3 Profound Lessons from Othniel that will Help You Trust God

What are the lessons we can learn from the life of Othniel? That’s exactly what we are going to answer in this blog. Not only that, but we will see later how these lessons can help you better trust God in your life!

* * *

Othniel is the first judge of Israel. Spiritual meaning of Othniel name possibly means lion of God or strength of God in Hebrew. He is the son of Kenaz and Caleb’s younger brother. 

In the book of Joshua, you will read how he took Kirjath Sepher (Debir). He then received Achsah, the daughter of Caleb, as his wife (Joshua 14:12-14).

Whether he is the best judge in the bible or not, you will read the record of Othniel serving as a judge in Judges 3:7-11.

With that being said, let us now take a look at some of the most important lessons from the Othniel Bible Study.

Lesson no. 1: It is Yahweh we must serve

In Judges 3:7, we read how the Israelites turned their backs on God.

“So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of Yahweh. They forgot Yahweh their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs.”

The Israelites are in the vicious habits of turning to false gods.

Their unfaithfulness had led them to become slaves and conquered by their neighboring nations.

It is worth noting that Yahweh deliberately let pagan nations to remain around Israelites.

Why?

So that the Israelites would be tested (Judges 3:11).

Sadly, time and time again, the Israelites had failed the test.

They worshiped a lot of foreign gods most especially the Baals and Asherahs.

As a result, what happened?

Therefore the anger of Yahweh was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim eight years.

Some have wondered, who was Chushanrishathaim. In this verse, we read that he was the king of Mesopotamia at that time.

Why would God be angry toward Israel when they go after these false gods?

Is God narcissistic and selfishly like us to only worship Him?

Absolutely not!

God wants us to worship Him and Him alone not for His own good, but for our own good.

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When we go after false gods, we are harming ourselves.

Look at the Israelites of old.

Because they worship dumb and lifeless idols, they are quick to imitate how the pagans worship their gods.

They resorted to sexual immorality, believing false beliefs, and worst of all, human sacrifice.

All these are abominations to God.

That’s why God admonishes us to worship Him.

You know why?

Because He has our best interest in mind.

He loves us and cares for us – unlike the false gods.

How can they?

They are nothing but carved stones and wooden statues.

This is the main reason that we only worship and serve God.

He is alive and He sits on His Throne on High.

He is powerful – even more powerful than any gods in this world.

So, there’s only One Being who deserves our praise and that is Yahweh, the Most High God.

Lesson no. 2: Pray for God’s deliverance

It is worth noting that it took eight years for the Israelites to realize that they need God.

We read:

Therefore the anger of Yahweh was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim eight years.

At first, they thought that they can simply shake off their oppressor.

They made light of their suffering.

Their pride kept them from seeing their real situation – that they are hopeless without God’s intervention.

Thankfully, they came to their senses and called out to God.

They eventually realized that the Baal and Asheroth can’t help them.

The best helping hands is at the end of your arms. So if you can't handle things, put your hands together and pray.

After all, they are nothing but carved stones.

We read:

When the children of Israel cried out to the Yahweh, Yahweh raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother (verse 9).

With God using Othniel characteristics, the Israelites were delivered from their enemy, Cushan-Rishathaim.

The Spirit of Yahweh came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and Yahweh delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed over Cushan-Rishathaim (verse 10).

The suffering of the Israelites is of their own doing.

We can say that it’s the actions of the Israelites that have put them in that difficult situation.

Yet, God still answered them.

With mercy and love, God has delivered them from their enemies.

If this is the case, how much more would God help us in our time of need especially when we suffer for righteousness’ sake?

If you God hears the prayer of a rebellious group of people, how much more would he hear our prayers when we faithfully follow His commandments?

Thus, when you are in your hour of trial – when you are walking in the valley of the shadow of death…

Don’t hesitate to call on God.

Let your suffering bring you down to your knees.

Bring your hands together and lift up your voice to God.

He is our Father and He will hear us.

He is not indifferent to our pain, suffering, and needs.

He is always there to take care of us.

Lesson no. 3: God will give you rest

With Yahweh delivering His people from their enemies, they now enjoy four decades of rest.

We read:

So the land had rest for forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died (verse 11).

In this verse, God is showing us that He can give us rest and He wants to give us rest – if only we seek it.

A lot of people go on with their lives with so many distractions, noise, and worldly cares.

They chase things that they think will make them happy.

As a result, they end up feeling empty, disillusioned, and tired.

It is only God who can give us the true rest – a type of peace that this world fails to experience.

So, if you are weary…

Feeling like you want to give up…

Feeling overwhelmed with so many problems…

You can always follow what Yahshua Messiah or Jesus Christ said:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

Let these words bring you comfort.

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Always know that in times of weariness, you can always come to God and His Son.

Don’t let anyone convince you that you should go on with your life alone.

God is here for you.

He is always there waiting for you to respond to His call.

So, be at rest.

God will take care of you.

Final words

These are the best lessons you and I can learn from the story of Othniel sermon.

Always remember to worship the True God, Yahweh and no one else.

When you are in distress, don’t hesitate to call upon God for His divine deliverance.

Finally, true rest can only be found in the Almighty – nowhere else.

I hope you learned a lot from this blog.

If I missed anything, don’t hesitate to leave your comments below.

I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

(P.S. in relation to this blog, you might also be interested in learning lessons From Ehud Bible study here. He is the next judge who delivered Israel from king Eglon. So, don’t miss this blog.)

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