Praise in Judges
HIS provision of good leadership (2:16);
HIS grace and compassion toward us (2:18; 10:15-16);
HIS spirit, who empowers and delivers us (3:10);
HIS dominion over evil (5:31);
HIS patience with our lack of faith (6:39-40);
Strength, which comes from him and not from human might (7:7);
HIS attentiveness to the prayers of his servants (13:8-9); and
HIS willingness to accomplish his desires through imperfect people (16:28-30).
Worship in Judges
Again and again the newly formed Israelite community broke trust with God. Lacking strong, central leadership, the people “did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (21:25) and followed the gods of the people living among them. And time and again the Lord reached out to them in grace, raising up a leader who brought them back to God (3:9, 15; 4:3; 10:10-16).
From the dark stories of Judges we learn that God’s faithfulness is infinitely greater than our unfaithfulness. Though it may seem at times that human beings have a limitless capacity for evil, we see in the book of Judges a God who has not given up on us. When we turn to the Lord in the midst of our failure, we find his heart already turned toward us, waiting to show mercy.
Judges confirms that idolatrous worship spreads its poison quickly and effectively. And each time the Israelites were lured by the worship of false gods, their hearts were captured by them (2:12, 17, 19). This idolatry is dangerous, because inevitably the hearts of worshipers become attached to the god they worship, and they will sacrifice anything for it. Our society bears the truth of this principle. Many worship at the feet of pleasure and power and often become completely obsessed with acquiring things, despite the damage this may cause. Instead, let us choose to worship the Lord and give our heart to him.
God is greatly displeased with unfaithfulness (2:1-4).
Our devotion to God must not be compromised by rival affections (2:12-15).
Hardship refines worship and exposes lukewarm commitment to God (2:22).
Song and music are gifts that should be used to celebrate God’s deeds (5:1-31).
God calls us to challenge the false gods of this world (6:28).
Religious symbols and objects can become a trap if they do not point us to God (8:27).
The Lord will not bless improper, selfishly motivated worship (17:10-13).