The Pattern of Judges

As I said, I mis-clicked on Monday and thought there was no Old Testament reading.  But, there actually was one – Judges 2.11-19.  Here we find the predominant pattern of the Book of Judges.

  1. The people sin (vs. 11-13) – The cycle starts with the people sinning.  Usually this sin is the sin of idolatry, though there is other wanton depravity mixed in with this.  The sin is often described as the people doing “evil in the sight of the Lord.”
  2. YHWH gets mad and punishes the people (vs. 14-15) – He does this in most cases by handing the people over into the hands of oppressors.  Everything that the people of Israel set out to do is thwarted by God.
  3. YHWH hears the cry of distress from the people and raises up a judge (vs. 16-18) – For more information on what a judge is click HERE.  In these verses, the people never really listen to the judge (vs. 17), but God delivers them anyway.
  4. The judge dies and the people sin again, only this time worse than before (vs. 19) – Here is the real kicker.  After their deliverance, the people revert to their normal pattern of sin, only this time it is worse than before.  It is the “worse than before” part that really seems to be the kicker.

Well there it is. That’s just about all you need to know about the Book of Judges.  Just kidding.  The book is a lot more complex and interesting than that.  And, there are some real head-scratchers in there (Jephthah ?).  But, I think it does give us some pretty good insight into our human condition.  It would be easy to look at the people here in the Book of Judges and say “Boy, how stupid can they possibly be!”  Yet when we look at our own lives it becomes a bit more difficult because we see the same mistakes that we tend to make over and over again.

If interested in Judges, you might check out: