The Judges: Israel’s History and Our Present
The Story of the Judges in the Book of the Bile by the same name, we read the story of 16 leaders (judges) who God selected when needed and they served until they completed their godly task. Scholars recognize three types of Judges: 1) Warrior Judges like Gideon and Samson, 2) Priestly Judges like Eli, and 3) Prophetic Judges like Samuel.
The story of Judges relates the impact of Israel’s moral and religious decline. As long as Joshua and the elders who served with him lived and as long as memory of them remained Israel remained faithful to God, but a generation matured who did not remember (cf. Jud 2:10-13). This serves to remind us that we a always but one generation from apostasy. Parents, we must pass respect for God, Christ, scripture, and the Church down to our children. We have a great responsibility to teach our children well.
Part of Israel’s disobedience included intermarriage with the nations around them and allowing those nations to influence them away from serving God (cf. Judges 1:27-36; 2:1-2). We must be careful to maintain purity in the world. John will tell us not to “love the world nor the things of the world” (1Jo 2:15-17).
When we turn back to the time of the Judges, we see a repeating cycle in the lives of the Israelites as God deals with them.
- Idolatry surrounds them.
- They forsake God for idols.
- They are ungrateful for God’s direction.
- Israel ignores Godly leaders refuse to obey
- Their own stubborn will prevails.
- Guilty of spiritual adultery.
- Enemies overcome them.
- They cry out to God in oppression.
- God hears and sends a Judge.
- The people repent and God saves.
- They serve God for a while then . . .
Lessons to Learn
- 2 Tim 2:13 – God is faithful despite our unfaithfulness.
- Rom 1:18-2:2 – Sin has consequences.
- Titus 2:11 – God is merciful, long-suffering, and full of Grace.
- Idolatry and Ceremonialism: Israel returned to Idolatry and scripture tells us that the Early Church began to return to Ceremonialism. Right “acts of worship” took preeminence over true worship. Cf. Gal 1:6-7. They began looking to LAW instead of Grace through Faith. Cf. Gal 3:5. Seeking justification by LAW they alienated themselves from Christ. Cf. Gal 3:26ff.
- The Judge: God sent the Ultimate Judge in Christ Jesus. Each judge in the book of Judges serves as a shadow of the perfect Substance. Cf. Gal 5:1. Christ Came for Our Deliverance!