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Why study the book of Judges

November 6, 2012

The book of Judges in the Old Testament is not a book we often turn to for encouragement and edification in living the Christian life or verses we share with one another. It contains much violence (and unusual violence such as secret assasination and murder with tent posts to name just a couple from the opening chapters). We may have heard some character studies of some of the books main players but not often do we look it as a whole book. However as I begin a series on this book at our church I want to give you three reasons why we should read and study this book.

The book of Judges is first and foremost about Kingship! It’s main message is choose a King. Without a King you will end up having apathy, apostasy, anarchy and probably all three. This is what happened in the book of Judges over and over again. It is a description of what happen when we have no King. “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Judges 21v25. It is also about choosing a good King. Both this book, and Ruth that follows it, were probably written (edited) by Samuel to put the case forward for a King from the tribe of Judah rather than from Benjamin. This was to install King David but ultimately to point the ultimate King, the King of kings – Jesus. So this book reminds you to follow somone – follow Jesus.

The book is also about claiming your inherirtance. The people of God had been given a land by God but now had to claim what was rightfully theirs and to learn to fight to claim and hold onto it. (see Judges 3:1-2). As Christians we have not been given a land but God’s shalom – peace, wholeness, beauty, friendship…. but like the people of Judges we need to fight for it, in our lives, families, work places, towns. We don’t fight with the weapons of the world (2 Cor 10:4-6) but weapons of word of God, faith and prayer. So let us fight with these weapons for our families, towns etc.

The book is finally about deliverance. The judges were not legal judges as we know the term but deliverers who brought freedom.  Not these sort of judges

The book reminds us that there is hope for all, however dire the mess we are in, as we cry out to God he will bring deliverance. But it is also about how the one Judge (11v27)  uses humans in their weakness, failings, doubts and fickleness to bring about his deliverance. As you read about the human judges it gives hope that God can use any of us – he is interested not in my ability but my availability. God can use you to bring freedom to your family, your church, your work place, your town if you are available and listening!

So go on – with these three themes in your mind, jump in and read the book of Judges.

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2 Comments
  1. Jon permalink

    I believe the book of Judges and the book of Ruth was originally one book. As such should these be studied as a pair to get the full message or is judges enough?

    • Thanks – one reason why they follow each other in the bible. Not necessary as they have their unique message but helpful. That is why after a Christmas period interlude at WBC we will spend three weeks in Ruth.

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