Monday, February 23, 2009

Intro to the Book of Judges

“Oops, I did it again.”
Britney may have made these words famous, but she didn’t originate the concept. In fact these words summarize perfectly the recurring cycle we find in the biblical Book of Judges, the events of which took place about 1220 BC to 1050 BC. The entire book demonstrates a national downward spiral of sin, suffering, supplication, salvation, sin, suffering…
The setting? The Israelites’ promised land, following centuries in Egyptian bondage and forty years of wilderness wandering. God had parted the Red Sea, given them daily manna, kept their shoes from wearing out, given them daytime clouds so the desert wouldn’t fry them and nighttime fire so the desert wouldn’t freeze them. And then He finally brought them home to the land of their ancestors. So do you think they responded in worship and love? Of course not. They’d do okay for a little while and then blow it. Over and over. And over. Oops.

Kind of like us.

Sometimes we learn from our own mistakes; when we’re wiser, we learn from the mistakes of others. The Book of Judges, if we pay close attention, will help us learn the easier way. (So join us here for a study that starts in March.)

Why the title, “Judges”? In contemporary times we think of a judge as someone who presides in court. But judges then served both as judicial officials and clan chieftains. And God directed ancient Israel for a time through these judicial-chieftan leaders, male and female. (The image above: Jael showing Barak the dead body of Sisera, whom Judge Deborah helped him defeat.) Our foray together into the Book of Judges will give us a glimpse of the Lord’s greatness despite humanity’s weakness.

If you’re imperfect but you have a big God, you’ve come to the right place!

No comments: