Israel`s Sin Cycle

Adult II Couples Class
Adult II Couples Class
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Iva May and Dr. Stan May
Creation: God reveals His goodness through creation
and His mercy in response to sin.
Patriarchs: God reveals His response to the faithfulness of men (Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph) and
His covenant promises to them as they chose to trust
in Him.
Exodus: God liberates Israel from bondage, then uses
Moses to shepherd them in the wilderness while
shaping them into a nation holy to Himself through
the covenant power of His Law.
Conquest: Moses passes his leadership role to Joshua
who, by relying on God’s presence and power, leads
them to take possession of and settle the Promised
Land over a thirty year period.
Joshua and the elders of the Exodus
Era die and the nation of Israel spirals
into a 350 year period of spiritual decline.
This era is characterized by a consistent cycle of disobedience, judgment,
oppression and deliverance.
God raises up 12 judges (not including
Eli and Samuel) to deliver Israel from
their oppressors. The story of Ruth occurs during one of these periods of
Even in the midst of this corrupt period,
God works providentially in their affairs to fulfill promises made to previous generations.
Author is anonymous, but thought to
be the prophet and priest, Samuel
Records the falling away of the people
of Israel after Joshua and the last of
the “Exodus” elders pass away (2:10)
Israel disobeys God and intermarries
with the Canaanite tribes; begin worshiping their idols
Never mentions the Book of the Law,
and an altar is only mentioned four
Demonstrates God’s providence and
power through the amazing rulers He
raises up to lead and deliver His people
God responds faithfully and
redemptively to those who
humble themselves before Him.
The Sin Cycle Explained
Begins with a Period of
Expansion into the Land of
Canaan (Judges 1:1-26)
 Final years of Joshua’s leadership
 After early victories, they begin
to leave enemy strongholds in
the land (Judges 1:27-36)
 Expulsion of local tribes stalls out
The Sin Cycle Explained
Compromise Becomes the Order of the Day
 Israel rejects the LORD’s leadership and authority
 God allows oppression from remaining Canaanites
within and neighboring Israel
 Periods of oppression last seven to 40 years at a time
When they Cry out to God, He Raises up
Judges who Deliver them
 Peace reigns during the life of the judge
 When the judge dies, Israel reverts to old ways of idol
worship and immorality, even worse than before
The Cycle Begins Again
The Sin Cycle Outlined
The Sin Cycle Characterizes the
Entire Era
God Leaves Some Enemies in the
Land (Judges 3:1-3)
 To test Israel
 To train those who have not known war
 To see whether they will obey His
The Sin Cycle Outlined
The Cycle of Sin in Israel
 Israel’s Rebellion – turn from following the LORD to follow
the gods of Canaan
 God’s Retribution – the LORD responds in anger and
judges Israel by delivering them over to the oppression of
their enemies
 Israel’s Repentance – Israel responds to their distress by
calling upon the LORD
 God’s Rescue – He raises up judges who deliver Israel from
their enemies
 Israel’s Rest – In compassion, the LORD responds to their
groaning and grants deliverance from their oppressors
during the life of the judge
The Sin Cycle Outlined
The presiding
judge dies and
the people
revert to idol
worship. The
cycle begins
The Sin Cycle Illustrated
Othniel (Judges 3:7-11)
 Nephew of Caleb (Josh 15)
 Delivers Israel from king CushanRishathaim of Mesopotamia
• God had given Israel over to Cushan after His
anger burned against them for their forsaking
Him in favor of the Baals and Asheroth
 Ended eight years of enslavement
 Ushered in 40 years of peace
The Sin Cycle Illustrated
Ehud (Judges 3:12-31)
 Left-handed
 Raised up by God to rescue Israel from
18 years of oppression under king
Eglon of Moab
 Talked his way into getting a private
audience with Ehud, then assassinated
him with a hidden dagger
 Rallied people to defeat the Moabites
 Israel enjoyed 80 years of peace
The Sin Cycle Illustrated
Shamgar (Judges 3:31)
 Kills 600 Philistines with
an oxgoad
• “…and he also saved Israel”
 This inclusion with the
other judges, implies a
