Two relevant quotes:
“Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.” — Edmund Burke
“A wise person learns from his own mistakes. A wiser person learns from the mistakes of others.” — unknown
During the time of the judges, the Israelites became caught in a cyclical pattern of nationwide sin and deliverance. The picture on this page shows the pattern.
A judge in Old Testament times was much different that what we think of as a judge in our day. Today, a judge is someone who presides in a courtroom, understanding the laws completely, rendering judgments of guilt and innocence, of right and wrong, in accordance with the laws of the land. In the Old Testament period of the judges, a judge was one who was used by the Lord to bring judgment upon the kingdoms that oppressed and enslaved the Israelites, causing them to fall into sin. A judge in that time was a military general, a deliverer for their people.
Here’s the pattern:
- The nation of Israel would turn to sin and idolatry
- The Lord would allow the nation of Israel to be taken captive by a surrounding nation
- The Israelites would cry out to the Lord for help
- God would raise up a judge to lead the people
- God would deliver the Israelites from their captors and set them free from their sin
- The Israelites would serve the Lord, live in peace, and enjoy God’s blessings
The pattern of sin and deliverance in the time of the judges pointed to the fact that the nation of Israel and the people of all nations need an ultimate Deliverer to break the cycle and put them in a place of ongoing blessing and faithfulness to the Lord.
Our common enemy — Satan — wants to hold us captive in our sin. When we cry out to help from the Lord, He offers Jesus as our ultimate Deliverer. Jesus lived for us, died for us, and rose again for us, so that we might be set free from the sin that tries to enslave us.
In the New Testament, Jesus powerfully displays His authority over sin, demons, and any enemy that tries to enslave us. One example is when He casts the demons out of the demoniac in Luke chapter 8. In that instance, Jesus takes a man who was out of control, in torment and enslaved by a legion of demons, and Jesus changes his life. Jesus sets him free from bondage and gives him peace that he had never known.
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.
So what sin, addiction or idol has worked its way into your life? If there is one, then Jesus can set you free. Turn to Him in prayer. Trust Him to remove it from your life, to deliver you. Then live in peace and blessing with the Lord. There is peace and blessing in Jesus’ kingdom.