Monday, January 28, 2008

History of Government (7) - Fighting Judges

A new stage of human government began with the book of Judges, but this was also a temporary solution to a perennial problem. When the people turned away from God, they lost God’s protection and were invaded by enemy nations.

Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders (Jud 2:16).
They needed a military leader to deliver them from these attacks. God took a recognised judge and turned him into a temporary military leader.
Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the LORD's commands. Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the LORD had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them (Jud 2:17-18).
The people would be come complacent and stop trusting in God. He would withdraw their protection and they would be invaded. When the nation repented, God would turn a judge into a military leader to rescue them from the invaders.

These fighting judges were not an ideal form of government. They were the response of a compassionate God to a people groaning under oppression and affliction. God only raised up a judge to lead the nation, when the nation was in trouble. They were a temporary solution to a serious problem. They were not the ideal form of government.

The title of these judges is a bit confusing. They started their careers as judges applying the law amongst the people, when God turned them into military leaders to deliver the people. A temporary military leader has a different role to a judge.

No comments: