Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been struck by the disobedience and brokenness of the people in the parts of the Bible I’ve been studying. Everyday I’ve studied about another failure, another human who forgets God’s faithfulness, another human who willfully bows down to some idol other than God Himself. From Judges to 2 Samuel, and everywhere in between, I’ve admittedly rolled my eyes a few times. “Come on, guys,” I thought…”God JUST performed some GIANT miracle, and you’re already walking away from Him?? What gives?!”
Oh what a hypocrite I am. I do the SAME thing!
Tim Keller said this about people who judge the broken, imperfect characters in biblical history: “If you ever feel that way about reading the Bible, it shows that you don't understand the message of the Bible…You're assuming that the message of the Bible is ‘God blesses and saves those who live morally exemplary lives.’ That's not the message of the Bible. The message of the Bible is that God persistently and continuously gives his grace to people who don't ask for it, don't deserve it, and don't even fully appreciate it after they get it.”
This is the cycle of Judges: the people do evil in the sight of God...God gives them into the hands of their enemies...the people cry out to God...God raises up a deliverer...God gives their enemies into the hands of the deliverer...the land has rest for ___ years.
Notice that in this cycle, the people act twice. They do evil, and they cry out. God does everything else.
Othniel and Ehud are not perfect. The Israelites are not perfect. The judges God brings as deliverers throughout this book are not perfect.
Only One was, is, and always will be.
And this is the point of Judges 3 and frankly, of all of Scripture.
As we read about humans who are just like us – humans who fail, who sin, who mess up – I mean, in big ways – we should be so encouraged. Our imperfection doesn’t disqualify us from His family, from building His kingdom, from entering into His story…unless we never cry out to Him in the name of Jesus.
So cry out this week, be healed, and be used by God to bring His life and hope to the world – not because you are perfect, but because He is.