Focus – book of Judges
There are times that we are doomed to repeat failure again and again. You work out, eat better, and lose 25 pounds. Yet, little by little it came back. Now you have to work at it all over again. The same is true with other behaviors like getting up early, stopping smoking, or cutting back on television. It is easy ot commit to something drastic when there is a crisis, but when things start going well, we fall back in the old habits. Doomed to repeat our failures is the theme of the book of Judges. Over this 330 year period, the people fell away from God, were conquered by a neighboring people, and helped by God only to do it all over again. They just couldn’t remain loyal to God.
Everyone does their own thing - Judges 6:10 Judges begins in the days after Joshua. The conquest of the Promised Land and the miracles that God had done seem long forgotten. The people had shown enormous faith in Joshua’s day. Now, their children had forgotten God and started worshipping the sensuous false gods around them. God rescues them from their enemies and they had believed in Him for a while only to return to their wicked ways. You would have thought that they had learned, but the people were fickle and wanted to do their own thing.
God chooses the weakest to show His greatness Judges 6:15 Yet, when the people cried out, God sent help. God picks a man who is the least in a very weak clan in the nation to save them. He is not the man anyone would have picked, but God did it for a purpose. He wanted everyone to see that salvation would come by God’s power and not because some great warrior came out of the woodwork. Amazingly God is patient and slowly builds Gideon’s faith so that the people can be rescued.
God demonstrates He is worth following Judges 7:7 So Gideon calls for an army and amazingly 32K men showed up to fight the Midian army that had over 200K. God begins to pare down the army to only 300 men. He doesn’t want anyone to say that the army saved them. It was time for them to see what the Lord could do so that they might trust Him. God would defeat this mighty army with just a few men. He would do a miracle so that people might remember what God had done.
Doing their own thing again Judges 8:33 Yet, the death of Gideon brought an end to Godly faith and found the people worshipping Baal again. The people forgot what God had done for them. They went back to their old ways and worshipped gods of clay and wood that they could see instead of the almighty God who had saved them. They wanted gods who would do whatever the people thought was best. The spiral continued and an opportunity for revival is missed.
Judges is the story of a people destined to repeat their pain. They remember God only long enough to call out in their pain. As soon as times get nice, they want to do their own thing. They wanted the pleasures of life and the easy way. God was soon forgotten. And so the cycle will repeat for them. Wanting to live without God, they will live outside His protection. They will live without His wisdom and stuff will just happen. They will find themselves in trouble and wonder why God didn’t protect them. They are fools and doomed to repeat disasters through life. The wise will build a lasting relationship with the Lord that carries through good and bad times. They will let the Lord guide and protect them. They will lean on Him and learn from Him. God’s dream for His people still has this same struggle today.