When we open our Bibles to the book of Judges, we find a bleak and desperate time in the history of the Old Testament. The people are wandering from idol to idol, forgetting the narrative that has marked them as children of God. This time period can be explained in the final sentence of the book of Judges. "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes" (Judges 21:25). Simply put, there was no leader. Joshua was dead. Moses had been long dead. The ones that the children of Israel had relied on to keep them on track were no longer present. They entered the promised land with great victories, but as Joshua warned at the end of his life, their sin would create havoc for them (Joshua 24:14-18).
The overall story of Judges can be discouraging but it also interjects a future hope. God is at work within these dark stories even when the people are faced with the consequences of their sin.
God sent Himself, through deliverers, called Judges. Over 325 years, the book of Judges records six periods of oppression and deliverance with the careers of 12 deliverers. The Spirit of God would rest on these judges to accomplish a task of deliverance during their darkest days. These men and women would arise to rescue God's people from their mistakes. Each judge came from a different background, and each had unique strengths and weaknesses. However, as you read about them, it is good to note that God did not ordain all of their actions.
God was committed to His mission during the Old Testament, and He still is today. We live in a world that is full of darkness and sin. But, God is still sending us, His people, to bring the deliverer. He sent Himself, in the form of His Spirit resting upon men and women, but now, He sends us with the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
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