Cover to Cover
In verses 11-17 we read a story about a widow who lost her husband, and now she was burying her son. She was grieving, and Jesus had compassion on her. He raised the son from the dead by using His words to command life, and the power of God operated at His command.
In verses 18-35, we read about John. Jesus describes John, a prophet in the wilderness. Jesus quotes Malachi 3:1 as a prophecy about John, Jesus’ forerunner. He says there is no prophet greater than John, for John was a prophet that prepared hearts for the coming of the Messiah.
In verse 30 the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by John. The Word says they REJECTED THE WILL OF GOD. That’s a heavy statement. The Amplified says, "the annulled and rejected and brought to nothing God's purpose concerning themselves, by refusing and not being baptized by him." If we read about the work of God in the Bible and then reject it, we are rejecting the will of God, whether it is for salvation and water baptism or power and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Let’s be careful not to reject healing, deliverance, provision, or peace. If it’s in the Bible, let’s choose to ACCEPT God’s will, being careful not to REJECT God’s will.
The author of Judges is unknown, but the Talmud attributes it to the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 10:25). The content covers the time after Joshua’s death and before judges were replaced by kings. Israel was in the land, but there were still some inhabitants that needed to be driven out or defeated. When Israel sinned, God would allow the enemy to oppress. When the Hebrews would then cry out to God with repentant hearts, God would raise up a judge. Judges were military and civil leaders God would anoint to bring deliverance to the Jews.
The first two chapters are part of the prologue for Judges. It describes the conditions in Canaan after the death of Joshua. It gives more information on further conquests and conquests that were not fully completed. In chapter two, the covenant of the Lord is broken. In verse 10, we read that the next generation did not know the Lord.
In Judges 2:17, it says that they “turned quickly” from the way of their fathers. Perhaps they were taught by their parents, but the children did not listen and obey. In verse 22, we see God decided to leave wicked Canaanites in the land to test this generation. God was closely involved with the details of their lives, and He acted with purpose for what was best for the nation and His plan of redemption.