Can Jesus Christ can be found in the book of Judges? Find out with guest Michele Bachmann and hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on television’s “Christ in Prophecy”!
Air Date: December 26, 2021
Key Verse Commentary
Following the bold leadership of Joshua and the decisive victories Israel won as it spread throughout the Promised Land, the security and prosperity of the nation should have been guaranteed.
Challenged by Joshua to “choose,” the people answered and said, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods;.. We also will serve the LORD, for He is our God.” That is well and good, we would say. But that commitment was short-lived.
After Joshua died, Israel’s victories tapered off quickly. The opening chapter of the book of Judges records that they did capture additional cities and seize new territory. But by the end of Chapter 1 the tribes were failing to drive out all the Canaanites from their midst. In chapter 2 Israel was in bed with the pagans and serving their false gods.
It is important to recognize that Israel was serving as an instrument of God’s judgment on the Canaanites. His command to uproot the pagan inhabitants of Canaan is an affront to our modern sensibilities, only because we forget that God had foretold His judgment on the “sin of the Amorite” to Abram (Genesis 15:16). Even then, God’s patience was such that He did not immediately smite the idol-worshipping people in Canaan. His command was a reflection of His righteous judgment on the Canaanites—and His benevolent provision for His people Israel. If only they had followed through…
Even under Joshua’s leadership, the nation seemed to lose focus and settle—literally and figuratively. They grew weary of obeying the LORD and fulfilling His instructions, even though their fathers had sworn an oath to do so (Exodus 24:7). Instead of rejecting the abhorrent religious practices of the Canaanites, the children of Israel were enticed to sin grievously, provoking the Lord to anger.
The opening chapter of Judges records the capture of Jerusalem by the sons of Judah. That city would come to play a major role in the history of the Jewish people. Indeed, God has proclaimed that Jerusalem is the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8), the place where Jesus will rule from the throne of His father David, the eternal city of our God.
But by the closing verses of even that first chapter, tribe after tribe is indicted for failing to take possession of all the land and drive out the evil inhabitants from their midst. The Lord’s anger was aroused to the point that He declared, “I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, in order to test Israel by them, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk in it as their fathers did, or not” (Judges 2:21-22). Tragically, Israel failed that test—proving once again that even the chosen people had to choose, and needed a Savior.
Thus Israel entered a 300+ year cycle of rebellion and restoration. They would stray from God, only to encounter bitter persecution and cry out to Him. Time and time again He raised up judges (we would call them national leaders) to lead the people and deliver them from oppression. But the cycle went on and on.
The children of Israel failed to recognize that the LORD Himself had not changed; He was in their midst and fought their battles when they stayed faithful to Him. But their hearts were prone to wander, and they drifted away from Him. Without a unifying leader, everyone did what was right in their own eyes—with tragic consequences.
What can you and I do? Determine to be like Caleb, who even as an 85-year-old man said, “give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day….the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken” (Joshua 14:12). I have to believe that Caleb took seriously his responsibility to raise up his children and grandchildren to honor and obey the Lord, just as Joshua famously declared, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
Much tragedy could be avoided if we simply heeded the LORD and stayed close to Him.
JOT 13 – Judges – No King in Israel
Key Verse: Judges 2:10-12 All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, not yet the work which He had done for Israel. Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD…and they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers,… thus they provided the LORD to anger.
Explanation: The passage begs an important question: Whose fault is it if a generation strays from the faith of their forebears? Is any generation inherently more evil than the one before it?
The tragic narrative of Judges describes how the nation drifted away from God. When the generation who entered the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership passed away (“was gathered to their fathers”), the next did not know the LORD. How could that happen!? Regarding His commandments, God commanded Israel: “you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7). The elders of Israel committed the nation to that covenant. In other words, testimony about the LORD should have been a part of daily life.
Clearly, that did not occur, because when the generation who had entered the land with Joshua passed away, the collective knowledge of the LORD was tragically absent. The passing generation had clearly not taught their children well; they had not told them what the LORD had done, and how the nation could only thrive if it remained in covenant relationship with Him. As a wise person once said, “If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know.” The next generation clearly didn’t know.
