JUDGES … THEN RUTH!
Just a powerful conviction and encouragement.
In my Daily Time With God, I have been reading through Joshua and Judges. Especially Judges: what a debauched, perverted, raunchy, and dissolute time in Israel’s history. And to think this went on for over 300 years. And all because ‘they forgot the LORD.’
The writer of Judges makes this point, oh, so well. I have to believe that was the primary intentional take-away from his concluding narrative in chapters 17-21 [even after everything that had gone before…]. Just to let us know that “that was the way it was in Israel, ‘Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.’” Yes, they did ALL that!
And, not only did they do ALL that, but it was RIGHT in their own eyes.
And I say again, this went on for over 300 years. And it is going from bad to worse…
You finish reading Judges, and you just want to vomit. It’s depressing. You wonder: “Are they irredeemable? Can a people ever come back from this despicable abyss of degeneracy? Is it bottomless? Can this be turned around, redeemed? Can there ever again be any kind of a future worth expecting and living for?”
But, more than that, you have to ask: “Is God doing anything here? Is there NO hope? Can there ever be any expectation that a better, brighter day could ever come after this?’ This must have been the prevailing frame of mind for anyone who still retained even the feeblest, trembling “waiting for the Consolation of Israel” [Luke 2.25].
“Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take!
The clouds you so much dread
are big with mercy and shall break
with blessings on your head!” ~William Cowper
The next book is Ruth.
The writer intentionally again begins this continuing narrative with “In the days when the judges ruled…” to let us know that the Story he is about to unfold in the Book of Ruth transpired “in the days when the judges ruled…” Yes, that’s right – in those same days!
And you know what that Story is, don’t you? Oh, yes! You know! Ruth, the Moabitess comes back to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, Naomi. God brought them back! Yes! God is still working! God is still doing His Thing!
Ruth meets Boaz, they are married, and they have a baby.
“And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, ‘A son has been born to Naomi.’ They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David” ~Ruth 4.17.
And thus begin the immediate family tree and lineage that would give birth to David – and David brings us to Christ! Just a few generations later, Jesus, the Son of David, is born into our world in that same “little town of Bethlehem.”
“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people! For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the LORD!” [Luke 2.10-11]
And He comes as the Light and Savior of the world! God did it all! Oh, yes! He did! And He still is!
The world and all its cultures of darkness cannot overcome the Light of the World’s coming to save us from all our sin and give us the Light of Life! [John 1.4-5]
You never know what God is doing under the cover of the darkness – whether it is the darkness of the world in which you are living or the darkness of your own life’s history and story. “Let Light shine out of darkness!”
Here’s praying God shines this Light into your soul … right now!