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Friday, April 12, 2024

Seven Interesting Parallels in the book of Judges and the Present

 1. Failure to work together and giving up when things get tough. Once the individual tribes received their allotment, there still were areas to conquer. Though a few of the tribes joined together to help each other, most attempted to go it alone and only had limited success and gave up. [Judges 1:19, 21, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34.] 

 2. Failure to teach their children the ways of the Lord. “That whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors, After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works he had done for Israel.” [Judges 2:10; see also 3:1-4] 

 3. They cried out to God only when they thought they needed Him. When suffering the consequences of their idolatry at the hands of their enemies, they would cry out to God, who in mercy and grace would send a leader. Their desire to be released from their suffering was greater than their desire to seek and follow God. [A major theme throughout the book.] 

 4. Weaknesses of the leaders led them to worship the trappings of victory, rather than the God of victory. After Gideon’s triumph, the people began to worship the ephod he had made, rather than the God who had given them the victory. [Judges 8:27] 

 5. Leadership started well but failed to finish well. [Gideon, Judges 8:25-32] 

 6. The people chose leaders who openly violated God's laws, choosing those with the appearance of “strength” rather than Godly character and leadership. [Abimelech-Judges 9, Samson-Judges 13-16] 

 7. The people followed ‘their own truth,” and not God. “In those days there was no king in Israel, everyone did whatever seemed right to him.” [Judges 17:6, 21:25] 

 So What? 

Rather than culture shaping our beliefs, culture has had a greater influence than the church. We need to embrace the principles given in Scripture. Unfortunately, the Christian community is more recognized for the divisions within and the moral failures of leaders than for living examples of Christ’s teachings. We have failed to show to those outside of the church the difference Christ can make in living with integrity and emotional health. We need to seek and worship God because of Who He is, not just because of what He can do for us, and seek leadership who will do the same. 

Let’s join in prayer and repentance to become all that God calls us to be and share the Gospel that is “good news” for our day and culture.