The implications of this verse are universal—and clearly evident in our own nation today. It doesn’t take much imagination to contemplate what our own forebears would think of the state of our society today. How have we fallen so far and so fast? Because as Alexandr Solzhenitzyn reflected when explaining how Russia had fallen into atheistic despair: “Men have forgotten God.”
“But we are a Christian nation!” some will assert. Surely such a platitude insults the plain reality that shocks us anew on a daily basis. And certainly it must offend our holy God. What nation that aspired to uphold the tenets of Christianity could tolerate (let alone condone and celebrate) such abject wickedness.
It is critical that we pass on our faith to the next generation by telling them what the Lord has done—how He has been faithful to us and why it is paramount that our children and grandchildren stay in relationship with Him. The stakes are far too high. Looking around, it is apparent to anyone with eyes to see that our nation has strayed far from Him. Ruth Bell Graham put it this way: “If God doesn’t judge America soon, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Key Verse: Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Explanation: This verse describes Israel in the period of the judges (or what we would call leaders). This description of Israel’s moral confusion is also expressed in 17:6, 18:1, and 19:1.
The clear implication is that without a single unifying leader the people ran amok (echoing the sentiment of Proverbs 19:18: “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained”—or run amok!). The author (traditionally assumed to be Samuel) also contrasted the state of affairs in that era with the unified national purpose that would be achieved under a king like David.
“Running amok” also describes our post-Christian society to a T. Our culture celebrates everyone doing what is right in their own eyes. In our modern confusion, our leaders even embrace the lie that each person is entitled to their own truth.
Our secular age believes in the purity of the human heart. It ascribes to the Jiminy Cricket philosophy of right and wrong: “Just let your conscience be your guide.” Such an attitude is undermined by the insight one comic offered regarding drug use. Told that various drugs simply enhanced a person’s true self, he asked, “But what if you’re a jerk!?”
The writer of judges, reflecting on the spiritual status of the nation, simply sums up the problem by saying, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (* That same explanation is recorded in 17:6; the fact that there was no king in Israel in those days is also repeated in 18:1, and 19:1.) The idea is that without a single unifying leader, the people went their own way—to tragic consequence.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained…” Some translations say, “…the people perish,” while others say, “…the people run amok.” Either way, without a vision and purpose and commitment to a common righteous ideology, people certainly run amok—and eventually they indeed perish.
According to tradition, Samuel authored the book of Judges. As such, he would look with hindsight on the period when Israel “ran amok”, contrasting the trauma of that hapless period with the blessing that flowed when Israel was led by an anointed king. During Samuel’s lifetime David—a man after God’s own heart—was chosen by God to lead His people. Under his leadership (and that of his son, Solomon), the nation thrived.
For many years, I’ve expressed countless hours of training in “leadership” with what I call the A-B-Cs of leadership. Citing Proverbs 19:18, I believe great leadership requires:
A – A willingness to serve
B – Boldness, when boldness is called for, and
C – Clarity of vision (something a great leader inspires others to discern)
It is obvious that no earthly king can fulfill the role of a benevolent dictator. Even David strayed and abused his power in a manner that offended God.
In a prophetic sense, we recognize that this passage points forward to another anointed One who will reign over Israel. When Jesus reigns from the throne of His father David, He will not only rule over Israel; He will be the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Those of us who serve Christ already are not called to do what is right in our own sinful eyes. We are not left to trust on our own to trust our own deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). With the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit we yield our hearts, our minds, our wills to His perfect will.
In that regard, bumper sticker theology has it right for once: No King but King Jesus!
(* This phrase actually reflects the sentiment of many of America’s founding fathers, including Thomas Paine, who wrote, “No king, but God!” In his treatise, Common Sense, he cited Gideon as an exemplar who directed honor to the “proper Sovereign, the King of heaven.”)
Other Important Verses:
Judges 1:27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34 But Manasseh did not take possession of Beth-shean and its villages… Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who were living in Gezer… Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron… Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco… Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh… Then the Amorite forced the sons of Dan into the hill country…
Explanation: God was very clear in His instruction to the children of Israel. They were to possess the Land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—driving out the evil Canaanites before them. Our modern sensibilities are uncomfortable or even offended by such a mandate. We tell ourselves that we would not tolerate such a policy today. Indeed, one of the false charges leveled at Israel today is that they are engaging in genocide (a ridiculous accusation given the freedom of ethnic Palestinians who live very comfortably within the state of Israel).
