But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them…Judges 3:9 (ESV)
This verse from chapter three appears several times throughout the book of Judges and contains the main idea of the entire book. God’s people rebel, they are given over to what holds them captive, they are in misery and cry out for God’s help, and God is faithful and true to deliver them…again and again. It became very predictable and quite frankly sad. However, it serves as a mirror for our own stories. We have all refused to lay things down, whether it’s a vice or a character flaw. Anyone who has followed Jesus for a long time knows all too well, what it is like to repent for the same thing time and time again. God’s patience endured then, just as it does now.
In the previous book, Joshua had successfully led the people of Israel in capturing the promised land, divided the land, and called them to serve the Lord as he and His family were resolved to do (Joshua 24:15). In Joshua’s last days and especially after his passing, the people of Israel walked away from God. They walked in such a way that the world around them said was good and ended up in misery. They compromised their faith and pursuit of God and traded it in for the corruption of the world.
Throughout the book, God raises up 12 judges to guide the people back to His love, yet they fall away each time one of the judges is gone. God’s loving kindness is so amazing. His patience in our lives is unmistakable and undeserved, yet He remains true to us. It breaks my heart to know the times I have acted like the Israelites in the book of Judges, yet I press forward attempting to surrender my whole heart completely to Him.
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,Psalm 36:5-9 NIV
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
While Jesus is the full embodiment of God’s redemptive love, the book of Judges tells a story of a patient God who forgives and who saves, regardless of whether we deserve it or not. In that, we can have peace. In the next post for this series, we’ll be looking at the life and experiences of King David and how that reflects God’s redemptive plan. If you want to look at the first five posts on this topic click on the following links: God’s Redemptive Love Part V: Moses, God’s Redemptive Love Part IV: Joseph, God’s Redeeming Love Part III: Abraham, God’s Redemptive Love Part II: Noah, and God’s Redemptive Love Part I: Adam and Eve.
God bless you brothers and sisters.