn scripture that will steady, support, and sustain me through life’s journey.

  2. Ever action has a reaction, so no matter the choices you make you have a consequence, good or bad. God has been gracious enough to give us a rule book and answers to all of life’s questions. It is up to us and the freedom of choice He has given from the beginning. Every day I desire to be good and make those good choices but somehow I choose a wrong one. I am so thankful God has His arms open wide and so incredibly loving.
    God thank you for every thought today being brought captive and help me to run those thoughts through You!! God I want, desire and long after being Your child whom You can be incredibly proud of, every moment of every day!!! Thank you for Your grace and forgiveness. Thank you that I do not abuse that, In Jesus name amen

  3. Forty-five years they had peace under two judges, before their fall. Then we see the word “Again”….then it all crumbles. I love this chapter because it’s shows the amazing, restless love God has for his children. It reminds me that He is always there to rescue our pitiful selves from sin.
    Yesterday, in my church, the message was from Romans 6 about sin and true repentance. HC sermon was also over spiritual warfare. No coincidence that God is speaking through people and His word to begin this week.
    How amazing His love is for His people!!

    I also tried watching the Passion of the Christ last night, and I couldn’t get through the first scene. What our Savior went through to free us from our sins on the cross makes me to have no words to describe how it deeply affects me. It’s humbling to say the least.
    Thank you, Heavenly Father for sending your Son not to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him! May we show grace and mercy to those struggling in this world, and be an example of your rentless love!! In His name I pray.

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