Judges 21:25 and Conclusion

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 25, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” (Judges 21:25)

After writing on the book of Judges for most of the last year and a half (since March 28, 2016!), this is the last post on the book of Judges. The very last verse of the book, quoted above, sums up the entire story pretty well.

This time in Israel was a period of unrest and anarchy. The people were often without a leader between each of the judges that God provided, so at those times they lived in idolatry and immorality. Sin was prominent, both individually and on a national level, so God repeatedly allowed punishment to come on them as they would get attacked or captured by their enemies.

Back in April of 2016, I wrote about a 5-step pattern of repetition in the book of Judges. The pattern is this:

  1. Sin - The people disobey God.
  2. Slavery - God allows them to be enslaved by their enemies.
  3. Supplication - The people cry out to God for deliverance.
  4. Salvation - God delivers them.
  5. Silence - There is a time of peace.

We saw this pattern repeated many times throughout the book, and it really is the natural cycle of human life. We mess up in some way, God gives us a consequence for that according to His natural law, we realize we messed up and cry out to God for forgiveness, God forgives us, and we have a time of peace before we start the cycle all over again by messing up. They did what they thought was right, which often didn’t line up with what God wanted them to do.

We look back at Israel in the book of Judges and often think, “How stupid were they, that they didn’t learn already?!” But we need to remember that they would go through this cycle over a course of decades, not just in a day or two. Every generation needed to experience it in order to learn from it. If we take an honest look at our own lives, we’ve probably gone through this same cycle more times than we’d like to admit.

So, what have I learned from the last 18 months of writing on the book of Judges?

Even with my many years of Christian education, I had never done this detailed of a reading or study through the book of Judges. I had studied many parts of it before, but never the entire thing like this. I learned many details to the stories that I had never realized before, and I read some stories in the book that I don’t believe I had ever read previously.

I learned about the other nations surrounding Israel and their interactions. Back in May - June 2016, I wrote on a number of different people groups from that time period that I really didn’t know much about prior to this study.

By far the biggest truth I learned from this study on Judges was that you will reap what you sow! If you turn away from God and disobey Him, eventually He will let you get punished for that choice. But when we turn back to God, He is always there welcoming us back.

My religion class teacher from 9th grade summed up this theory well: “O=B and D=C.” That stands for Obey = Blessed and Disobey = Cursed, which is God’s natural law in a nutshell. When we obey Him, we will be blessed. When we disobey Him, we will be cursed. This is what Israel needed to keep learning and re-learning throughout the book of Judges, and we need to keep learning and re-learning this in our own lives as well.

Thanks for joining me on this journey through Judges, and stay tuned for something new next week!

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