Have you ever had to own up for something you did wrong? Maybe you remember sneaking out to see an R-rated movie and then confessing the truth to your seething parents after you crept in the house past curfew. Or maybe, more recently, you lied to your boss and had to face the consequences once you were found out.
We have all had to come face-to-face with an authority and own up to what we’ve done wrong. Palms sweat, stomach twists and turns. It can feel like you’re going before the judge in a court. Judges seem to elicit a sense of fear, or at least intimidation, don’t they? They never call you in for something you have done right.
We think of them as someone who harshly tells us what we did wrong. And they seem to be everywhere these days on television. I have lost track, I think there is still a Judge Judy and I remember Judge Wapner (from the original People’s Court)…And I know there are others that many of us would recognize.
Then there are some judges you may not know. They even have a book in the Bible with their name on it. Judges. These judges appeared on the scene to help sort out right and wrong. They also helped people get out of trouble. The Judges in the biblical book were sort of the one-stop government of their time in Israel – the executive, legislative and judicial branch all in one. And they worked hard for the good of the people and to reconnect the people to God. But, God’s people kept putting themselves into a never-ending cycle of disobedience, discipline, declaration of wrong, and deliverance. Judges like Deborah and Gideon and Samson helped them find their way back to God.
What did the people do that was so bad they needed judges? Two things. First, they failed to put God first in their lives (Judges 1:28). And secondly, they did not teach their children to know God (Judges 2:10). These two “sins” led to their downfall and ruin. Are you making the same mistakes they made? If so, you have a judge that can help you - Jesus.
The good news is that when he “calls” you into his office after you’ve messed up, you will look up to see your judge’s face and see your savior there. In his court there are no ‘3 strikes’ rules, instead you will find that grace and love abound. This, friends, is the Good News!