We forget that God had already explained to Abram why he could not immediately possess the Land of Promise. When he sojourned in Canaan, God foretold that Abram’s descendants would return in the fourth generation to possess the land, because at that point “the iniquity of the Amorite [was] not yet complete” (Genesis 15:16). In His patience, God was not yet ready to pass judgment on the Amorites, but He set a time when that judgment would inevitably fall.
The evil practices of the Canaanites were well-known. Not only were they idol-worshippers (a terrible offense to God), but they even sacrifices their own children to their false gods. As a society that not only tolerates but officially sanctions and celebrates the slaughter of untold millions on the altar of “choice”, America should take warning from Canaan’s example. God will not excuse such wickedness forever.
The LORD God gave the land of Canaan to the Hebrew nation; they simply had to reach out their hand and lay hold of it. As He demonstrated at Jericho, they did not even have to strive to conquer the Land. He went before them and fought for them—as long as they were faithful to Him.
Sadly, whether due to weariness or distraction or spiritual negligence, the children of Israel did not finish the task of eradicating the evil Canaanites. Perhaps they were enticed by their women and lulled into complacency by their apparent prosperity. We know that Achan was seduced by the thought of keeping some of the spoil following the battle of Jericho. Regardless, the Israelites tolerated evil in their midst—flirting with it and being ensnared time and time again. Just as a little leaven works through the whole loaf, the sin in their midst led to Israel’s cyclical downfall—and eventually to God’s judgment.
Judges 2:20-23 So the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers and has not listened to My voice, I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, in order to test Israel by them, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk in it as their fathers did, or not.” So the LORD allowed those nations to remain, not driving them out quickly; and He did not give them into the hand of Joshua.
Explanation: Here again, we have to mourn what could have been! Had Israel simply honored the command of the LORD, honoring their covenant—their commitment to Him—He would have driven out all the pagan nations from their midst. Their nation would have thrived and been an ongoing recipient and conduit of blessing.
But… Instead of obeying Him and keeping their collective word they were lulled into complacency and wandered far from Him. This picture will be repeated throughout the history of Israel—to the point that God eventually raised up Hosea and told him to take a wife of harlotry. Demonstrating the infidelity of God’s own chosen, the prophet would marry a faithless prostitute!
Sadly, this passage in Judges conveys the LORD’s heavy-hearted decision to test the nation by spiritually allowing briars and thorns to grow up among them. The test was not offered so that He could determine what their behavior would be, but to demonstrate their inclination to wander far from Him. Lowering His hedge of protection, they would rush out to play the harlot.
Left to our own devices, we are all prone to this same tendency. “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the Lord I love…”
Judges 6:22-23 When Gideon say that he was the angel of the LORD, he said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” The LORD said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”
Explanation: God shows up throughout the Old Testament, but at times it is easy to miss the significance of His interaction with men and women. The “angel of the LORD” might seem to be any heavenly messenger, but in this case Gideon clearly recognized that he was speaking with the LORD. The angel did not correct him or refuse his worship—leading Gideon to build an altar and call it Yahweh-Shalom—The LORD is Peace.
We believe that this appearance of God was none other than the Son—Jesus Christ—the image of the invisible God. Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice (John 10:27-28). Gideon was called of God and heard His voice. He obeyed and became a conduit of blessing for his people.
If you have put your trust in Jesus Christ, listen for His voice. He will speak to you through His Word—if you’ll read and study it. And, hearing His voice you will have peace without fear and life everlasting.
Tim Moore: Welcome to Christ in Prophecy! I’m Tim Moore.
Nathan Jones: And I’m Nathan Jones. We’re picking up speed in our series focusing on Jesus in the Old Testament, and still highlighting prophetic types and appearances of the Messiah throughout the Word of God.
