Summary: Does revival come in cycles of sin and repentance? Let's look at three revivals under Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar in Judges 3.
Does revival come in cycles of sin and repentance?
Othniel was Caleb’s younger brother, and the first of Israel’s judges. The history of the judges describes a cycle of apostasy, punishment and revival. Judge Othniel reveals a familiar story, “...the children of Israel did evil … the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel … the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer...” (Judges 3:7-11 NKJV)
Have our people sinned against God? We may also have the “Spirit of the Lord,” come from a family loyal to God’s servants, and our calling may be as a chieftain who will fight to deliver our people from slavery to sin. The land may have “rest for forty years” because we faithfully prevailed over the enemies of God’s people. Courage is still a requirement.
Rejoice, lovers of God, that God still has heroes of the faith who will rise up and bring revival.
As the cycle of sin, repentance and revival continues under Ehud, what can we learn?
Again Israel “did evil” and they suffered eighteen years of subjugation to Moab as punishment. A cry went out to the Lord for deliverance. Delivery at the hands of Ehud was accomplished by his assassination of Moab’s king. And Ehud blew the battle trumpet for war, finally claiming victory over Israel’s oppressors. Peace reigned for another 80 years (Judges 3:12-30).
Rejoice, lovers of God, that when people cry out to God in repentance, He hears.
Did God again raise up a hero in Shamgar to bring revival?
Shamgar’s revival is only briefly mentioned in Judges 3:31, “After him [Ehud] was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; and he also delivered Israel.” (NKJV) Revival came once more at the hands of another hero.
Rejoice, lovers of God, that deliverance is part of a revival.