Judges 2-4; 6-8; 13-16: “The Lord Raised Up a Deliverer” (May 30-June 5)

Gideon’s Army” (detail) by Daniel A. Lewis

The period between the death of Joshua and the establishment of a kingdom was a chaotic time for the Israelites. For more than 400 years, the people struggled to remain loyal to God. When they turned away from Him, they fell into captivity. When they prayed for help, He sent them a great leader who delivered them. But inevitably, they lost their way again. This pattern is highlighted time and time again in the book of Judges, like a refrain. (See Judges 2:11-19, Judges 3:7-11, Judges 3:12-15, Judges 4:1-4, Judges 6:1-6, Judges 10:6-10, Judges 13:1.)

A similar kind of refrain appears in the book of Ether, as the author (Moroni) highlights a recurring pattern among the Jaredites. As they begin to distance themselves from God, He repeatedly sends prophets. Most of the time, they reject the words of those prophets. (See Ether 7:23-25, Ether 9:28-29, Ether 11:1-2, 5, Ether 11:12-13, Ether 11:20-22.)

The twelve leaders in the book of Judges are: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson. Here are some lessons I have learned from a few of these judges, with related blog posts:


A good leader can inspire other people to take courageous action at appropriate times. Deborah directed Barak, a military leader, to defend Israel against the Canaanite army under Sisera. Barak said, “If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go” (Judges 4:8). Deborah went with him, and when the time was right for battle, she said, “Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand” (Judges 4:14). Barak followed her guidance and led the Israelites to victory.

In the Book of Mormon, King Limhi similarly inspired his people to act with hope under difficult circumstances:


God sometimes gives us monumental assignments with inadequate resources in order to make it clear that this is His work, not ours. We need to trust Him, do the best we can, and then let Him magnify our efforts. Gideon assembled an army, but God told him that it was too big. “The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands.” Why? “Lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me” (Judges 7:2).

Nephi paraphrased and elaborated on a prophecy of Isaiah. A learned man would refuse to perform a task unless he could do it his own way. So God would call an uneducated man to do it. God can use our imperfect efforts to accomplish great things if we will put our trust in Him:


Samson was strong in battle, but he trusted Delilah when it was clear that she did not have his best interests at heart. That mistake cost him his life.

In the Book of Mormon, two leaders fell from power by placing too much trust in a treacherous man named Amalackiah. The king of the Lamanites and Lehonti both trusted him, ignoring clear warning signs, until it was too late. We should be kind to all of God’s children, but we need to be careful about how much we trust others.

Blog Posts: June 1-5

Another Generation

How long does it take to lose our spiritual connection with God? After the ministry of Jesus Christ on the American continent, the people lived in peace and righteousness for several generations. (See 4 Nephi 1:22-24, 1 Nephi 12:12, 2 Nephi 26:9, Alma 45:10-12, 3 Nephi 27:32.) But at other times in their history, the…

“Thou Mighty Man of Valour”

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has shared the following words of advice: I learned in my life that we don’t need to be “more” of anything to start to become the person God intended us to become.God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is…

“Vaunteth Not Itself”

The word “vaunt” appears twice in the Bible: once when the Lord tells Gideon to reduce the size of his army, “lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me” (Judges 7:2), and again when the apostle Paul tells the Corinthians, “Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up…seeketh not her…


When Deborah, the leader of Israel, instructed a man named Barak to recruit an army and fight against their Canaanite oppressors, Barak responded with trepidation but with confidence in her leadership. “If thou wilt go with me,” he said, “then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not…

The Book of Judges and the Book of Mormon

Did the authors of the Book of Mormon have access to the book of Judges? They did have the brass plates, which contained “the five books of Moses…and also a record of the Jews…and also the prophecies of the holy prophets” (1 Nephi 5:10-13). It seems reasonable to assume that some version of the book…

2 thoughts on “Judges 2-4; 6-8; 13-16: “The Lord Raised Up a Deliverer” (May 30-June 5)

Add yours

  1. Just want to thank you, Brother Anderson, for publishing your research and study. I am grateful that it is shared daily as it is a part of my own daily study routine. It has helped me to integrate Book of Mormon study into the Come Follow Me curriculum study. I really get excited about seeing a larger picture!
    I discovered your blog a few years ago when on a personal study journey of repentance. As a convert of many years I felt a need to understand repentance better and had come across Paul’s curious phrase “ . . In Christ Jesus I die daily” 1Cor15:31. I especially appreciate the personal change you commit to daily. It helps me so much!
    I love to talk about Jesus. I can’t get enough.
    Thank you so very much! Grateful!


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