Summary: Grace

April 17, 2021

JC RYLE: Read the Bible with CHRIST constantly in view. The whole Book is about Him. Look for Him on every page. He is there. If you fail to see Him there, you need to read that page again.

Today we find ourselves in the book of Judges. We tend to ignore Judges for the same reason we ignore Numbers…….. There’s lots of bloodshed and judgment, but it’s also full of grace, that’s right, GRACE.

And that’s My Favorite Thing about the book of JUDGES --- GRACE – the free and unmerited favor of God.

• Ellen White {AG 10.2}: We should never have learned the meaning of this word "grace" had we not fallen…. Grace is an attribute of God shown to undeserving human beings. We did not seek after it, but it was sent in search of us…. Our need is the qualification which gives us the assurance that we shall receive this gift.

Before we dive into My Favorite Thing, we have a question to ask: Why is there so much judgment in Judges?

We must start with the wilderness wandering. At the beginning of the journey, God had declared that He would be their God and they would be His people:

Exodus 6:7 - I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.

AND the people promised to obey:

Exodus 24:7 - Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey."

They were not particularly successful.

Remember Ellen Whites comments {PP 292-293}: They forgot --- They forgot --- They forgot --- They forgot --- They forgot!!!

God gave instructions and emblems to keep Him – their Redeemer and Sustainer – first and foremost in their minds and at the end of Joshua we read:

Joshua 24:14-18 - "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness…. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

• 16 Then the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! …. We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God."

HOWEVER, when Joshua died, Israel’s connection to God went on life support…. They rejected Him as their redeemer, leader, defender, sustainer, etc. They committed spiritual adultery by pursuing the gods of the nations around them.

Judges 2:10 - After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.

They had failed to “tell it to their children.”

There are 4 verses scattered throughout Judges that give us an indication of the things to come:

Judges 17:6 - In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.

Judges 18:1 - In those days Israel had no king.

Judges 19:1 - In those days Israel had no king.

Judges 21:25 - In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.

The people willingly chose to worship other gods. They willingly chose to no longer serve God and did what was right in their own eyes. They didn’t want Him anymore --- He had outlived His usefulness --- so, God respected their wishes and stepped aside – withdrawing His protection - {See Romans 1:20-24}, AND BAD THINGS HAPPENED.

Judges 2:10-18

• Israel did evil

• God withdrew His protection.

• Israel was oppressed and eventually begged God to deliver them.

• God raised up a judge – EVERYTIME.

• When the judge died, the people went back to worshipping other gods.

Practically the entire book is a tale of Rebellion – Withdrawal – Crying – Redemption {wash-rinse-repeat} and that’s where GRACE comes in:

Judges 3:7-9 (Othniel)

• The sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord

• He sold them into the hands of the king of Mesopotamia (8 years)

• The sons of Israel cried to the Lord

• The Lord raised up Othniel to deliver them (40 years of peace) = GRACE – unmerited favor

Judges 3:12-30 (Ehud)

• The sons of Israel once again did evil in the sight of the Lord

• The Lord strengthened Eglon King of Moab (18 years)

• The sons of Israel cried to the Lord

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