Tim Moore: Following Israel’s possession of the Promised Land under the decisive leadership of Joshua, they drifted. Lacking a bold leader or a clear objective, the tribes settled, literally and figuratively. They entered into a cycle of oppression amidst the Canaanites that lingered in the Land and nearby external foes. And they played the harlot and succumbed to idol worship.
Nathan Jones: When the Children of Israel cried out to God, He raised up judges, what we would call leaders, to lead the people in battle and steer them back to a right relationship with Him. Following shortly after Joshua’s death, the events of the book of Judges covered about 325 years, or approximately 1400-1075 BC.
Tim Moore: Some of the judges are well-known even today. Gideon and Samson are presented in extended narratives that capture their very human flaws and their service to God and His people. Others were less well-known, like Ehud and Jephthah. And one, Deborah, was a woman who led Israel to military victory. But they all reflect the sad commentary repeated three times within the book, during those days there was no king in Israel.
With that background, I’ve invited Michele Bachmann, an outspoken Christian, and a famous bold leader in her own right, to join us today.
Part 1 – Interview with Dean Michele Bachmann
Tim Moore: Congresswoman Bachmann. Dean Bachmann. Mrs. Bachmann. Michelle. We are delighted to have you with us here today.
Michele Bachmann: It is such an honor, Tim for me to be on this show with you today, for Lamb & Lion Ministries, thank you so much for the invitation.
Tim Moore: Well, we have something else in common, we both served in the legislature. And by way of background, you leapt into the national consciousness when you served in Congress and quickly became known for your forthright manner and clear-eyed adherence to a biblical, or a Judeo-Christian worldview, and you continue that today.
Michele Bachmann: Well, thank you, that really defines me. I came to Jesus Christ when I was 16 years of age, and I saw a complete compare and contrast between not being in Christ and being in Christ. And so, for me I was so blessed because the Lord took me to understand what a biblical worldview is; the fact that the Bible touches every single area of life. I didn’t intend to go onto politics, that was not my life work, but the Lord allowed me to go in that direction. And what helped me more than anything was having a solid understanding of the Scriptures and coupled with the fact that the Bible does have something to say about nearly every area of life. So, when I went into the United States Congress it wasn’t hard for me to know how to vote, or where to stand on issues, because I had a framework of understanding what the Bible had to say about the many issues that came before the United States Congress.
Nathan Jones: Well, you are certainly so correct, the Bible is defiantly clear about giving guidelines that apply to every arena of our life. Now, sadly, it just seemed a few years ago, that arguments in Washington centered on issues that seemed quaint compared to today’s battles. I mean they talked about taxes and fiscal policy, they talked about expansive government versus limited government, I mean these were age-old Democrat versus Republican questions. But now they can’t agree on even words anymore. How do think we’ve gotten to this point?
Michele Bachmann: Well, it is really a moment of clarity. And the debate remains the same, but the definer is this: one particular political party looks to what I would call authoritarianism where the state has all power, all control. The other party tends to look at the individuals having liberty, but liberty under law where the people get to choose, they have a voice and a say on the issues, and how they want issues to work out, and also who they want to represent them. Not so with authoritarianism. Under authoritarianism there are a few people who think it is their opinion, their right, whatever they want is what the people should have to bear. It’s a real complete contrast, a compare and contrast between authoritarianism where the state delivers all effective mandates, versus liberty under law where the people get to choose a form of government under the guidance of biblical standards.
Tim Moore: That is an excellent point because, yes, we choose liberty and freedom, but under the guidance, as you said of biblical standards. So, to follow up on that last question, there was once a broad consensus that our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and even that most of our founders were confessing Christians. But now, Barack Obama’s statement seems all too fitting, “America is no longer a Christian nation.” How do you respond to that?
Michele Bachmann: Well, when Barack Obama stated that America is no longer a Christian nation, it almost seemed like there was a sense of glee in the tone of his voice when he said that. That he was happy that that was happening. And in my opinion, and I said this when I was in the United States Congress at the time, the legacy of Barack Obama will be the establishment of lawlessness in the United States. Lawlessness is not the type of governance that is God’s idea. God’s idea is liberty under law, under biblical law. Lawlessness isn’t serving anyone very well. We have a living laboratory just in the last year. If people recall what government was like under Donald Trump, and again, I’m not saying Donald Trump was perfect, he certainly wasn’t, but America had its highest standard of living. Its greatest freedoms for Black Americans, Hispanic Americans. The highest standard of living, and freedom, and workforce participation happened under Donald Trump.
