Starting Judges today, we continue to follow Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land. The book starts off with the death of Joshua (a grim start), which quickly leads to Israel being led astray by the surrounding nations. Fortunately, God begins raising up judges (or leaders) in order to get the Israelites back on the right track. This seems to be a temporary fix, though, because whenever a judge dies, Israel seems to slip right back into sin.
Judges 2:18 “Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them.”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
God is someone who uses people to do his work. On top of that, his patience with the Israelites is incomprehensible. I am so glad that I serve a God who is willing to send people into my life to help me even when I’m being a knucklehead.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
It’s amazing that God chooses to use people to guide other people. He could easily just MAKE us do the right thing by force, but he chooses instead to guide us with mentors, disciplers, and even friends. This scripture helps me to see my fellow disciples as people who guide me toward Godliness and righteousness.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
I know I don’t enjoy when I receive rebukes, or even am told I’m not doing things right. I think that Judges 1-5 is an excellent example of how we need to seek out discipleship in our lives and not shy away from correction. That said, it is also important not to shy away from giving that correction. I want to be someone who God can use to effect change in people’s lives, and I can’t do that if avoid all confrontation.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
Just like the Israelites, it is so easy to stray from God and the life He wants us to live. Even though we constantly mess up, we can always find redemption through Jesus. The parallel between Jesus and the judges God appointed in Israel is truly remarkable; whenever we have Jesus (and, by extension, Godly people) in our lives, we are righteous in God’s eyes, and whenever we don’t, we easily fall into sin.