Focal Passages: Judges 1:1-3:6
We all remember the pictures and coverage of 9/11 in our country. That day symbolized the crisis that our country is facing in the world arena today. How have we gotten from being the country that others admired and looked to, to one that has become the target of hate and distrust? How is it that other religions condemn Christianity because of us? Are we moving into that cycle that Israel faced?
This unit on “People in Crisis” could (should) be a massive wake-up call to Christians and the Church in America today. Just because we live in the “Age of Grace” does not negate God’s dealing with people. The Book of Judges can be relegated to the dark halls of history, pertaining to days long ago, or it can speak loudly to us today.
Judges is a book of cycles. Actually, the same cycle repeated over and over. The nation of Israel, under God’s favor, became strong and enjoyed peace and prosperity. Enjoying the blessing, they began to take God for granted. They took credit for it. They soon looked at other cultures as having it so good, and brought their beliefs into the land of Palestine. God loved them too much to let them continue on this path. So, He began to judge and discipline them. In small ways at first, increasing in intensity to get their attention. Since they continued on their path, ignoring God, He eventually allowed their enemies to defeat them and oppress them. They looked more to others than to God, so He allowed others to rule over them.
In time this oppression drove them back to God, and in His infinite love and compassion, He would send a deliverer to rescue them. And then they would begin to enjoy peace and prosperity.
Judges is a book of cycles. The nation of Israel, under God’s favor enjoyed peace and prosperity – and they began to take God for granted. As we look at our churches and our country today – should we take a lesson from this book and turn back before it is too late?