Judging the Judges
Recently a friend and brother in Christ began texting me some questions on things he had been reading in the Book of Judges. After rejoicing that my brother was reading Judges, and praying that the Lord would increase his tribe in the church I pastor, I set out to provide a few responses to his inquires. Responses, I trust, that were faithful to God and His Word.
The Book of Judges is not the easiest to sort out. Let’s face it. It was a crazy time in Israel. It was an in-between time in Israel. The Promised Land had been conquered (at least most of it) under Joshua’s leadership. The nation of Israel was a theocracy – a people under the Kingship of God Himself. But humanly speaking they were organized tribally, like a confederacy of sorts. And they were a people under Law-Covenant. No earthly kings or prophets were yet reigning or proclaiming in the nation of Israel. And yet there were challengers and challenges rising up against them (those pesky Canaanites not conquered by Joshua) seemingly at every turn. So, yeah, it was a different epoch of history for sure. And keeping this all in mind will help us rightly interpret the events and people of the Book of Judges.
The Book is named “Judges” because of the men (and a woman) whom the Lord raised up during this period of history to defend Israel from her oppressors and rescue her from God’s own righteous judgment. These “judges” acted more as military leaders, and sometimes as civic leaders. God used them to restore peace to His people. Some are famous. Think Samson. Others obscure. Think Shamgar.
Rather than pontificate on all the daily news events around the globe (goodness knows there are plenty of bloggers out there giving us amazing biblical insight into all of that), I want to just use this blog in the weeks ahead to help my few readers grapple with this Book of the Bible called Judges. I want to help us rightly judge the Judges. Learn to appreciate the truths and treasures God has tucked away in the sometimes insane folds of this Book. Soak up truths about God, about mankind at his worst and best, about the Law Covenant, about redeeming grace, and about the Gracious Redeemer. It’s all there, plus some!
May God grant us the eyes to see wondrous things in His Word. Even in the Book of Judges.