After the conquest of Canaan, depicted in the book of Joshua, the people of God spent around 350 years in a despicable cycle of joy and sorrow detailed in the book of Judges. Judges tells the sad story of the people doing what was right in their own eyes, which lead to constant misery and the need for a deliverer.
In simplest terms, the book of Judges reveals how the LORD’S people are half-hearted at best and full-blown idolatrous at worst. There is an endless cycle of unfaithfulness, discipline, regret, deliverance, and unfaithfulness again. As soon as a judge dies, the people forget the LORD.
This brings us to an important point—the story of Judges should ultimately make us long for the true and better deliverer, Jesus. Jesus is the king who not only rules over his people with justice and equity but also with grace and mercy. He not only delivers us from our great enemies sin and death but also changes our hearts so that we no longer deeply desire to do what is right in our “own eyes.” By God’s grace, Jesus changes us to desire to do what is right in his eyes. He does not simply deliver us for a time but buys for us an eternal redemption by his cross and resurrection. He is the king who—at great cost to himself—delivers us from all danger and rules over us in all joy. He is the eternal king we need and long for.
- HALF-HEARTED: Judges 1:1–2:5
- IDOLATROUS: Judges 2:6–3:6
- OTHNIEL AND EHUD: Judges 3:7-31
- DEBORAH AND BARAK: Judges 4:1–5:31
- GIDEON (pt.1): Judges 6:1-40
- GIDEON (pt.2): Judges 7:1-25
- GIDEON (pt.3): Judges 8:1–10:5
- JEPHTHAH: Judges 10:6–12:7
- SAMSON (pt.1): Judges 13:1-25
- SAMSON (pt.2): Judges 14:1-20
- SAMSON (pt.3): Judges 15:1-20
- SAMSON (pt.4): Judges 16:1-22
- SAMSON (pt.5): Judges 16:23-31
- SHAMELESS: Judges 17:1–18:21
- WORTHLESS: Judges 19:1-30
- HOPELESS: Judges 20:1-48
- KINGLESS: Judges 21:1-25