Today we will learn about the book of Judges in the Bible. In the last lesson, we learned how Joshua led Israel to defeat enemies in Canaan. God commanded Israel not to leave any of the enemies alive or to marry any women from their enemies. The reason for this command was because their enemies and their women worshipped Idols- not God. Israel disobeyed God and let some of their enemies live. They also married some of their women. This had a huge negative influence on Israel because they also allowed them to continue to worship their idols. After Joshua died, God did not appoint a new leader to lead Israel. Instead, for the next 300 years, Israel would disobey God, repent, and God would appoint a temporary Judge to lead Israel and defeat their enemies. Under the temporary judge, they would experience peace. When the judge died, they would disobey God again. God would again let Israel be defeated by their enemies. After some time, they would repent and ask God to forgive them again. God would then appoint a new temporary judge to lead Israel and defeat their enemies. This pattern- disobey God, experience defeat, repent, experience peace, then disobey God again continued for the next 300 years. Altogether, there were 15 judges during this time. This pattern is often seen in the lives of many Christians- we obey God, then disobey, then return back to God. God always forgives and is merciful. It also proves that humans are always full of sin. This pattern though, is unnecessary. Why? Jesus becomes our permanent leader, not just a temporary leader. He gives us the Holy Spirit who guides us out of the pattern of sin, repent, and sin again. The Holy Spirit gives us the tools we need to follow God IF we surrender our lives to HIM daily- not just on Sundays. We will continue to make mistakes and learn from them, but the pattern of repeating the same sin over and over again is not what God called us to do. He called us to a life of daily repentance and surrender to the Holy Spirit. If we do not surrender our lives, our desires, and our sin to Him on a daily basis then we will only be following Jesus some of the time. This is not what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus calls us to a daily relationship with Him, out of the pattern of sin and set apart from this world. He calls us to show the world that it is Jesus who changes us and makes it possible to follow him forever, and not just for a short time. How do we surrender? We can start by making time to talk with God in prayer and to read what He is telling us in the Bible, daily. By making this is a practice in your life and training yourself to do this, then God will in turn teach you how to become more humble, more holy, and more like Jesus everyday. It will not be easy and it will definitely be hard. But nothing worth doing will ever be easy. This lesson will be continued in the next one as we learn about a special judge named Gideon.