One of my favorite books in the New Testament is the book of Acts. Also known as the Acts of the Apostles. The reason why I like this book so much is there in the extended title. It includes the Acts of the Apostles while subsequently providing us with some history of the early church. I find the book of Judges in the Old Testament shares a similar place in my heart. Contrary to Acts, Judges isn’t a historical book about great faith. If anything, Judges tells us what happens when people are not faithful to God. I’m not entirely sure why I like Judges so much. I suppose, in between all of the falling down we see from Israel, we get to also see some stories about some of the most faith-filled and realistic people in the Bible come to life.

If you’ve just picked up Judges and started reading at Judges 1:1. Without having first read through Joshua, or you haven’t read Joshua in a long time, then you might miss out on some glaring events that appear to be contradictory to what we read in Judges 1:1. Judges 1:1 tells us, “After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?” (NIV) Immediately, we might think that we’re now going to be reading about events after the death of Joshua. However, depending on how well you remember Joshua, some of these events in Joshua 1 might start to sound familiar. For example, have we seen this before?

12 And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” 13 Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage. 14 One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What can I do for you?” 15 She replied, “Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.

Judges 1:12-15 (NIV)

This seems awfully similar to something we just read in Joshua:

16 And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” 17 Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage. 18 One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What can I do for you?” 19 She replied, “Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.

Joshua 15:16-19 (NIV)

Wait, they’re exactly the same! Are we experiencing deja-vu, or is there something else at work here? How could we read this exact same passage in the book of Joshua, primarily written by Joshua, and then read it again in Judges? After Joshua’s death? Before we jump to any conclusions about this, let’s continue our reading of Judges. Let’s see if we read anything that might give us some clues as to what’s going on.

After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to their own inheritance. The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel. Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten. And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

Judges 2:6-9 (NIV)

After reading these passages here in Judges 2:6-9, we can say that what we read in Judges 1 was probably something like a prologue to Judges. Therefore, we could read the first line of Joshua 1:1, “After the death of Joshua” as a possible title for Judges since that’s what Judges is essentially about. Judges tells us what happens to the Israelites after the death of Joshua.

When we consider Judges 1 to be a prologue to the book of Judges, then the events of Judges 1 make a lot more sense.

When we read the Bible, we might get confused. If we get confused, we should stop reading and turn to God. Even if you’ve already prayed before you started reading, you should still stop and pray again and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. God doesn’t sow confusion, and he wants us to understand his word. Remember what James tells us.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:5 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.