Counseling Issues. This lesson will explain some of the different types of physical and emotional problem
How do I start?
The kingdom of heaven must arrive in our hearts. This means turning away from our self-centeredness and “Self” control and turning our life over to Christ’s direction and control.
How has coming to know Jesus been like moving from darkness to light for you?
You have turned your life over to God your Father and have rejected evil and your earthly desires.
(Matthew 8:26)”Why are you so frightened? Jesus answered. “What little faith you have!” Then he got up and ordered the winds and the waves to stop, and there was a great calm.”
You have realized that if you don’t trust your Heavenly Father and turn your life over to Him, Life has very little meaning.
No plan – Our God would not be in ultimate control.
No promise – Our gospel would be empty.
No power – Our faith would be aimless wishing.
No pardon – Our sins would stain our souls.
No peace – Our fear of the future would rob us of the joy of living.
No purpose – Our life would be a cul-de-sac with no exit.
(God’s Will in Your Life, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilive).
Trust in your Father in Heaven, has now become what you desire most.
Judges Book Overview
|1446 b.c. (1280 b.c.)||Exodus from Egypt|
|1406 (1240)||Israelites enter Canaan
|1375 (1220)||Period of the judges begins
|1105 (1083)||Samuel born
|1050 (1045)||Saul anointed king
|1010||David becomes king|
|Purpose:||To show that God’s judgment against sin is certain, and his forgiveness of sin and restoration to relationship are just as certain for those who repent|
|Setting:||The land of Canaan, later called Israel. God had helped the Israelites conquer Canaan, which had been inhabited by a host of wicked nations. But they were in danger of losing this Promised Land because they compromised their convictions and disobeyed God.|
|Key Verse:||“In those days Israel had no king, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (17:6).|
|Key People:||Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, Samson, Delilah|
|Special Feature:||Records Israel’s first civil war|
It was a nation born out of a passion for religious freedom. Free practice of faith had been oppressed and forbidden in the old country. The people longed to be in a place where they could worship God as they desired.
So they left. Willing to battle the fears of the unknown in exchange for freedom. Only a small portion of those who began the journey survived it.
When the travelers reached the new country they celebrated. They gave thanks to God and praised him for guiding them to their new home.
But their new home was not a peaceful place. Nearby enemies attacked and years of battles ensued. The settlers, however, were men and women of faith and courage. With time they sank their roots in the new land and began a new life.
The first generation of settlers were hearty people. Though the hardships were great, their faith was greater. God answered their prayers and established them in the new land.
With time the new land was div ided into states, and leaders were assigned to each region. The population grew, and the boundary of the country expanded.
But with the growth of the land and the passage of the decades, two troubling trends began.
The first was the disappearance of values. Early settlers had a common conviction as to what was right and wrong. The family was the core of society. Religion was the source of faith. Education was the highest task.
But by the end of the first hundred years in the new land, these virtues had begun to wane … the family was under attack; sophisticated thinkers mocked religion.
The second alarming trend was the inconsistency of moral leadership. Early leaders – capable military and skillful politicians – were also men of God. Men prone to spend time in prayer and meditation. Men who listened to God and earnestly tried to follow his will.
Such leadership became rare, however. The nation we look at now lacks moral leadership. Leaders squabble and steal. Others are lazy and spoiled. There are even cases of national leaders accused of mf many crimes.
Though the nation has a glorious past, it is hidden in a cloudy present.
Sound familiar? Sound like any nation you might know? Sound like us? It sounds like ours, could be ours, might be ours, but I didn’t get the profile out of the newspaper. You are reading it in the Bible. In the book of Judges.
Judges chronicles the dark ages of Israel, the death of Israel. The death of the heart. A three hundred year era in which “everyone did what seemed right to themselves.” (Judgjes 21:25).
Not a pretty story. Not inteneded to be. It’s intended to be a warning. A warning of what happens when God is ignored and passions are worshiped.
A warning for our times.
Real heroes are hard to find these days. Modern research and the media have made the foibles and weaknesses of our leaders very apparent; we search in vain for men and women to emulate. The music, movie, and sports industries produce a steady stream of “stars” who shoot to the top and then quickly fade from view. Judges is a book about heroes—12 men and women who delivered Israel from its oppressors. These judges were not perfect; in fact, they included an assassin, a sexually promiscuous man, and a person who broke all the laws of hospitality. But they were submissive to God, and God used them.
Judges is also a book about sin and its consequences. Like a minor cut or abrasion that becomes infected when left untreated, sin grows and soon poisons the whole body. The book of Joshua ends with the nation taking a stand for God, ready to experience all the blessings of the Promised Land. After settling in Canaan, however, the Israelites lost their spiritual commitment and motivation. When Joshua and the elders died, the nation experienced a leadership vacuum, leaving them without a strong central government. Instead of enjoying freedom and prosperity in the Promised Land, Israel entered the dark ages of her history.
