Sin and Judgment
Open Your Bible
Judges 2:1-23, Deuteronomy 4:1-10, Deuteronomy 4:25-31, Hebrews 10:23
I sat by my daughter as I watched her put all the pink beads side-by-side. In a moment of sheer joy she declared, “Look, Mom, I made a pattern.” I told her, “No, a pattern is something that repeats itself. Pink, purple, pink, purple is a pattern.” There was something in talking about patterns with my daughter that sparked a thought about the Israelites in Judges 2.
The Israelites had their own pattern: The people would live according to the laws of the nations around them, and their lives would be destructive and immoral. God would appoint judges over the people and use them as an instrument of salvation to fight back against their enemies, and then the people would be saved and there would be peace. But when the judges passed away, the Israelites would turn away from God’s ways again.
They should have heeded the warning from Moses: “Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves, so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your grandchildren” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
We have patterns too. And my objects of affection aren’t that different from the Israelites. Israel’s idol worship is similar to my own cycles of sin. Why would anyone choose sacrifice and obedience over doing what they want to do? These sin patterns can hold positions of power over my bank account, my time, and my worship. Even in sin, I want the comfort of a life of pink, purple, pink, purple. But Jesus throws an orange in there to disrupt my sin and bring me back to His ways.
Jesus disrupts those sin patterns with His love in the form of a Sunday morning song, holding hands with a friend in prayer, prompting me to read my Bible when I have other pressing things to do, a sermon that convicts my pride, a text of encouragement, a warm cookie shared with my kids, and kind words spoken from God through my husband. These are the ways He breaks up my patterns of sin and calls me back to God’s ways over my ways.
His love prompts us to believe and hope in Him over the hope we find in worldly things. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful.” Our perfect judge, Jesus, is our instrument of salvation. Unlike the judges, who died and left Israel to try and keep God’s commands on their own, Jesus is always with us. His Spirit is always available and near to show us how to live for Him. We may waver, but Jesus is an anchor that grounds us to His promises—a faithful promise to help us make new patterns of living for Him through His love.