Read: Judges 6:1-10
If you had to give a quick description of a judge, what would you say? Someone like Judge Judy, a person in a long black robe, or better yet - one of those old school judges with the white wigs in curlers?
Picture this: the judges in the Bible were great rulers of the people - and also successful leaders of the military! That’s right, no black robes or white wigs - these judges would’ve been sent by God to rescue the Israelites over and over and over again. In fact, over a period of 125 years, God had sent a total of twelve judges to rescue his people from their oppressive neighbors.
During this time, the Israelites had no king – God was supposed to be their King, but they would turn from God and forget the great things he had done. As the verse says in Judges 21:25, everyone did whatever was right in their own eyes.
The cycle begins with disobedience; the Israelites turn away from God and turn to the idols of the goddess Asherah and Baal, the god of fertility. God would then send judgment in the form of oppression by some huge powerful nations. After a time of oppression, the Israelites would cry out to God, and God in his mercy would send a judge to save his people.
The same cycle over and over.
In Judges 6-8, the Midianites (a very cruel nation) oppressed the Israelites by destroying their crops and livestock, which drove them to utter starvation. When the Israelites cried out to God, he reminded them that they brought this on themselves by refusing to obey God’s command to not worship other gods. It was a hard pill to swallow, but for seven years the Midianites oppressed his people, which caused them to finally repent - and that’s the backdrop.
Tomorrow we’ll meet the judge that God called to save his people from the Midianites, but today try to identify with a similar plot that plays out in our world today. Our nation isn’t exactly focused on God, and most times challenges everything that he calls us to do or say. The age of judges is over, but remember that God has sent his own son Jesus to lead us and save us.
Is God calling us to point people towards Jesus during this time - a time where everyone again is doing what is right in their own eyes? Is God asking you to proclaim Jesus as Savior and King publicly in this dark world?