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Weekly SNAC 21 October 2018: Postscripts from the book of Judges

I hope you enjoyed our series in the book of Judges starting back in July and finishing up last week. I know for some people the series turned out to be much more challenging than simple stories of Old Testament faithful heroes! As Judges progressed, we met increasingly flawed Judges and increasingly sinful people. This may have surprised some of us in this history of God’s chosen people. The epilogue to the Judges from chapter 17 to 21 painted a very dark picture of life without God as their true King. That’s not the greatest ending for a book!I hope you enjoyed our series in the book of Judges starting back in July and finishing up last week. I know for some people the series turned out to be much more challenging than simple stories of Old Testament faithful heroes! As Judges progressed, we met increasingly flawed Judges and increasingly sinful people. This may have surprised some of us in this history of God’s chosen people. The epilogue to the Judges from chapter 17 to 21 painted a very dark picture of life without God as their true King. That’s not the greatest ending for a book!

However, the book of Judges isn’t the final word in God’s plans to rescue humanity. The Israelites discovered in the very next part of the Bible (the Samuel narrative) that God had great plans for his people. In 2 Samuel 7, God promised to establish an eternal Kingdom through King David’s line. This was a promise looking forward to the coming of Jesus to bring the Kingdom of God near and also looking forward to Jesus’ final coming when he will fully establish his eternal reign. That promise, and their hope is our hope too as we await Jesus’ final return.

But what happens before that day arrives? 

It is worth returning to the book of Hebrews one more time in the wrap up of Judges. We have seen the Judges listed as Heroes of Faith in Hebrews 11. However, what we may not have seen is how Hebrews 11’s list of faithful people isn’t provided simply for the sake of the record. 
Hebrews is all about the supremacy of Jesus. Jesus is greater than Moses and Angels and any High-priest who ever offered a sacrifice. You can ask some of our teens about what they learnt at FIT camp from the early chapters of Hebrews but the point is, Jesus is supreme, so:


therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus……let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…..let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering…..and let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day [of Jesus’ return] drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25) 

It is the supremacy of Jesus (in all his fullness, Prophet, Priest, King and more) and his love for us that emboldens us to come before God now and encourages us to hold on to our faith today and into eternal life. Indeed Hebrews 10:39 puts it this way:

we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.

After these great reminders in Hebrews 10, chapter 11 presents many examples of people who acted by faith in the Old Testament, including some of our Judges. The point of the examples is not that they were great people in themselves but that they trusted a great and merciful God. That’s our challenge too – to live by faith. Hebrews 12:1-2 provides a great postscript to Judges and an encouragement to live by faith in the words of chapter 12:1-2:

Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.                

Jason Veitch