By: Shermaine Lou
In the book of Judges, there was really total chaos. The people turned to other gods and they were no longer true to the Lord God who rescued them from Egypt and brought them into the promised land. They were intermarrying with the pagan nations and worshipping their idols. They turned their backs to God and only cried out to Him when they needed help. However, God being the good and gracious God that He is, raised up judges to deliver His people yet the people were ungrateful and turned from God once again. This ends up in a neverending cycle of God bringing judgement upon His people, them crying to Him for help, Him saving them and then them turning away from Him again.
Judges 2: 10- 19 10And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.11And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:12And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.13And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.14And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.15Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.16Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.17And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.18And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.19And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
However, in the book of Joshua, the Lord had brought them out of slavery and into freedom; freedom to worship Him. He gave them victories and went into battle with them. These people knew who their God is and they knew Him experiencially. Yet after Joshua died, the younger generation did not know God.
But do we need to know God experiencially to really know Him? Knowing God means having a relationship with Him; being intimate and close to Him and knowing that He is there. There is also a tinge of faith, just small pure faith like a mustard seed. Faith that small is all that is needed to move a mountain, we are told. But do we believe in that?
In Judges, God judges, but God saves. He wants us, His children to draw near to Him and nothing else for He is a jealous God and He will bring judgment down on sin. Yet He loves us, the sinners and mercifully brings hope and salvation to His people- through the judges in the past and through Jesus Christ in the present. We are already saved but do we forget God once we are saved and go back to idolatry; to ungratefulness; to neglect. Can we be like the Joshua generation despite not sensing God’s physical presence, or have we already degenerated to a Judges generation, doing evil in the sight of the Lord.