Judges – Written for Canadians
Big Idea: Although Samuel wrote this book 3500 years ago, it is as relevant as today’s Vancouver Sun. In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25 NKJV
Scripture: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Romans 1:18-25 NASB
The cycle that the Book of Judges illustrates, seven times, is the same today as it was in Samuel’s day. This is the story of how a nation deteriorates, which is exactly how a believer can deteriorate, if we are not careful. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 NASB
- God’s purpose while we are on earth is to take us out of Egypt (slavery to sin) through the Wilderness (the school of life) and into Canaan (our destiny), but along the path of the Christian life, there are perils, or land mines to watch out for. The believers of the Book of Judges thought they were doing right but had lost their moral compass and had replaced the objective authority of God and his Word, with what they felt was right.
- 2. The pattern of defeat was always the same. They didn’t deal with the root issues. Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Nahalol; so the Canaanites lived among them and became subject to forced labor. Judges 1:30 NASB
- God allows us to be trapped by our decisions. Now the angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you, and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done? “Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they will become as thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you.’” Judges 2:1-3 NASB
I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.
Hosea 5:15 NASB
So they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. The anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had spoken and as the Lord had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed. Judges 2:13-15 NASB
- God constant grace is given to remind us of our need for him.
So in their distress they cried out to God. Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.
Judges 2:16 NASB
Application: I passed by the field of the sluggard and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense, And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles; Its surface was covered with nettles, And its stone wall was broken down. When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction. Proverbs 24:30c-32 NASB
- Can we see ourselves and our nation in this mirror?
- Have the gods of Mammon, success, entertainment, sexual permissiveness, self-centeredness replaced our worship of our God and Creator?
- Is there any place where I’m not taking God Seriously?
The good news! As per this cycle, our neighbours and friends are most open to God and his ways when they are in the bottom of the cycle. Sickness, divorce, financial trouble, death and inner confusion are open doors for the Good News of God’s love.
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