Recently in the One Cause Ministry, we began a sermon series through the Old Testament book of Judges. Judges ismy favorite book in the entire Old Testament. Equally filled with amazing, heroic acts of faith and dubious and cowardly acts of unbelief, there is one constant throughout Judges--God's faithfulness. While the book overwhelmingly shows the fallen nature of man that knows no bounds, it triumphantly declares God's faithfulness, mercy, and grace to His people, Israel.
As we began the series just this month, I tried to focus our attention on some very specific themes throughout Judges as we study through it. Really, these truths can be seen throughout both the Old and New Testaments, not just Judges. What can be learned from a book thevividly, and sometimes graphically displays the sinful, fallen nature of man?
1. God relentlessly offers His grace to people who do not deserve it, seek it, or even appreciate it after they have been saved by it—The book of Judges is not about a series of role models, the point is to show that the only true Savior is the Lord. Judges isultimately about grace abounding to even the worst of sinners. God’s grace is able even beyond the stupidest acts.
2. God wants lordship over every area of our lives, not just some—God wanted Israel to take the whole land of Canaan, but instead, they cleared out only some and learned to live with idols. Essentially, they neither wholly rejected God nor wholly accepted Him. Halfway discipleship and compromise is an impossible, unstable compound as Judges depicts. God wants all of us, not just some.
3. There is a need for continual spiritual renewal in our lives—Judges shows a spiritual decline to be inevitable and that spiritual renewal is a continual need. Read through Judges and you will see regular and repeated cycles of this taking place. The key often lacking in Judges is finding and following the source for continued renewal—God alone.
4. God is in charge, no matter what it looks like—What should be the most obvious theme may be the easiest to miss! God often seems absent from the craziness of Judges, but He never is. He is at work through weak people and in spite of weak people. One man stated, “The mills of God may grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine.”
I hope you will read, study, and even meditate in and on the book of Judges, with this kind of fresh perspective. While we are a fallen people, we have a faithful God.
- Pastor David