Simply stated, the reason for this rapid decline was sin—individual and corporate. The first step away from God was incomplete obedience (1:11–2:5); the Israelites refused to eliminate the enemy completely from the land. This led to intermarriage and idolatry (2:6–3:7) and everyone doing “whatever seemed right” (17:6). Before long the Israelites became captives. Out of their desperation they begged God to rescue them. In faithfulness to his promise and out of his loving-kindness, God would raise up a judge to deliver his people, and for a time there would be peace. Then complacency and disobedience would set in, and the cycle would begin again.
The book of Judges spans a period of over 325 years, recording six successive periods of oppression and deliverance, and the careers of 12 deliverers. Their captors included the Mesopotamians, Moabites, Philistines, Canaanites, Midianites, and Ammonites. A variety of deliverers—from Othniel to Samson—were used by God to lead his people to freedom and true worship. God’s deliverance through the judges is a powerful demonstration of his love and mercy toward his people.
As you read the book of Judges, take a good look at these heroes from Jewish history. Take note of their dependence on God and obedience to his commands. Observe Israel’s repeated downward spiral into sin, refusing to learn from history and living only for the moment. But most of all, stand in awe of God’s mercy as he delivers his people over and over again.
|A. The Military Failure of Israel (1:1–3:6)
1. Incomplete conquest of the land
2. Disobedience and defeat
|The tribes had compromised God’s command to drive out the inhabitants of the land. Incomplete removal of evil often means disaster in the end. We must beware of compromising with wickedness.|
|B. The Rescue of Israel by the Judges (3:7–16:31)
1. First period: Othniel
2. Second period: Ehud and Shamgar
3. Third period: Deborah and Barak
4. Fourth period: Gideon, Tola, and Jair
5. Fifth period: Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon
6. Sixth period: Samson
|Repeatedly we see the nation of Israel sinning against God and God allowing suffering to come upon the land and the people. Sin always has its consequences. Where there is sin we can expect suffering to follow. Rather than living in an endless cycle of abandoning God and then crying out to him for rescue, we should seek to live a consistent life of faithfulness.|
|C. The Moral Failure of Israel (17:1–21:25)
1. Idolatry in the tribe of Dan
2. War against the tribe of Benjamin
|Despite the efforts of Israel’s judges, the people still would not turn wholeheartedly to God. They all did whatever they thought was best for themselves. The result was the spiritual, moral, and political decline of the nation. Our lives will also fall into decline and decay unless we live by the guidelines God has given us.|
|Decline/ Compromise||Whenever a judge died, the people faced decline and failure because they compromised their high spiritual purpose in many ways. They abandoned their mission to drive all the people out of the land, and they adopted the customs of the people living around them.||Society has many rewards to offer those who compromise their faith: wealth, acceptance, recognition, power, and influence. When God gives us a mission, it must not be polluted by a desire for approval from society. We must keep our eyes on Christ, who is our Judge and Deliverer.|
|Decay/ Apostasy||Israel’s moral downfall had its roots in the fierce independence that each tribe cherished. It led to everyone doing whatever seemed good in his own eyes. There was no unity in government or in worship. Law and order broke down. Finally, idol worship and man-made religion led to the complete abandoning of faith in God.||We can expect decay when we value anything more highly than God. If we value our own independence more than dedication to God, we have placed an idol in our hearts. Soon our lives become temples to that god. We must constantly regard God’s first claim on our lives and all our desires.|
|Defeat/ Oppression||God used evil oppressors to punish the Israelites for their sin, to bring them to the point of repentance, and to test their allegiance to him.||Rebellion against God leads to disaster. God may use defeat to bring wandering hearts back to him. When all else is stripped away, we recognize the importance of serving only him.|
|Repentance||Decline, decay, and defeat caused the people to cry out to God for help. They vowed to turn from idolatry and to turn to God for mercy and deliverance. When they repented, God delivered them.||Idolatry gains a foothold in our hearts when we make anything more important than God. We must identify modern idols in our hearts, renounce them, and turn to God for his love and mercy.|
|Deliverance/ Heroes||Because Israel repented, God raised up heroes to deliver his people from their path of sin and the oppression it brought. He used many kinds of people to accomplish this purpose by filling them with his Holy Spirit.||God’s Holy Spirit is available to all people. Anyone who is dedicated to God can be used for his service. Real heroes recognize the futility of human effort without God’s guidance and power.|
|The Judges of Israel|