In less than ten months the United States has cratered and collapsed in almost every measure, and it is because of our form of governance. We went from liberty, personal choice under law, and today we are authoritarianism, where government makes mandates, they tell us what we have to do, and there is no getting away from it. What has that brought to us, Tim? That has made the American people poorer, we are sicker, we are less free, we have very little border enforcement, and we are wide open and vulnerable to attack. That’s in less than ten months’ time. It makes an incredible difference what type of governance we have, whether it is radical governmental authoritarianism versus liberty under biblical law. And I think if people had to choose today, they would choose liberty under biblical law, what we were enjoying more under Donald Trump than what we have today under Biden, which is direct-rank authoritarianism.
Nathan Jones: Well, the book of Judges repeatedly says over and over again that there was no king in Israel in those days. So, without the rule of law under God’s anointed king, the nation descended into chaos. And ironically our society promotes unfettered liberty, and yet it is falling under increasing authoritarianism. Back in the days of the Judges the Children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, they served the Baals and the Asheroth and they fell prey to the pagan people among them, and around them. They provoked to anger God who allowed them to endure punishment and persecution. And then He would raise up judges to deliver them from their misery, and steer them back toward faithfulness. And the tragic cycle just repeated over and over again. Will the human race ever learn?
Michele Bachmann: Well, clearly if you look at the Bible it seemed like the Children of Israel didn’t seem to learn, they continued to repeat the mistakes and lessons. We are no different from the Children of Israel today, we continue to fall into sin and want what we want. But it is really true when you read through the course of the Old Testament you see, and you almost want to just shake the Israel people and say to them, “Why don’t you just do what God said? Why don’t you just obey? Your lives would have gone better. Your society would have been fruitful. You wouldn’t have been scattered had you not been disobedience. Your nation would have thrived.”
And of course, that is true for us today too. We probably have more rank, and disobedience from the things of God today, even during the times of the Israelites. It all comes down to this, it is the first commandment, who is God? Who will we serve this day? Joshua said, “Whom shall we serve this day?” Joshua said, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” When we as a nation choose God and choose to obey His Word then there is peace in the land, and there is blessing. And that is what we see in America today, because of our sin, because we choose our sin over obedience, that’s why we are seeing the collapse of the United States today.
Tim Moore: We certainly are. In addition to men, God raised up a gifted woman to judge Israel, Deborah was a prophetess, in her own right, a wife, and a lady of great discernment. She called on Barak to lead an Israelite army into battle, but he refused to do so unless she joined him. And so, as Deborah foretold he would not receive the honor of leading the sons of Naphtali and Zebulun into battle. Congresswoman Bachmann, I’ve said that you are a modern-day Deborah. What does she represent to you even today?
Michele Bachmann: Well, thank you. I wish I could say that I was. I certainly don’t feel that way. But what Deborah did in the Bible that was so profound is A she believed that God is who He says He is. And then she willingly obeyed and did exactly what He said. Deborah had no fear, she trusted the Lord. She trusted the consequences of what the Lord was calling her to do, because she knew that God’s ways were good, and all together righteous. And so, she trusted Him no matter what. She was willing to trust God. She was willing to lead. And even the man who had the highest rank at the time, Barak, was not willing to truly trust the Lord, unless Deborah was with him. I think it is because he saw in Deborah faith, a profound faith, and a trust, and a belief in the righteousness and might of God. We see that in various characters in the Bible. When faith in God is paramount, that’s when victory comes. And even though today in America we are in extremely difficult times, its imperative that we know God, believe God, trust God, that’s our opportunity for the greatest outcome in the United States. Trusting in the Lord our God and obeying His Word.
Nathan Jones: Amen! She really hit the nail on the head!
Tim Moore: She sure did!
Nathan Jones: Well, there was another woman featured prominently in that story. If we go to it Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army, he fled when the Lord routed his chariot-based army. And he encountered a woman, who’s named Jael. She was a woman of great resolve. She was the wife of Heber the Kenite. And she invited Sisera into her tent. Tell us the rest of that story if you would.
