There He goes again… manifesting His grace to a people so undeserving.
He left the nations to test them; He already knew the outcome. Testings are for our benefit. He left the nations to test and teach them two things: 1) that they would learn warfare and 2) might realize their commitment to obedience.
Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan; 2 only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war, those who had not experienced it formerly)… 4 They were for testing Israel, to find out if they would obey the commandments of the Lord, which He had commanded their fathers through Moses, (3:1-2, 4).
And they repeatedly failed the tests; thus the cyclical account of Judges. And in their repeated failures they learn; they learn they are in utter and desperate need of His Deliverance.
Consider Him Who Raised Up a Deliverer
- He Raised Up a Deliverer in response to their cries.
- When the sons of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim, (3:9-10).
- He Raised Up a Deliverer and provided rest.
- Then the land had rest forty years… (3:11).
- He Raised Up a Deliverer … again.
- But when the sons of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for them… (3:15).
- He Raised Up a Deliverer and provided rest… again.
- So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land was undisturbed for eighty years, (3:30).
- He Raised Up a Deliverer to save.
- After him came Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad; and he also saved Israel,. (3:31).
How do we respond to Him Who Raised Up a Deliverer?
We too are in need of testings that we would be taught:
1) We need to learn warfare.
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience… (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 6:12).
2) And we need to learn the commitment of our love.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments… 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words,” (John 14:15, 24).
And we too often fail His tests. It is beyond our human ability to learn warfare and obedience unless He Raise Up a Deliverer for us.
this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it, (Acts 2:23-24).
and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
27 “This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins,” (Romans 11:26-27).
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, (Colossians 1:13 ESV).
The book of Judges spans a 300-year history of the nation Israel. During that time the Lord Raised Up a dozen deliverers for His people.
But now, He has Raised Up One Deliverer for us; once and for all.
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God, (Romans 6:10).
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (1 Peter 3:18).
When we come to Jesus by faith, trusting Him for His Deliverance and salvation, we receive the rest only He can provide.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Let us daily draw near to Him in faith, to find our rest and the security only Jesus, our High Priest and Holy Deliverer, provides. Though there will be times we fail, we need not fear our eternal outcome. We are His forever and He lives to make intercession for us!
…but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:24-25).
Our Deliverer will never leave us; He is always with us manifesting His Grace. His salvation and rest are eternal. Spend some time today contemplating His High Priestly prayer recorded in John 17.
May we grow in our faith and strength knowing Our Deliverer always lives to make intercession for us!