In our passage today, God raises up Tola and Jair as judges. One man raises up himself – Abimelech. Observe:
- Self-exaltation – God raised up judges to help the people of Israel. Abimelech raised up himself to the harm of God’s people. Abimelech’s story is a sad affair of murder, betrayal, and fighting. Are you trying to exalt yourself above others – no matter who you have to step on to get to the top? Or will you follow God’s direction in I Peter 5:6 and humble yourself before the Lord, that he may exalt you?
- True Repentance – After Tola and Jair, the cycle continues: the people rebel and God sends enemies as punishment. The people again cried out to God, confessing their sin, but they did not change their ways. So God did not help them. Are you confessing your sins, but not turning from them? We must repent from sin not just in word but in our actions. From what sin in your life do you need to truly repent?