Michele Bachmann: Well, she was an extremely brave woman, I am not sure that I could have done what she did. Sisera was the leader of the enemy army, the enemy that was killing the Israelites. But she invited this ruthless, blood-thirsty leader into her tent. She was very wise, she gave him warm milk to drink, he was exhausted so she gave him comfort food. And then when he was resting she took a tent peg in her left hand, and a hammer in the right hand and she drove the tent peg through his temple, and ultimately killed him and rescued the Israel people from this ruthless army, because she took out the ruthless army’s commander, Sisera.
Well, she was absolutely remarkable, an extremely brave woman, but she trusted in the Lord, and she also understood the threat that Sisera was to the Israelite people. He was an existential threat; he had the power to wipe them out. So, it was either Sisera would prevail, or the Israelite people would prevail. She took what she had within her power, something very simple inviting him into her tent, giving him comfort food. And then taking what she had in her hands a tent peg and a hammer, and she solved the problem. An incredibly brave, courageous woman.
Tim Moore: She certainly was. Scripture is filled with incredibly brave, and discerning women. We could talk about Rahab, and Ruth, and Lydia, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. So many times, God has raised up women to serve in mighty ways, and He still does.
Another famous judge who seemed wholly inadequate for the call on his life, was Gideon. As a matter of fact, when God called Gideon to lead His people, the Lord greeted him with a salutation that smacks of sarcasm but was actually intended to encourage him. What did the Lord say?
Michele Bachmann: The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, and he was down in the bottom of a winepress, he was grinding out grain because he didn’t want the Midianites to steal the grain. And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Oh, mighty warrior.” So, in that posture when Gideon was in that posture he didn’t look particularly mighty, but the Lord saw in Gideon that he could be a mighty warrior.
Nathan Jones: Yes, ma’am. And so many times today He raises up individuals and calls them to tasks and challenges that are far beyond their abilities, because only through the power of God and the Holy Spirit can they actually rise to that challenge. Well, Gideon grew eventually to exhibit tactical prowess in battle, and he certainly didn’t seem to be a mighty warrior at first did he?
Michele Bachmann: No, he wasn’t. As even he said back to the angel of the Lord, “Wait a minute! I come from the least tribe in Israel, and I’m the weakest, I’m the weakest clan in all of Israel. So, he was saying to the Lord, “I think you’ve got the wrong guy. I’m the weakest link here. Why are you coming to me?” And yet, he recognized who the angel of the Lord was. And when he recognized who the angel of the Lord was, the first thing he did is prepare an offering to the Lord. He gave that offering to the Lord. The Lord received that offering. And the next thing Gideon did was build an altar to the Lord. So, he had the right response. He recognized who God was. He worshipped God. He trusted God. He obeyed God, every step of the way. And through this weakest man in Israel, God delivered the whole nation.
And that is what it says to each one of us, it isn’t our might, it isn’t our power, it isn’t our strength, it isn’t that we are the biggest, the tallest, the best looking, the smartest, the richest, the most clever, it’s usually He chooses the least obvious person to lead. He’s looking for, just like King David, someone who has a heart after God, someone who will obey. Surely, Jael obeyed. Surely, Deborah obeyed, and Gideon obeyed.
Tim Moore: I appreciate you saying that, “He chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things to shame the strong.” We could also delve into the life of Samson, a tragic hero if ever there was one. But that is not our focus in this series. Our goal is to highlight Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. Where do you think He appears in the book of Judges?
Michele Bachmann: Well, in the book of Judges, clearly with the story of Gideon for instance, it was an angel of the Lord that appeared to Gideon. It doesn’t give a name to the angel, like Michael or Gabriel, or anything else, and the fact that Gideon worshipped the angel of the Lord and built an altar to the angel of the Lord, and the angel of the Lord did not say, “Don’t bow down. Don’t give me this offering.” The angel received it. That says to me that that angel of the Lord was in fact Jesus Christ. That God Himself appeared. Because it was a human being that Gideon was looking at. Human being in the sense that it was an image and likeness of an angel.
