The book of Judges is a microcosm of the overarching theme of the Bible. God calls his people to relationship and for a while the people accept and follow him. Then the people fall away from God through pride and selfishness. Without being in relationship with God their lives begin to suffer. God is no longer able to protect them from themselves and outside forces. Then in their oppression the people repent of their pride and selfishness and return to a relationship with God. Now God can provide for them and he does so. God redeems his people and once again they are in right relationship. Soon the people begin to fall away again in their pride and selfishness. It is a cycle that never ends and to which the law of Moses has no power to stop.
I am hoping you not only see this pattern in the Bible, but in our own lives. I do not know about you, but I live a life of extreme comfort. I may not be flush with cash, but I live in a nice home, have food on the table, two cars and opportunities to enjoy myself. I am doing extremely well. Yet it is in this comfort and ease that we become most susceptible to selfishness, pride and arrogance. We are susceptible to rejecting the need for a protector and provider. So I reject him. I may not think that I reject him, but by relying on my own strength and failing to go to God in thanksgiving for all he has given me and my family I say, ‘Look what I have been able to do.” I turn to myself and thus reject God. This grieves God as he longs to be my foundation and provider but can not do so as long as I limit him and even reject him.
But God is so amazing that even though he can say, ‘I told you so.’ when my selfishness and pride cause my life to come crashing down, He judges not except to hold me in his arms and say, ‘how I have missed you.”
So as we read the book of Judges, may we know that this book is for each us in that God does not desire our lives to end in sin, civil war and exile as it did with the nation of Israel. God desires to be our ‘Judge’, our protector, our redeemer, our king. Let us think of those places in our lives in which we need to turn over to God and the areas of our lives in which we need to thank God for the redeeming gift of Jesus Christ and follow him in good times and bad as our Lord and Savior.