Picture a world where people live according to their own personal standards, where believers can't seem to agree, and where people are trapped in every kind of sin. Sound familiar? While this list hits close to home today, these issues are found in the book of Judges. And it's during times like these when God is searching for those who are ready, willing, and available to confront the enemy. 13 Chapters with timelines, an outline, and commentary, plus questions for personal reflection or group discussion.
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I have grown to love the Be series of commentaries by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe. The main reason is that his commentaries are approachable and understandable to my non-theological academic brain. In his commentary on Judges Dr. Wiersbe sets each dramatic scene so that I could understand fully and imagine it in my mind. The OT book of Judges is of the Israelites after they have settled in the promised land of Canaan. God had raised up judges that would guide, shape, encourage, and impart knowledge and wisdom to the Jewish people. These judges also led the people to conquer and drive out the idol worshiping Canaanites. God did not want His people to be soiled and tarnished by the Canaanites. They were told to drive these people out, that this land was the promised land that God had given to them. Not all of the Canaanites had been driven out and they were a source of temptation and trouble for the Jewish people. "There were 14 judges that God raised up over a period of 350 years to do His work: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Samson, Eli, and Samuel. Each one had issues, each one had weaknesses, but God used them in spite of themselves simply because they made themselves available." page 9. Wiersbe asks the readers an important question. "How about you? Do you want God to use you to accomplish His purposes?" There are questions at the end of each of the chapters for individual or group use.
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Review 2 for Be Available (Judges)
Life application for today's dark times
Date:October 11, 2010
I loved this book from the get-go, as it started with the premise that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things - one of my favorite biblical truths. This book was more than just a study on a book of the Bible, it included life application as well. (Something we don't always get in Old Testament bible studies.) Dr. Wiersbe, as always, has wonderful insight and does not shy away from the tougher portions of the book, but attacks them head on and helps us to understand a little better. I love how he pulls out the theme of "Be Available" from the stories of these fallen men and women who agreed to serve God and who He then used to do powerful things.
Be Available by Warren W. Wiersbe is a thoughtful study of the book of Judges. Wiersbe is probably my favorite theologian of the second half of the twentieth century. His writing is always incredibly insightful and inspiring. Be Available goes through the stories in Judges in the years after Joshua's death and before Saul became King of Israel. The Israelites were in a cycle of falling away from the Lord, facing attacks and enslavement from foreign nations, then turning back to God and a judge arising from the people who rescues them and brings peace. This cycle is repeated several times, and there are many lessons in it for Christians. Wiersbe breaks down each story and explains what God was doing in it and what it means for believers today. He even gave my heart some peace over a chapter that always troubled me: Jephthah's sacrifice of his daughter. He makes the Bible very relevant and vital with a writing style that is enjoyable and intelligent.
"BE Available" is a commentary on Judges, but it's written more like a filled-in Bible study or interesting sermon series than a Bible reference book. As in, you could go to a certain chapter and verse reference and read the entry for more information, but the book was designed to be read from start to finish. The book was easy to understand and an enjoyable, quick read.Each chapter in this book covered 1-3 chapter in Judges. The author tied in relevant Old and New Testament verses, pointed out the meanings of Hebrew words that don't fully translate into English, and explained background historical information that helped to bring out the full impact of the verses. There were 10 to 11 questions at the end of each chapter. Some tested to see if you remembered/understood what the author had said, but others were discussion/reflection questions about how you could apply what you had just learned.I gained some new insights from reading this book. It's a good, solid study of Judges, especially for those who aren't very familiar with it. Overall, I'd recommend this book as a personal devotional/Bible study for those who want a deeper understanding of the Word.I received this book as a review copy through the The B&B Media Group.