|Judge||Years of Judging||Memorable Act(s)||Reference|
|Othniel||40||He captured a powerful Canaanite city||Judges 3:7-11|
|Ehud||80||He killed Eglon and defeated the Moabites||Judges 3:12-30|
|Shamgar||unrecorded||He killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad||Judges 3:31|
|Deborah (w/Barak)||40||She defeated Sisera and the Canaanites and later sang a victory song with Barak||Judges 4, 5|
|Gideon||40||He destroyed his family idols, used a fleece to determine God’s will, raised an army of 10,000, and defeated 135,000 Midianites with 300 soldiers||Judges 6—8|
|Tola||23||He judged Israel for 23 years||Judges 10:1, 2|
|Jair||22||He had 30 sons||Judges 10:3-5|
|Jephthah||6||He made a rash vow, defeated the Ammonites, and later battled jealous Ephraim||Judges 10:6–12:7|
|Ibzan||7||He had 30 sons and 30 daughters||Judges 12:8-10|
|Elon||10||unrecorded||Judges 12:11, 12|
|Abdon||8||He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons, each of whom had his own donkey||Judges 12:13-15|
|Samson||20||He was a Nazirite, killed a lion with his bare hands, burned the Philistine wheat fields, killed 1,000 Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone, tore off an iron gate, was betrayed by Delilah, and destroyed thousands of Philistines in one last mighty act||Judges 13–16|
Key Places in Judges
1 Bokim The book of Judges opens with the Israelites continuing their conquest of the Promised Land. Their failure to obey God and destroy all the evil inhabitants soon comes back to haunt them in two ways: (1) the enemies reorganized and counterattacked, and (2) Israel turned away from God, adopting the evil and idolatrous practices of the inhabitants of the land. The angel of the Lord appeared at Bokim to inform the Israelites that their sin and disobedience had broken their agreement with God and would result in punishment through oppression (1:1–3:11).
2 Jericho The nation of Moab was one of the first to oppress Israel. Moab’s king Eglon conquered much of Israel—including the city of Jericho—and forced the people to pay unreasonable taxes. The messenger chosen to deliver this tax money to King Eglon was named Ehud. But he had more than money to deliver, for he drew his hidden sword and killed the Moabite king. Ehud then escaped, only to return with an army that chased out the Moabites and freed Israel from its oppressors (3:12-31).
3 Hazor After Ehud’s death, King Jabin of Hazor conquered Israel and oppressed the people for 20 years. Then Deborah became Israel’s leader. She summoned Barak to fight Commander Sisera, the leader of King Jabin’s army. Together Deborah and Barak led their army into battle against Jabin’s forces in the land between Mount Tabor and the Kishon River and conquered them (4:1–5:31).
4 Hill of Moreh After 40 years of peace, the Midianites began to harass the Israelites by destroying their flocks and crops. When the Israelites finally cried out to God, he chose Gideon, a poor and humble farmer, to be their deliverer. After struggling with doubt and feelings of inferiority, Gideon took courage and knocked down his town’s altar to Baal, causing a great uproar among the citizens. Filled with the Spirit of God, he attacked the vast army of Midian, which was camped near the hill of Moreh. With just a handful of men he sent the enemy running away in confusion (6:1–7:25).
5 Shechem Even great leaders make mistakes. Gideon’s relations with a concubine in Shechem resulted in the birth of a son named Abimelech. Abimelech turned out to be treacherous and power hungry—stirring up the people to proclaim him king. To carry out his plan, he went so far as to kill 69 of his 70 half brothers. Eventually some men of Shechem rebelled against Abimelech, but he gathered together an army and defeated them. His lust for power led him to ransack two other cities, but he was killed by a woman who dropped a millstone onto his head (8:28–9:57).
6 Land of Ammon Again Israel turned completely from God; so God turned from them. But when the Ammonites mobilized their army to attack, Israel threw away her idols and called upon God once again. Jephthah, a prostitute’s son who had been run out of Israel, was asked to return and lead Israel’s forces against the enemy. After defeating the Ammonites, Jephthah became involved in a war with the tribe of Ephraim over a misunderstanding (10:1–12:15).
7 Timnah Israel’s next judge, Samson, was a miracle child promised by God to a barren couple. He was the one who would begin to free Israel from their next and most powerful oppressor, the Philistines. According to God’s command, Samson was to be a Nazirite—one who took a vow to be set apart for special service to God. One of the stipulations of the vow was that Samson’s hair could never be cut. But when Samson grew up, he did not always take his special responsibility to God seriously. He even fell in love with a Philistine girl in Timnah and asked to marry her. Before the wedding, Samson held a party for some men in the city, using a riddle to place a bet with them. The men, however, forced Samson’s fianc‚e into giving the answer. Furious at being tricked, Samson paid his bet with the lives of 30 Philistines who lived in the nearby city of Ashkelon (13:1–14:20).
