Snapshots: Day 139
The Snapshot: “Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them.” (Jud 2:16) In many ways Judges is depressing, for Israel reveal the folly, stupidity and sinfulness of mankind who are so prone to turning away from the Lord and forgetting all His blessings. It happened again and again throughout the period of the judges. And it shows again and again the pathway to salvation – calling on the Lord. When Israel got desperate, they cried to the Lord and the wonderful thing was He never turned around and snapped, “Oh, go away you stupid people!” He always responded positively and raised up a new deliverer, a new judge, to save them. As gloomy as it is, it is a book that reveals the wonder of the Lord’s incredible and wonderful persevering love, grace and mercy. Thank and worship Him for it.
Further Consideration: I have written in a previous study here that I find the book of Judges somewhat depressing, this book that reveals a cycle of turning away from the Lord, getting into a mess being oppressed by their ungodly neighbors, crying out to the Lord and Him then raising up a savior-Judge for them, a cycle that is repeated again and again and again!
And yet I have to add, that having recently done a study on the history of Israel through the Old Testament, I have seen more clearly than ever before, that this turning away from the Lord is not restricted to Judges, for it appears right the way throughout the entire Old Testament period history. I find myself writing again and again in such studies that one of the reasons that the Lord brought Israel into being must surely be to reveal the sinfulness of mankind and our need for a Savior. Yes, it also reveals the wonderful grace and mercy of God and that is revealed here in our starter verse today: “Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them.” If He hadn’t have done that the we would be left wondering if their period of survival would have been much shorter than it was after what became the divided kingdom. The northern kingdom lasted a little over two hundred years and the southern kingdom a little over three hundred years before being taken into exile, Even then, amazingly, the Lord leaned on a pagan king, Cyrus, to get him to send His people back to the land after forty years,
I have a feeling that in this twenty-first century, the Christian Church is often not very good at understanding Sin and its devastating effects in alienating us from God and the wonder of the life He has for mankind. Even those of us who have been convicted by the Spirit and brought to repentance soon, it seems, become easy going about what Sin means, forgetting that this self-centred godless propensity is something to be fought against continually with the Lord’s help. Don’t forget that.