Tuesday, March 8, 2011
This passage was in my reading this morning -
"As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and whored after the Baals and made Baal-berith their god. And the people of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side." http://bible.us/Judg8.33.ESV
As you read through the book of Judges, one is struck with the crucial influence of each judge. Just when the nation of Israel gets into deep trouble, God graciously provides a deliverer who leads the people out of oppression and towards more authentic worship of Yahweh.
Yet as soon as that leader dies (if not before), the people plunge themselves straight into idolatry once again.
It causes me to wonder why so much hangs on individual men (and a few women like Deborah) who are made of flesh and blood like every other human ever created.
Where are all the good men? Where are all the leaders who are able to carry Israel through the difficult times without a judge? Perhaps if there were more men with integrity God's people would not have experienced such yo-yo conditions.
Of course, when we examine even Gideon's character, we come to grips with the fact that even he was not above reproach during his life. Particularly towards the end it seems that his many wives and concubines led him astray and he himself flirted with idolatry.
All of this drives me to focus my attention more on Christ, who was far better than Gideon ever could be. He is the True Judge, the Great Deliverer, who lived a life of uncompromisable integrity. Even in His death (especially in His death) our Savior was righteous, and because of His perfection we can also be righteous.
What would our churches look like if they were filled with mighty men like Gideon?
Better yet, what would our churches look like if they were filled with men better than Gideon; men who are living with the integrity that only Christ can provide? Imagine that.