Starting from chapter 10 through chapter 12, are brief mentions of the five so-called “minor Judges” before we are introduced to Samson in chapter 13. For whatever reasons, their role in Israel seems to have differed from the other Judges. Each is mentioned only briefly and there is no mention of any battle against a foreign enemy as the other more prominent judges.
We can assume for our reading that these kings were not proactive in addressing the sin issues that gripped Israel, but if we are honest with ourselves, the same sin issues that we struggle with today of idolatry and worshiping false gods.
The fact that several of the judges fathered extremely large families points to their living like the eastern kings of their day. This is further evidence that Canaanite culture was influencing the Israelites adversely. Positively these accounts indicate God’s gracious blessing of His people despite their constant betrayal and refusal to surrender to God and his ways. This fact suggests that God is working behind the scenes in and through the family and political institutions to promote stability and prosperity.
Unfortunately, verse 6 says that “Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” In previous accounts only the Baals and the Ashtaroths were mentioned, but this list is far more extensive and long. This longer list of gods indicates a downward spiral in Israel’s disobedience and lack of faith to God the covenant. They thought that they could find happiness, joy, and freedom by worshiping these idols like the other pagan nations that surrounded them, but in the end these same idols enslave and oppress them.
Prayer: Father God, may we never become complacent in our pursuit and love for you. May our hearts always yearn for the true and living God and not for the false idols of this life. We know that true freedom is only found in you. In Jesus’ name, amen.