continued pattern of
oppression, crying out to
God and rescue
The Sin Cycle Illustrated
Deborah (Judges 4 & 5)
 Raised up to deliver Israel from 20
years of harsh service under Jabin
 Takes over the armies of Israel to
defeat Sisera and his powerful force
• Sisera is killed by another woman, Jael,
who discovers new use for tent pegs
 God uses two women, Israel’s army,
a heavenly army, and a rainstorm
to subdue Jabin and liberate Israel
 Leads to a 40 year period of rest
The Sin Cycle Illustrated
 Gideon (Judges 6-8)
 Member of the smallest clan of Manasseh
 Called by the angel of the LORD to deliver Israel
from seven years of Midianite oppression
 God confirms his power, peace and presence
• Acceptance of Gideon’s offering
• Empowers him to rid his own family of idols
• Miracles of the fleece in the presence of the army
 God trims his army down to 300 which defeats the
larger force of Midianites, Amalekites and others
 Gideon is established as a highly regarded leader
in Israel
 Foolishly created an ephod which the Israelites
began to worship
 Israel experiences 40 years of peace under Gideon
The Sin Cycle Illustrated
 Abimelech (Judges 9)
 Foolishly sought to lead Israel in absence of
a God-appointed judge
 Oppresses his own people; dies badly
 Tola and Jair (Judges 10)
 Virtually nothing known of their service
 Judged for a consecutive total of 45 years
 Jephthah (Judges 11)
 Son of a harlot
 Called by God to deliver Israel from 18
years of oppression
 Slaughters the Ammonites
 Makes a foolish vow to the LORD that costs
him his only child
The Sin Cycle Illustrated
 Samson (Judges 13-16)
 Only judge recorded to be called before birth
• Called as a Nazarite
 Judged Israel for 20 years
 Mightily used by God as he obeys the divine
prohibition concerning his hair
 Marries a Philistine woman and commits
sexual immorality (Delilah)
 This failure to obey God’s Law leads to his
 Despite his moral failings, God grants him
one final victory over the Philistines
 Kills more Philistines in his death than his
entire 20 reign as a judge
Judges 21:25 – “In those days there was not a king in
Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
 Man left to himself wanders away from God to his
own detriment; a fact the Jesus understood very well.
 Matthew 9:36 – “He was moved with compassion for them,
because the were weary and scattered like sheep that had no
 Sin always leads to spiritual decline within and
oppression from without.
What does this lesson teach about God? Man? Sin? Redemption?
• Why did Samson, who was faithful to follow the
Nazarite restrictions in his life, fail to obey the Law’s
basic prohibition against marrying a Canaanite?
• Can a Christian get caught up in the cycle of sin?
• Where are we, the people of God in the 21st century, in
the cycle of sin? (Rebellion, oppression, crying out, judge, deliverance, faithful rest)
• As a nation?
• As a church?
• As an individual believer?
• What sets the judges apart from those around them
that made them useful to God?
 What acute problem was suddenly brought on by the civil
war between Benjamin and the rest of Israel?
“And the sons of Israel were sorry for their brother Benjamin and
said, ‘One tribe is cut off from Israel today. What shall we do for
wives for those who are left, since we have sworn by the LORD not
to give them any of our daughters in marriage?’” (Judges 21:6,7)
 What were the nationalities and names of the daughtersin-law of Naomi?
“Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her
two sons. They took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the
name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth.” (Ruth
 What signified the completion of a transaction involving
the exchange of land between two men in Ruth’s day?
“Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the
redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man
removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner
of attestation in Israel.” (Ruth 4:7)
 What did the Danites take by
force from the house of Micah?
 “Micah said, ‘You have taken away my
gods which I made, and the priest, and
have gone away, and what do I have
besides?’ (Judges 18:24)
Adult II Couples Class

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