Christ in the Book of Judges
presented by Ptr. Joedy
Ptr. Joedy reminds us of Joshua obeying as far as trying to drive the Canaanites out of the Promised Land, but there remained traces of the nations who weren’t supposed to be there. It’s a sobering lesson for us, as far as us not being able to totally finish what we were sent out to do. Nevertheless, God is able and faithful to help us in spite of our failures.
We see in the book of Judges a theme: It’s the tragedy of forsaking the Lord, and God’s untiring pursuit of love.
When Judges were present, the land was at peace. We see the importance not only of leaders and good leadership, but part of good leadership is actually raising good leaders as well. In Judges 2:7-19, we are able to see that Joshua’s generation was not able to effectively pass their legacy with the Lord to the new generation, and they suffered consequences.
Fortunately, even in these clear failures, God has still shown His mercy and compassion. We see this as a pattern in the book of Judges. There was a cycle beginning with silence, then sin, then brought into servitude by the enemy nations, followed by their supplication and crying out, followed by salvation… only to be brought back to silence, again.
When we take a look into the sins of the generations involved in the book of Judges, we don’t see much complaining and rebellion, but there was certainly much more idolatry. There was worship of other gods, to the point that they literally ‘played the harlot’ with these said gods.
It’s familiar to today – even if we are in the body of Christ, we may still be thrown into cycles familiar to this one, but we give thanks to God, because we have Christ, who has set us free of this cycle, once and for all.
That’s Jesus in the book of Judges: He is the Perfect Judge/King who saves, He is the only One who can break the cycle of sin and oppression in our own lives.
The first point is that He shows His approach by way of showing Mercy, not Judgment: God’s approach to man was The Ark of the Covenant covered by the mercy seat. He showed mercy by way of breaking the Sabbath law, showing Himself as subject to judgment but still showing mercy… also by His choosing of His disciples, such as sinners like Matthew. Ptr Joedy cites these instances only to emphasize that Christ desires mercy more than sacrifice.
But how can God be just and show mercy at the same time? Obviously, we’re guilty and deserving of justice.
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
The thing is, love and faithfulness met, righteousness and peace met, justice and mercy met by way of Jesus Christ. See Romans 5:20-21
The Law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
No matter how many sins are present, grace covers it all, and grace continues to reign.
Jesus is the real Judge, Jesus is the real Savior. We keep saying that God doesn’t call the qualified, but He qualifies the called. If we were really honest, we could see that even Jesus didn’t have “what it takes” according to worldly standards… in fact, He was rejected by men.
He certainly had unusual choices. Look at 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 – “God chose the weak things to shame the wise.”
Ptr Joedy goes on to point out one Judge: Gideon.
Gideon is known as the fearful Judge. He was not immediately convinced as the Angel of the Lord called him God’s mighty man of valor… but after their very unique conversation as read in Judges 6, Gideon was brought from fearful to fearless. The Spirit of the Lord came unto Gideon, and he blew the trumpet, essentially empowered by the Holy Spirit, impacted even without the salvation of Christ available. It goes to show that even in the Old Testament, we see God does not give a Spirit of fear, but a Spirit of Power and Sound Judgment.
I remember writing exactly about this back in the day. Gideon led the 300 who actually won, versus the 300 of Leonidas who eventually were betrayed and all died.
The 300 of Gideon carried 3 things, things that we have as well – (1) a sword, representative of the Word that we all ought to carry. (Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:17); (2) empty jars with torches inside, representative of who we are: clay containers carrying a treasure, a flame – Jesus Christ Himself, alive in us (2 Corinthians 4:7, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:3-4); and (3) the trumpet, representative of the victorious proclamation of Christ (Colossians 2:13-15).
By these three things we have in and through Christ, we celebrate victory, and we see victory as well!
Jesus is the final and true Judge of mankind – whoever believes in Jesus Christ will not be judged (John 5:24-30); We believe, and we have eternal life, we will not be judged, because we have moved from death to life.
Jesus has been given authority to judge, and He judges in coordination with His Father. It is as He has said – whoever believes in Him believes in the One who sent Him. It’s important that we live this out and celebrate it, that the rest of the world would see it and be brought into believing themselves… because until they do believe, they condemn themselves through their unbelief. (John 3:16-18)
We don’t condemn sinners in the body of Christ. Christ said it Himself: He did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. So we celebrate our salvation, over fault finding and condemnation! Mercy over judgment, indeed!
The Judge’s Commission is the great Commission: Matthew 28:18-20. We testify to the Gospel of Grace – forgiveness, repentance and remission of sin to be preached to the entire world!
In times of fear, remember the words of Jesus: “Do not fear”. In times that we need love, let us bask on His lavish love, in times of victories, let us not be hasty in making decisions or making promises, but let us be still and know that He is God.
This is our time to possess nations by way of making disciples, preaching the Gospel of Grace so that the nations may not be judged, but that they would receive eternal life in Jesus Christ.