Joshua was the leader of the children of Israel after entered into the Promised Land [Canaan]. As long as Joshua ruled them they followed and obeyed God.
After Joshua died the children of Israel began worshipping false gods. God punished them by letting their enemies defeat them. As was their nature, when they were in trouble the Israelites cried out to God to deliver them out of the hands of their enemies. God heard their cries and he raised up judges to deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.
Some of their judges mentioned are Ehud, Gideon, Samson and the woman judge, Deborah. There were many others.
After God ruled through judges he then ruled through kings. God was long suffering with the children of Israel. They decided that they wanted kings like the people around them so God allowed them to have kings.
The first king was Saul, the second was David and the third was David’s son Solomon. After these kings ruled, the kingdom was divided into two parts. These two kingdoms were called Judah and Israel. Solomon’s son Rehoboam was king of Judah which was made up of two tribes, Judah and Benjamin. Jereboam was king of Israel which was made up of the other ten tribes.
The history of the kings of the children of Israel is quite interesting but space will not permit a deeper study of them.
From the beginning until the New Testament was written there were prophets. Prophets were people who could tell things that would happen in the future. God told the prophets what was going to happen and the prophets would tell the people. In the book of Daniel, the second chapter, beginning with the 31st verse we read of the prophecy of the establishment of the church. God made this prophecy through Daniel. This is why the book is named after the prophet.
Israel prophesied of the beginning of the church in Isaiah the second chapter, Isaiah also tells of trial and death of Christ in Isaiah chapter 53.
Jesus Christ himself was a prophet. He foretold many things were going to happen. He even told His disciples that one of them would sell Him into the hands of His enemies. He also told Peter that he would deny Him three times. Jesus told many things would happen in the future.
Even after Jesus’ death there were prophets.
In Acts the 21st chapter and verse 9 we read where Philip had four daughters who prophesied. We read in the same chapter of Agabus the prophet. Agabus prophesied that Paul would be bound in Jerusalem.
We learn in 1 Corinthians that when the perfect law [the New Testament] came that certain things would be done away with. Prophets were one of these things.
In this lesson we have studied very briefly the judges, kings and prophets. Our next lesson will deal with the life of Christ. Keep in mind that Christ lived under the Old Law.
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