How to Read and Understand Judges

Mar 29, 2020

Prior to the book of Judges, the Bible talks of a covenant between God and Abraham. God promises Abraham that his descendants, the Israelites, will inhabit the land of Canaan, and God will do all the heavy lifting. All the Israelites had to do was drive out the people living there. As we enter the book of Judges, the Israelites are now living in the promised land, but we will see that they don’t uphold their end of the promise. 

If the Bible was a movie, Judges would be the kid that goes into the basement to find out what that noise is while the whole audience screams, “don’t do it!” On our end, we can clearly see that the Israelites are breaking the covenant that they have with God, but they do it anyway. In fact, most of the book follows the same sequence. The Israelites do something God told them not to do, so God disciplines. They repent and ask God to save them, and He does by way of a judge (hence, the name). After that judge dies, the land goes back into chaos and the cycle repeats getting worse and worse each time. 

This book makes it painfully clear we all sin and have need of a Savior, but it also makes clear God’s relentless love for His people. In our own power, our actions lead to death and destruction, but God sent Jesus to come and be the one true Judge that takes on our sins and makes us right with God. 

What to look for when reading Judges:

  • The repeated sin cycle of the Israelites
  • God using the least likely person to accomplish His purposes
  • God’s desire for restoration with His people