The book of Judges is an account of the Dark Ages for the Israelite people. This book covers the time following Joshua’s death to the time that Saul became the anointed king of Israel. We read “In those days Israel had no king.” (Judges 17:6) Three hundred and fifty years slowly drudge by during the time of Judges. We read about rebellion, sin, disobedience, and disloyalty to God.
It zooms across the first 350 years in the Land of Promise as it gives us a detailed outline of the evil deeds, schemes and deceitful secrets within the heart of humanity. The people of Israel quickly forgot the Lord, His commands and all that He had done for them as they served other gods. To read Judges increases our faith and hope as we witness God’s patience with His chosen, rebellious people.
Our Father crowned His people with massive victories of land and He also poured out tender mercies during their doubt and weakness. We must all value our Lord’s readiness to respond to our whispers of remorse. Each time we cry out to our Lord and admit our sins, we are forgiven. During the time of Judges, God raised several judges as the people had no king or ruler over them.
The book of Numbers records the 40 years of wandering in the desert, and the book of Judges records 350 years of agony, defeat, pain, unbelief and our NEED to be judged by our Holy God.
“Yet you have disobeyed Me. Why have you done this? Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you. When the Angel of the Lord had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud.” (Jud 2:2-4)
In God’s anger against Israel, He sold them to their enemies. Chapter 1 is full of failure. They did not drive out the enemy as God had commanded so they settled among the Syrian nations and began to intermarry to make their position safer.
“The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war.” (Judges 3:10) We read about the constant failure of man, and the persistent mercy of God. God is showing us in this book the wickedness of the human heart and His delight in using the weak things of man to magnify His power.
We witness that humanity across the ages, are indeed slow learners. After our ways fail, then we come to agree with God. Left unto ourselves, people forget God and run after pleasures as we are ruled by the man of lawlessness, the devil.
God’s Word shows us that humanity is lost without Him. Israel’s troubles, just like today’s troubles are due directly to our likened disobedience to God. We must exterminate the enemy in the land of our hearts and worship God and not the idols that the world uses to corrupt our morals and faith in God. Joshua had no successor.
After Joshua died, each tribe acted independently. There was no capital or fixed government in Israel. People did not live according to their confessed faith in God, so their enemy defeated them easily. God repeated His mercy over and over but His chosen people never truly appreciated His mercy.
Our Father is forever brooding over His disobedient children. We see that He is faithful to keep His promise to never leave us or forsake us. We recognize defeat in keeping all His commands, but we witness His faithful deliverance and mercy every time. “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” (Romans 5:20)
We have the same roaring enemy today that seeks to destroy our faith in God. Israel was a circle of 12 strong tribes, unlike each other. God fulfilled His purpose for Israel by testing His people with the freedom He gave them, to see who would obey His commands.
Confusion existed in their religious, moral, and political lives because they did not follow the law. The backsliding of Israel’s people caused the nation to lose the way to God’s mercy seat. Then, God sent Judge Samson. (Jg 13-16)
From the modern day deliverers Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation (1483-1546) to John Knox, the Scottish Reformer (1513-1572) to John Wesley the founder of the Methodists (1703-1791) we see God opening doors and issuing grace for the task of moving forward. People of faith in Jesus Christ tend to be human and forget God as our interests in the world consume more of God’s Promised Land, our hearts. Today, just like in the book of Judges, God hears our cries of repentance and He restores us to favor again.
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.
(click on BLOGGER TAB “Books of Bible” for the rest of the story)
“It is finished.” 4/20/19