I have been reading through the book of Judges and have found the book very instructive of successful Christian living.
First the book begins with a people who are so blessed by God, called out of the nations, commanded and commissioned to be a special people to the Lord and given precious promises and guarantees about their future and destiny, which were conditioned on their faithfulness to God’s covenants and instructions.
Unfortunately, the book begins with a record of their failing. They failed to drive out the Canaanites as God had required of them. They failed to destroy their altars and idols, which became a snare to them. They became entangled with the Canaanites and indulged in their sinful habits. They failed to live in righteousness as God intended and He turned against them.
As a consequence, God allowed their enemies to overrun and enslave them. They were oppressed and impoverished. They suffered greatly until they cried out to God in repentance. God in turn forgave them and raised a deliverer, whom he used to deliver them from their enemies after their repentance.
Unfortunately after about 40 years, they would go back to the same abominable practices that precipitated their enslavement. Then the Lord would depart from them and their enemies would again overrun and oppress them. When they reached the extremity of suffering, they would again remember their God, repent their sin and cry out to Him for rescue.
Once again the Lord would forgive them and raise another Judge to deliver them and lead them out of captivity and to prosperity.
This cycle continued until a time came when the Lord allowed a dispensation in Israel where there were no Leaders. Everybody did what was right in his own eyes. Chaos, divisions, insecurity, idolatry, treachery, immorality, murder and violence became the order of the day. This time it was not their enemies, but themselves oppressing each other.
The lessons in the book of Judges are very relevant to us in the church. We have the same God who is righteous and hates sin. He deals with us in the same manner, for He does not change His character. We therefore need to take heed to the lessons from this Book.
Here then is a summary of the lessons from the book of Judges:-
- God is Holy and requires His people to be holy too.
- The greatest danger for God’s people is being contaminated by the world around them.
- We are called upon to engineer our environment to avoid contamination – drive out the Canaanites
- God turns against his people when they entertain and institutionalize sin in their midst.
- God is merciful and forgiving whenever his people repent their sins.
- God hears the cry of the penitent and restores them.
- God orders and blesses His people by raising and ordaining leadership for His people.
- Godly living requires commitment to Godly leadership.
- Where there is no leadership, there is no light and darkness takes advantage to the detriment of all.