“Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived;
-Judges 2:18-19 NIV
At this point in Israel’s history, they had left Egypt, wandered in the wilderness, crossed into the Promised Land (modern day Israel/Palestine). The LORD had instructed the Israelite army to destroy every living thing in the cities they conquered in the promised land. That way they wouldn’t be tempted to follow the idol-worshiping ways of the previous inhabitants. They disobeyed the LORD in that regard, and not surprisingly, the Israelites began worshiping false gods. When they worshiped false gods, the LORD caused the Israelites to lose in battle and be oppressed by other nations. When the Israelites repented, the LORD would send a “judge” who would lead the people back to the LORD, and back to victory in battle. As it says above, this would last until that particular judge would die, then the Israelites would start the cycle of disobedience over again. We’re not that different from the Israelites. When life is good, we tend to drift away from God, neglect worship and His Word, pray less frequently. When hardship strikes, suddenly we remember just how much we need God. We can be thankful that just as God raised up judges to rescue His sinful Israelite people, so He has raised up a rescuer for us. One who has delivered us from the enemies of sin and death. We need not worry about our freedom lasting only as long as that judge lives. Jesus lives forever. He cannot die again. Our victory in Him is eternal!