Have you ever been on a roller coaster? If not, you are about to experience an emotional one. The book of Judges is a series of ups and downs for Israel. We go down when Israel would rebel, and God would allow an oppressor to rise up against them. Then, we go up when God would raise up a “judge” to deliver them and lead them. When the judge died, the process would start over again. We are thankful this was not how God intended to keep humanity on the straight and narrow. However, it is an essential part of the history of redemption as it will show the way of humanity when left to its own devices.
Read Judges 2:6-3:6
The first thing that jumps out is that there seems to be a breakdown in the family. Deuteronomy 6:7-9, reminds us to diligently teach ourselves and our children about God with every opportunity we are given. In our reading, we find out there came a generation that did not know the Lord (Judges 2:10). There are only two plausible reasons for this breakdown. First, they were not taught about the Lord. Still, the previous generations we are told did follow the Lord, so maybe that is not the strongest of the reasons. More likely, it means they had not personally experienced anything with God. The Biblical use of the word “knew” typically carries the nuance of experiential knowledge. Adam and Eve knew they were naked, not just mentally but by experience. When Scripture talks about that a man knew his wife, it is not talking about a sudden revelation that he was actually married. Instead, it notes the fact the couple had intimate knowledge of each by experience. The lesson we learn in this book is that it is not only essential to disciple our children in God’s Word but to help them experience God’s presence.
Another critical point of the passage is the need for godly leaders. There is indeed a dearth of leadership in both secular and religious groups. Moral failures abound among those that lead others. However, God is still able to raise up great leaders. Yes, they are not perfect and are still men and women living in a broken world. God is bigger than our imperfections and is able to lead us by His Spirit as we lead others. Also, each one of us has available that same Spirit. Before the birth of the Church at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit did not make himself readily open to anyone. Now, He fills each believer to help them fulfill God’s will in their life.