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What is the significance of Judges 2:20–3:5?

The Lord did not provide any assistance in Israel’s battles, “In order to test Israel, whether or not they would take care to walk in the way of the Lord as their ancestors did” (vs. 22). The pagan opponents of Israel “were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the Lord” (vs. 4).

In the classical understanding of God’s foreknowledge, Scripture’s repeated declarations that God tests people in order “to know” their character cannot be taken at face value. If Scripture cannot err, it seems we must accept that such testing was the means by which God found out how people would freely develop their character. This is explicitly declared in this passage.

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