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Judges; A Messianic Warning

“And Yahweh raised up Judges. And they saved them from the hand of their looters.”

(Judges 2:16)

The role of the Judge is one that clearly is designed to prefigure Christ. They are redeemers of the people from their adversaries. They are signs of God’s grace, given that the people are in the hands of their adversaries because of their sins. They are signs to the people that God will not leave or forsake them, despite their sin. They are often prophets in their role, they often offer sacrifices as the priests do, and they certainly have a kingly function as they rally the armies (or are a one-man army) against the enemies of God’s people. Thus, they fulfill to a limited extent the role of Mediator, which again we find Jesus fulfilling in an ultimate sense.

As we arrive at this verse, though, we also enter into a summary of the whole book of Judges (we have moved from looking back to looking forward). The sad thing is that this cycle of sin is not unlike the cycle that Christians today, Churches today, and even nations today find themselves falling into. Yet, we must be aware that God also gives the warning to the church that he will remove their lamp stand from its place if they persist in their sin. Judges is far more than a history book. It is Messianic as it points toward Christ. It tells us of the long-suffering of God towards his covenant people. But it also stands as a warning to us today lest we turn to idols of our own making.