May 15, 2019·tcotw
As I read the Book of Judges, I was reminded of the difficulty I have, as a Christian, reading through some parts of the Bible. The Book of Judges is one that reads like a gruesome movie, because of all the violence and unjust acts.
Chapters 11-21 contain multiple instances in which a pattern of disobedience is seen. Israel disobeys God, Israel is in trouble, Israel cries out to God, God sends a judge to free Israel, Israel lives in freedom, Israel eventually disobeys God again. This pattern carried on for generations, but what is noteworthy is that for every disobedient act, there was an act of forgiveness and salvation from God.
I don’t like admitting that this pattern is relatively familiar to me. I’ll find myself in trouble or in sin, I pray and ask God for help and forgiveness, I’m freed and forgiven, and then I find myself in sin or in trouble once again. These are moments when I can pray with thanksgiving that my sin and disobedience do not lead God to be any less loving, forgiving and faithful.
I’m glad Judges is paired with 1 Corinthians in our reading plan, because as you finish reading though Judges this week, you will see the moments of darkness, sadness, and violence that I was referring to. I want to remind you of this: It’s okay to have questions about the Bible. It’s okay to feel different emotions when reading the Bible. It’s okay to wonder why God did a certain thing. Asking questions and engaging with the difficult passages of the Bible are healthy and, in my opinion, an important part of our faith, even when we don’t have all the answers.
I want to encourage you with this: God loves all of humanity, and God’s desire is for all people to be obedient and faithful to Him. Let’s not be like Israel during the time of Judges, that did whatever they saw fit, but may we be a people with a desire to love and obey God.
Pastor Daniel Alvarado