After Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon serve as judges for the people of Israel, the people yet again return to doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord. This is the same refrain we have seen in Judges 2:11, 3:7, 3:12, 4:1, 6:1, and 10:6. Note that evil is what God defines, not what we decide to be evil in our own eyes. Therefore God gives the people of Israel over to be oppressed by the Philistines for 40 years. This is a weighty declaration and I want us to consider 40 years of oppression. In our language it would be as if our nation was being attacked and oppressed since 1975. This is a staggering length of time to suffer and be oppressed.
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