Nathan Jones: Amen. That was beautifully said. Well, how else does the book of Judges highlight Jesus as the Messiah who would come, and is coming again?
Michele Bachmann: Well, I think in the book of Judges, what we see is that men continually over, and over, sinned in Israel, and yet, God always came to rescue. We know from the Bible that Jesus will come again. Ultimately one day He will come to ultimately rescue us from this earth. That is what the book of Judges says to me. We can trust in this God who will never abandon us here on this earth. He’s made a way of escape. And He will come back and we can rest in assurance in His loving arms. Not in a king, but in a Christ, in our Messiah, the One who loves us and gave Himself for us.
Tim Moore: Dean Bachmann I could not improve upon your words at all. Still, Michele there are many people who are losing hope as darkness seems to be descending even in the land of the free, and the home of the brave. You have been an inspiration to so many, not only because of your elected service, and boldness in standing for biblical truth, but also in your role as a foster mother, and as a supporter of Israel, and proclaimer of the Lord’s soon return. What gives you hope? Or more specifically who gives you hope?
Michele Bachmann: What gives me hope more than anything is the Word of God. And as I look at this society collapsing around us, and the loss of freedom, not just here in the United States but globally. We are seeing events unlike anything that has ever been seen in world history. Just knowing the fact that the modern Jewish State in accordance with Scripture is back where the Bible said it would be. The fact that Jerusalem is back in the control of the Jewish people. As we look at all of these global events occurring, this tells us that Jesus is even at the door, His return draws neigh. So, where should we be? The Scripture is clear, we need to be like the ten virgins with our lamps full. We need to be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit. We need to be occupying until He comes. We need to be understanding the Scripture and living it out and proclaiming that the soon and coming King will be here, that the hour is at hand. That the fig leaf, the leaf is already budding. And, so, this is the most exciting time in all of history to be alive. Rather than being fearful at the collapse that we see around us, we should rejoice because our redemption, in that our Lord is coming back soon. We need to be ready, and we need to proclaim His Word so that those around us will be saved and be ready to meet our soon and coming King.
Tim Moore: Amen, and amen. You sound a lot like our mutual friend, Jan Markell, who says, “The world isn’t so much falling apart, as the pieces are falling in place.” Pointing to the soon return of Jesus Christ. Congresswoman Bachmann, Dean Bachmann, Michele, thank you very much for joining us today, taking the time. I’m so glad that the Lord is raising up Deborahs to serve Him, and to lead with boldness and conviction. And I pray that He will continues to touch many lives through your continuing service.
Michele Bachmann: Thank you. I just want to tell everyone, don’t delay, He’s coming soon, receive Him as Lord today.
Tim Moore: Amen and maranatha.
Part 2 – Signs of the Times- Awaiting the Kingdom
Tim Moore: The indictment against Israel is summed up in the book of Judges as, “There was no king in Israel, every man did what was right in his own eyes.”
God’s Word is clear that the LORD has ordained government to serve His purposes, and to restrain unfettered chaos. Governments and leaders are raised up to execute justice on the earth, imperfect as it is. They are charged with protecting their citizens and ensuring that people are able to live in relative peace and safety. In Romans 13, Paul emphasizes the proper role of government and even says that “rulers are servants of God.” That is certainly the ideal.
Throughout most of its history, America has touted its own form of government. Independence Day was commemorated not merely as the nation’s birthday, but also as a celebration of our Constitutional Republic.
Certainly, of all the forms of government on the earth, the “American experiment” has led to blessing beyond measure. Compared to dictatorships, communism, socialism, oligarchies, hereditary monarchies, or the unattainable pure democracy, our Republic has proven to be the best over time.
But why was America blessed? Simply because of our form of government? No.
American government, and the ordered liberty our founders sought to establish was the direct result of a Christian foundation. It is a truism that government is downstream of culture. James Madison, who wrote the Constitution recognized this fact and said, “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?”
John Adams, the second president, said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
And Adams was not referring to any generic religion. He and the other Founders had only Christianity in mind as the basis for enlightened morality.
Regarding the Constitution, Madison said it requires “sufficient virtue among men for self-government,” otherwise, “nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.” His words ring prophetic in light of our current state.
