Our passage tells of four judges today: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, and Deborah. For all but Shamgar who is only mentioned briefly, we see the cycle that was mentioned in chapter 2. The people sinned, God sent others to oppress them, the people cried out, God sent someone to deliver them, and they had rest. Note:
- God’s judgment – God warned the people of what would happen if they rebelled against him. But again and again, they chose to rebel anyway. God judged them. God is a holy God who takes sin very seriously. Do you take sin in your life seriously?
- God’s mercy – God heard Israel’s cries, and he raised up judges to deliver them from their oppressors. God is just – punishing sin, but he is also merciful – delivering those who call upon him. Have you called upon him for the mercy that is available to you through Jesus Christ?
- God’s faithfulness – Whether in judgment or mercy, God is acting faithfully to the covenant he made with Israel. He promised judgment for sin, and mercy if they returned (see Deuteronomy 28), and God kept his promise. While Israel often acted faithlessly, God remained faithful. How has God been faithful in spite of your faithlessness?