Monday, May 15, 2017

Reflections from the Book of Judges

Christians are hung up on perfection. There I've said it. We like perfect churches with perfect people. We cater to the perfect. The safe space is really a perfect place. It's not for the flawed, broken or hurt among us. The imperfect are relegated to some place else, though we're not sure where that is, since what Christianity offers was supposed to be that place. Perfection is reflected in our cultural norms - a certain look, a certain type, a certain way to be. So we're conflummoxed, befuddled, unraveled when we read the stories that are found in Judges.

God wasn't hung up on perfect but we are. He used the ordinary, the fearful, and the marginalized all to accomplish his plans and purpose. In fact, all of these flaws were found within his chosen people - the Israelites. Clearly, chosen does not mean safe or perfect.

We see in this book the cycle that is so common to us who are also chosen - sin, repentance, deliverance, and obedience.
We see that replacing God with anything else has dire consequences.
We see that if you're willing, God can use whatever you have in your hand.
We see that God's justice is not like man's justice; we see that the wages of sin is death.
We also see that through death comes redemption. Samson’s death saves Israel from Philistine persecution, and Sisera’s death at Jael’s hands was a poignant symbol of Israel’s victory to be celebrated in song.
We see that God can empower a small group to squash an enemy.
We see the consequences of being self-centered and doing right in our own eyes which mimic the current state of affairs in our world.
We see that when you're chosen by God, you're not alone
We see that your personality can be subjected to your character; that your character determines your heart and God cares about your heart. 
We see that when you have a relationship with God, it's easy to discern his voice. Your ears are attuned to his voice.
We see that to be a hero of the faith simply requires total reliance and obedience to God and a willingness to follow.
We see that you can test God.
We see that God is very patient. Over and over he demonstrated his love for his chosen people though he was often angry at their chosen actions.
We see that no one is immune from bad behavior when they're not following God.
We see that the actions from one generation do affect the next, but God can always turn things around.

The next time you're down on yourself or are beating yourself up for something that you did, read the book of Judges. Sometimes we think we're unforgivable - but the stories in Judges highlight that nothing we can do will take God by surprise and though he may be angry at our actions he still has a heart for us. And who knows how he will use you and your flaws to influence the kingdom? Surprisingly, I was very encouraged and humbled by what I learned from this book; by how God used some of these macabre times in history to discipline and restore his people and that if he can do it for them, he can certainly work in my life. We as Christians should do as God did and embrace the imperfect among us.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Do you see yourself as imperfect yet capable of being used by God? What will you allow God to do through you?


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  1. Thank you for writing this! A much needed reminder.

  2. As a fellow Christian and also a pastor's wife, I so long to see the church be safe...but not perfect. It should be the safest place on earth for those who are not perfect. Thanks for this reminder to go back to the book of Judges and glean some of your thoughts for myself!

  3. Yes, His strength through our weakness. So thankful He speaks to us through all of Scripture.

  4. Nylse - Yes, society today does promote perfect doesn't it? But God, is looking for the ordinary and willing . I have really enjoyed your series on the book of Judges and the nuggets of revelation you have pulled out of each chapter. I am your neighbor this week at #RaRaLinkup & #TestimonyTuesday


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