Robert George, a Conservative political philosopher, put it this way, “People lacking in virtue can be counted on to trade liberty for protection, for financial or personal security, for comfort, for having their problems solved quickly. And there will always be people occupying or standing for public office who will be happy to offer the deal.”
American Exceptionalism is embraced by many Christian patriots in this nation, but prophecy teacher Ed Hindson made a keen observation. “In no other country do Christians ask, ‘Where does my country fit in Bible prophecy?’ Only in America does our biblical understanding get so entangled with our national identity.”
Ordered liberty is the birthright of every American. It must never be traded for what amounts to a single meal of lentil stew.
In the even bigger picture, we must not become so enamored with our form of government. As Christians, we look forward to living under the reign of a King. May He rule in our lives even now.
Part 3- How Then Shall We Live? Judge Not!
Nathan Jones: Many Christians consider John 3:16 to be the core message of the Gospel. “For God so loved the World that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
But outside evangelical circles, the verse cited more than any other is Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”
Although the book of Judges has to do with the national leaders God raised up to deliver the children of Israel before He anointed a king over them, we tend to think of the word in the context of criticizing or condemning. Jesus would caution us against the first action and prohibit the second. Callous criticism tears down instead of building up. And, daring to condemn, outside of very limited scriptural or legal parameters risks taking on the role of God Almighty.
But Christians are called to be discerning. In the latter half of the same chapter in Matthew, Jesus warned His disciples to beware of false prophets, who “inwardly are ravenous wolves.” He said that we will “know them by their fruit.” Such recognition requires holy discernment. And similarly, in John 13:35 He says that all men will know that we are His disciples “if we have love for one another.” The expectation for discernment in this case extends even to unbelievers, but with the purpose of pointing them to the One whose love flows through us.
It is wrongminded and off-putting to be judgmental; but it is spiritually immature to be undiscerning. Especially as our culture rejects its own Christian heritage, we must be “shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves,” particularly because Christ sends us out as sheep in the midst of wolves.
Without glorified hearts and minds yet ourselves, how do we strike the right balance in the midst of a darkening world? Well, here is where we must pray for wisdom and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth.
Red Green may have offered encouragement by saying, “Remember, I’m pulling for you,” but we are praying for you!
Nathan Jones: Judges reads like a repeated tragedy, doesn’t it?
Tim Moore: It really does. And you know the sad reality is like any fictional tragedy Israel did not have to languish for hundreds of years. It could have been different for them.
Nathan Jones: We can only wonder what kind of blessings the Lord would have poured down on the Children of Israel had they remained faithful to Him. If they had obeyed Him and driven out the evil Canaanites, they would have thrived in ways, well, we can only imagine.
Tim Moore: Yes, but that’s also true for each of us as individuals. How much hardship comes into our lives because we stray from Jesus, wandering away from the One Who wants to bless us?
Nathan Jones: Are you saying then that we’ll never have any trouble in this world if we are Christians?
Tim Moore: No, of course not. You know, Jesus was one with the Father, and all-powerful in His own right, and yet He suffered in this world. Paul and the other apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit and obedient to their calling, also suffered for the cause of Christ. Jesus told us, this would be so.
Nathan Jones: Exactly. Know, folks, the tragic drift of the Israelites in the book of Judges is summed up in our two key verses this week: Judges 2:10-12 and 21:25. You can read much more in our Key Verse Commentary on our christinprophecy website. But suffice it to say that those verses are keenly relevant to us today.
Tim Moore: They certainly are. And we do hope that you are visiting our website to dig deeper each week as we explain our key verses, and even highlight some other important verses from each book of the Old Testament. As we close out this episode we would like to invite you to join us in the coming year as a Prophecy Partner. For only $25 a month you can help us proclaim the soon return of Jesus Christ.
Nathan Jones: Well next week we’ll feature a special guest as we explore the lessons of Ruth. At only four chapters, it should be an easy to read ahead. As you do, look for Jesus. For now, this is Nathan Jones.
Tim Moore: And Tim Moore, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for the Lord, our soon-returning King who reigns even now in the hearts of His people, is drawing near.” Godspeed!
End of Program