Summary: 1 of 5 messages on the book of Judges. This message is introductory and covers the first 3 chapters of Judges. The cycle of sin and repentance.
The Verdict on Judges
One Generation Away From Ruin
February 5, 2006
This is the reality of every age and every nation. It has always been so.
From the time of Noah and his sons to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah we are just one generation separated from ruin. Consider the great civilizations, empires, dynasties, and nations from the birth of history until our time. In times past there were the Babylonians, Greeks, Medes, Persians, Egyptians, Chinese, Carthaginians, Romans, Goths, Ottoman Turks, Russians, Germans, British, Spanish, and French. In every one of theses nations there is a time of greatness and a time of ruin – always just one generation removed.
The chosen people of God are no exception. The children of Jacob – Israel were a great people in the days of the exodus. Under Moses they came through the wilderness into the Promised Land. Under Joshua they took the land. Under the Judges they lost it – well almost.
What we see in the book of Judges is a downward spiral of sin and despair leading to ruin. It’s played out over and over as each generation discovers how close to ruin it is.
This is not the plan for man. Our God is a God of covenants and promises. He desires to pour out his great blessings on us. One of my favorites is in Deuteronomy 28:13
The Promises of God
13 The LORD will make you like the head and not like the tail; you will be on top and not on bottom. But you must obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today, being careful to keep them.
But the promises of God are unrealized because of our failure… In the book of Judges we see this and so much more.
In the case of Israel the promises don’t come true. Israel gets the land, but never gets everything that God wanted for them. Is it that God does not keep his promises? The New Testament has promises as well.
Can we trust these promises? Do we enjoy these promises? If not, why not? Has God failed to keep his promises to us?
Studying through the OT reveals that God is not at fault – it is His people. But what did they do to disqualify themselves from the promises of God?
In the book of Judges we will see many things and learn many lessons. They will guide us into being a people who possess the promises of God.
The Book of Judges
Israel’s Downward Spiral
Chronologically, Judges takes place after Joshua has lead the people into the promised land and continues until the coronation of King Saul. (About 325 years)
Definitively, a judge is not a person who determines guilt or innocence in criminal cases. He or she is a person who delivers their people from their enemies. They are real people with real flaws and not always someone to be imitated. That’s one of the characteristics of the Bible – it lays out the truth, unvarnished and raw.
Thematically, we detect a cycle in the book of Judges that Israel goes through over and over.