The Well Community Church

Generations Feed Series

Joshua / Judges / Ruth

February 17, 2013

This week we embark on a three-book journey through Joshua, Judges and Ruth. As the deliverer (Moses) fades into the pages of history, a new leader rises in Joshua to take the nation into the land. The stories of conquest within the pages of Joshua are quickly overshadowed by the stories of compromise found in Judges. Joshua dies and another generation arises that does not know the Lord or the things that He has done for Israel. The book of Judges sets us up for the rejection of God and the desire of the people to have a "real king" (more to come in 1 Samuel). It moves through a repeated cycle of dysfunction and compromise that ultimately ends with everyone doing what is right in their own eyes. Tucked within the context of the chaos in Judges is a small four-chapter book of light. Ruth is a story of godliness in the midst of darkness and shows us the hope that redemption can bring.

Joshua

Author

Uncertain. Likely Joshua, as unanimously ascribed by Jewish tradition. Joshua probably wrote most of this record of the conquest and settlement of the land as an eyewitness. Eleazar the priest likely wrote 24:29-32. Phinehas likely wrote 24:33.

Date

Approx. 1361-1350 B.C. after the 45 years it took to take the land, but not much later.

Theme

Israel’s Land

This shows the preparations, conquest, covenant and divisions of the land by tribe.

Additional Info

Joshua means “YHWH saves” or “YHWH is salvation.” He was the scribe and general-in-charge under Moses, and Moses chose him to be one of the 12 spies to go into the land and report back. Only he and Caleb gave good reports, and only they were promised that they would enter the land after the entire adult population died in the wilderness. The book takes place over a period of 25-30 years.

© Dr. Rick Taylor

Judges

Author

Uncertain, but likely the prophet Samuel, as unanimously ascribed by Jewish tradition.

Date

Approx. 1050-1000 B.C.

Theme

Israel’s Arrogance

The arrogance of Israel was to only partially obey God, which led to cycles of sin, servitude, supplication, salvation and silence, resulting in anarchy.

Additional Info

The book takes place over a long period of time, between 300-350 years. The Judges were from various tribes and were raised up to lead God's rescue of His people. They did not serve as Kings, but only as rescuers and social justices of the peace. Samuel was the last of the Judges, and he appointed the first King over Israel.

© Dr. Rick Taylor

Ruth

Author

Uncertain. Likely a descendant of Ruth.

Date

Approx. 1000 B.C., as the manuscript is not written until early in the reign of David.

Theme

Israel’s Remnant

The remnant of Israel is seen in Naomi returning to Israel, Ruth covenanting with Naomi, and God and Boaz redeeming Ruth and Naomi.

Additional Info

The story of Ruth begins and ends during the period of the Judges, and serves as a bridge between the promise to Judah in Genesis 49 and the beginning of its fulfillment in 1 Samuel. It likely takes place during the same basic period as either Gideon or Eli.

© Dr. Rick Taylor

Resources for Joshua, Judges and Ruth

Audio:

Attachments: