Archive for the ‘ Joshua’ Category

The Truth is in Judges…

Saturday January 20, 2007

I’m not starting a new study in this book at the moment, but I heard a talk last night (by Little Mo, the UCCF Relay organiser),  on Gideon which began by setting it in the context of the book of Judges. In case I forgot what he said, I wanted to jot down the big thought.

There are many parts of the Old Testament which are interesting in themselves, but it can be tricky to know how we are to understand and apply them. The “we’re the Israelites” approach in OT history can be misleading. Not only can it lead to inappropriate ideas about how to live (kill all the unbelievers that we meet, anyone?) but it makes the Old Testament about us, rather than about Jesus. So when I read Judges, in what way should I be expecting it to teach me about Jesus? Here is where Mo steps in…

The basic idea was that (like Eastenders) there’s only one plot line which is repeated over and over again. The people sin, God is angry and punishes them (usually by invasion), they don’t like being punished so cry out to God, God sends them a leader to save them, they live in peace for a while, they sin, God is angry, and so on. One non-Christian girl who was reading Judges said that it’s boring for this very reason, that it just repeats one message. Everything’s great while the leader’s around but then the leader either dies or sins and everything goes to pot. What they needed, she astutely commented, is “a leader who would never die, and who would never sin”. Ho hum.

Thank God that the Spirit’s work in me means that I don’t find that repetition boring. It’s a powerful reminder of how much we need Jesus, and one I’d be glad to read over and over. So now I have an idea what I should be looking for in Judges – while I read about Gideon I can savour the times of peace under his leadership as a foretaste of heaven, and I can be glad when I read that Gideon sinned and died in the knowledge that my King never will.