8 Valley of Sorek Samson killed thousands of Philistines with his incredible strength. The nation’s leaders looked for a way to stop him. They got their chance when another Philistine woman stole Samson’s heart. Her name was Delilah, and she lived in the valley of Sorek. In exchange for a great sum of money, Delilah deceived Samson into confiding in her the secret of his strength. One night while he slept, Delilah had his hair cut off. As a result, Samson fell helplessly into the hands of the enemy (15:1–16:20).
9 Gaza Samson was blinded and led captive to a prison in Gaza. There his hair began to grow again. After a while, the Philistines held a great festival to celebrate Samson’s imprisonment and to humiliate him before the crowds. When he was brought out as the entertainment, he literally brought down the house when he pushed on the main pillars of the banquet hall and killed the thousands trapped inside. The prophecy that he would begin to free Israel from the Philistines had come true (16:21-31).
10 Hill Country of Ephraim In the hill country of Ephraim lived a man named Micah. Micah hired his own priest to perform priestly duties in the shrine which housed his collection of idols. He thought he was pleasing God with all his religiosity! Like many of the Israelites, Micah assumed that his own opinions of what was right would agree with God’s (17:1-13).
11 Dan The tribe of Dan migrated north in order to find new territory. They sent spies ahead of them to scout out the land. One night the spies stopped at Micah’s home. Looking for some assurance of victory, the spies stole Micah’s idols and priest. Rejoining the tribe, they came upon the city of Laish and slaughtered the unarmed and innocent citizens, renaming the conquered city Dan. Micah’s idols were then set up in the city and became the focal point of the tribe’s worship for many years (18:1-31).
12 Gibeah The extent to which many people had fallen away from God became clear in Gibeah, a village in the territory of Benjamin. A man and his concubine were traveling north toward the hill country of Ephraim. They stopped for the night in Gibeah, thinking they would be safe. But some perverts in the city gathered around the home where they were staying and demanded that the man come out to have sexual relations with them. Instead, the man and his host pushed the concubine out the door. She was raped and abused all night. When the man found her lifeless body the next morning, he cut it into 12 pieces and sent the parts to each tribe of Israel. This tragic event demonstrated that the nation had sunk to its lowest spiritual level (19:1-30).
13 Mizpah The leaders of Israel came to Mizpah to decide how to punish the wicked men from the city of Gibeah. When the city leaders refused to turn the criminals over, the whole nation of Israel took vengeance upon both Gibeah and the tribe of Benjamin where the city was located. When the battle ended, the entire tribe had been destroyed except for a handful of men who took refuge in the hills. Israel had become morally depraved. The stage was now set for the much-needed spiritual renewal that would come under the prophet Samuel (20:1–21:25).
Once in Canaan, all the Israelites needed to do was obey God: instead, they followed the sinful example of the Canaanites. Their disobedience resulted in a cycle observed throughout the book.
Another Warning about Immoral Women
1 Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands. 2 Obey them and live! Guard my teachings as your most precious possession. 3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.
4Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family. 5 Let them hold you back from an affair with an immoral woman, from listening to the flattery of an adulterous woman.
6 I was looking out the window of my house one day 7and saw a simpleminded young man who lacked common sense. 8He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman. He was strolling down the path by her house 9at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. 10The woman approached him, dressed seductively and sly of heart. 11She was the brash, rebellious type who never stays at home. 12She is often seen in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner.
13She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said, 14“I’ve offered my sacrifices and just finished my vows. 15It’s you I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are! 16My bed is spread with colored sheets of finest linen imported from Egypt. 17I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses, 19for my husband is not home. He’s away on a long trip. 20He has taken a wallet full of money with him, and he won’t return until later in the month.”
21So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him. 22He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, 23awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.
24 Listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words. 25 Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her. Don’t wander down her wayward path. 26For she has been the ruin of many; numerous men have been her victims. 27Her house is the road to the grave.£ Her bedroom is the den of death.
Although this advice is directed toward young men, young women should heed it as well. The person who has no purpose in life is simpleminded (7:7). Without aim or direction, an empty life is unstable, vulnerable to many temptations. Even though the young man in this passage doesn’t know where he is going, the immoral woman knows where she wants him. Notice her strategies: She is dressed to allure men (7:10); her approach is bold (7:13); she invites him over to her place (7:16-18); she cunningly answers his every objection (7:19, 20); she persuades him with smooth talk (7:21); she traps him (7:23). To combat temptation, make sure your life is full of God’s Word and wisdom (7:4). Recognize the strategies of temptation, and run away from them—fast.
There are definite steps you can take to avoid sexual sins. First, guard your mind. Don’t read books, look at pictures, or encourage fantasies that stimulate the wrong desires. Second, keep away from settings and friends that tempt you to sin. Third, don’t think only of the moment—focus on the future. Today’s thrill may lead to tomorrow’s ruin.