The number seven is prevalent in the book of Judges. Judges is also the seventh book of the Old Testament and the Bible. The number seven is regarded in Jewish tradition as completeness, wholeness, blessing, rest, and also a weapon. Want to know more about the number seven, look here. In the book of Judges, we can clearly see Jesus as the Righteous Judge who time and time again delivers us, just as the leaders (judges) in this book delivered God’s people. The book of Judges starts with “After the death of Joshua”. The book shows us a pattern which is repeated over and over again. Judges chronicles seven awful apostasies, seven dreadful judgments, and seven divine deliverances. I wonder if Jesus was thinking of this when He told Peter to forgive, not seven times, but seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). We see a people in the book of Judges who decided to do things their own way and each time they had to face judgment. They did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25; Judges 17:6).
The beginning of Israel’s transgression and her rejection of God as their king is seen in three times in the book of Judges:
- Judges 3:7 – ”And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.”
- Judges 2:14 – ”And [the Lord] sold them into the hands of their enemies.’
- Judges 3:15 – ”But when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer.”
The people had just made a promise to Joshua before he died, “And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!” (Joshua 24:24) Ten minutes later (maybe longer) they went a-whoring after other gods (Judges 2:17; Judges 8:27; Judges 8:33). The story of Judges is a story that is very familiar to us. Look at what’s happening in the church today. People are doing what is right in their own eyes, not caring one bit about what God’s word has to say about their situation. They are tossing out or rewriting scriptures with which they do not agree. They are putting a question mark where God has already put a period. They are sacrificing their children on the altar of Molech [abortion] (Leviticus 20:1-5; 18:21) and have gone ‘a-whoring’ after other gods [sexual sins] (Jeremiah 5:7-13). I remember one incident in which I was ministering to a young lady about sleeping with her boyfriend. These were her exact words, ‘I know it’s wrong, but I am not going to stop doing it.’
We must stop compromising and commit; personally, as a church, and as a nation. God is calling us to return to Him. In the book of Jeremiah, God calls us to return to Him seven times:
- Jeremiah 3:1
“Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not look upon you in anger For I am gracious,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not be angry forever.
- Jeremiah 3:14
‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the LORD; ‘For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, And I will bring you to Zion.’
- Jeremiah 3:22
“Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness.” “Behold, we come to You; For You are the LORD our God.
- Jeremiah 4:1
“If you will return, O Israel,” declares the LORD, “Then you should return to Me And if you will put away your detested things from My presence, And will not waver,
- Jeremiah 15:19
Therefore, thus says the LORD, “If you return, then I will restore you– Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, But as for you, you must not turn to them.
- Jeremiah 24:7
‘I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.
- Jeremiah 30:1-2
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Write in a book all the words which I have spoken to you. 3 For behold (hear this), the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will return them to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they will take possession of it.’
If we return, Jesus, as our Righteous Judge, will forgive and restore. That’s His promise and that’s His message to us in the book of Judges. Next time we will learn about Jesus Who? in the book of Ruth.