Sin and Grace

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Judges 1-3

There is a pattern which continually repeats itself in the book of Judges. The people of Israel sin by serving the gods of neighbors whom they had neglected to drive out of the land. After a time of such sin, God allowed them to fall under the power of some nearby country. They lived in subjection for some time. Then they cried out to God for help. God graciously helped them by raising up a judge (a military leader) and through the judge ridding them of their oppressors. But after the judge died, they returned to their old sinful ways. This happened over and over again. How patient and gracious is God!

The first judge was Othniel. He was the younger brother of Caleb. Some families seem to produce leadership ability. But much more important, we read that “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him” (3:10). God usually works through human beings. They are His instruments. They must act responsibly. But only by the Spirit of God can God’s people be delivered. Then the Spirit came temporarily on individuals, but since Pentecost the Spirit dwells continually in the hearts of all of God’s people. The purpose of such indwelling is that we might be instruments to carry out God’s redemptive plan.

The judges were different from each other, but this they had in common, God used them.

PRAYERFather, fill us with Your Holy Spirit and use us as Your instruments of deliverance in our day. Through Christ. Amen.