Seeking God’s merciful rescue to break the cycles of our rebellious sin.
The book of Judges can be easily overlooked in our Bibles, possibly because it's the hardest to look at. In this unique period in Israel's history, we see the gory consequences of rebelling against God. We see what it looks like when God gives people over to their carnal desires. We see how easy it is to get trapped in cycles of sin. We see what sin deserves. And if all of that is not scary enough, we see our own sin in that mirror.
Yet the grotesque colors of this book merely paint the backdrop against which the patience and mercy of God stand out boldly. We learn how to seek God's mercy, and how he is eager to deliver his people and restore them to right relationship with him.
The Cycle of Sin
This 6-week reading plan is designed to prepare you for the sermon each Sunday. Each week contains 5 days of readings with a central scripture passage to study. I pray these scriptures and readings will be as helpful to you as they have been to me as you seek the joy of abiding in Christ.
D Block's book Judges, Ruth
Earlier it was mentioned that the central theme of the Book of Judges is the Canaanization of Israel. Herein lies the key to the relevance of this ancient composition for North American Christianity, for like the Israelites of the settlement period, we have largely forgotten the covenant Lord and have come to take for granted his gracious redemptive work on our behalf. Like the ancient Israelites we too are being squeezed into the mold of the pagan world around us. Evidences of the “Canaanization” of the church are everywhere: our preoccupation with material prosperity, which turns Christianity into a fertility religion; our syncretistic and aberrant forms of worship; our refusal to obey the Lord’s call to separation from the world; our divisiveness and competitiveness; our moral compromises, as a result of which Christians and non-Christians are often indistinguishable; our [male] exploitation and abuse of women and children; our reluctance to answer the Lord’s call to service, and when we finally go, our propensity to displace “Thy kingdom come” with “My kingdom come”; our eagerness to fight the Lord’s battles with the world’s resources and strategies; our willingness to stand up and defend perpetrators of evil instead of justice. These and many other lessons will be drawn from the leaves of this fascinating book as we proceed.
(Block, D. I. (1999). Judges, Ruth (Vol. 6, p. 71). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)