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Difficult Bible Passages – The Book of Judges

by | Thu, Apr 27 2023

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The book of Judges is a part of the Old Testament, and recounts the story of the children of Israel from the time they settled in the land of Canaan after Joshua’s death, to the birth of Samuel.

It contains the stories of several judges, who were leaders appointed by God to deliver the Israelites from their enemies and establish justice in the land. However, the book of Judges is also known for its vivid descriptions of violence and brutal warfare.

God’s Sovereignty

From graphic accounts of battles and massacres to tales of acts of revenge and betrayal, the book of Judges reveals a world that is often harsh and unforgiving. This violence is portrayed as a reflection of the moral decay and spiritual decline of the Israelites during this time.

Bill Meuhlenberg from Culture Watch believes that despite its violent content, the book of Judges is an important part of the Bible, containing themes of redemption, faith, and God’s sovereignty over all of history. Bill recently joined us on 20Twenty to explain what we can learn about God from the book of Judges.

‘There are general principles we get from the Old Testament,’ says Bill, ‘even in a kind of gruesome story like this. Obviously, God is concerned about justice, and He responds when there is injustice. Things like courage and bravery, and fighting your own brethren. But still, questions arise, like why did they twice get defeated by the tribe of Benjamin before they finally made it?’

Allow For Some Mystery

Bill explains that there are four basic biblical truths in the book of Judges. One is that God is sovereign. He’s in charge, which is found throughout the Bible. Second is that man is responsible for the moral choices he makes. The third is how these two things fit together.

‘It’s the age-old question’, says Bill. ‘How can we have a fully sovereign God and have people making choices for which they’re accountable for? Then the fourth principle is simply we sometimes have to allow for some mystery. We don’t always get all the answers.’

Everyone did what was right in their own eyes several times in the Book of Judges. It was a repeating theme, and it wasn’t just that Benjamin were the bad guys and the other 11 tribes were the good guys. They were all in many respects, guilty.

God’s Correction

Bill says that what learn in the book of Judges is that if we’re going to ask God to dish out justice, we should be careful. Because sometimes He may not just hand it out to those who we think are our enemies. He actually may dish it out to us because we all deserve His justice.

‘Of course, today if we’re saved,’ says Bill, ‘we don’t get the final justice. That’s been dealt with at Calvary.’

‘But God will take measures to correct His church, and His people, if need be.’

Listen to Bill’s full interview on 20Twenty below: