Which Is It -- Screw-ups or an Amazing God?
by Pr. Dave Mann
The message of the book of Judges is often portrayed as a sad one. The cyclical pattern of life was this:
Because the people of Israel abandoned the worship of the true Lord God and followed other gods, their enemies plundered and triumphed for them.
The people groaned and called out to God for help and deliverance.
God had compassion on them and sent a righteous judge to deliver them.
For a time, the people worshiped God but then fell away again.
Because the people of Israel abandoned the true worship of the Lord, ...
The typical commentary on Judges is this: “God’s people are just a bunch of screw-ups! There is no hope for humanity!” Certainly, there is a lot of failure and faithlessness recounted in the book of Judges, and we might even be able to find corollaries in today’s current events.
However, I also see a big reason for hope. Read the book of Judges but do it through this different lens: “Despite how messed up people can be, God is not going to give up on them or us. He will send the right people at the right time!”
If we focus on the failures of God’s people, there is indeed no hope, even if we do not take the book of Judges under consideration at all. Look at just a few of the problems God’s people created in other books of the Bible.
Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.
Noah got drunk from the fruit of his vineyard.
Abraham pawned off his wife as his sister – two times!
Jacob schemed against his brother, with the help of his mother.
Moses was a murderer. He had an anger issue with a rock.
Saul consulted a sorceress and did not follow the prophet’s instructions.
David was an adulterer and planned the death of a loyal subject.
Solomon worshiped the idols of his many foreign wives.
Most of the kings of Israel and Judah led the people away from the true God.
One of Jesus’ own disciples betrayed him.
When the chips were down, Peter denied that he even knew Jesus.
All the disciples abandoned Jesus in his time of greatest need.
The message of the Bible is NOT about the faithfulness of God’s people. It’s all about the faithfulness of God Himself, despite the infidelity of His people.
So, when you hear about the failure of God’s people, whether in the Bible or in the current day, say to yourself, “I wonder how God is going to redeem this situation for our good and His glory -- maybe even through me?”
We are so grateful, Lord, that you never gave up on your people, not throughout the history of the Bible, nor in our current day. I am so grateful that you have not given up on me, nor will you ever. Your faithfulness is amazing. Great are you, Lord! Amen.