You Need A Better Deliverer
When the going gets tough, the question becomes very simple. Is there a God you can cry out to who is able to act and who is able to do something? These judges were not like our judges today, sitting in a court of law. They were military leaders who were able to deliver the people from oppression.
There is a God in heaven, and He delivers those who call on him in faith. He sent saviors who delivered the people of God—Othniel, Shamgar, Ehud, Gideon, Jephthah and Samson. The Spirit of God was on them. They delivered the people of God from their enemies, and through them, the blessing of God was restored to the people.
These judges had significant limitations
“But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them.” Judges 2:19
It’s difficult to admire the character of these judges. Ehud was a cowardly assassin. Gideon lacked faith and needed multiple confirmations of God’s word before he would go and do it! Jephthah sacrificed his daughter, and Samson’s failures are legendary. They qualify him as the weakest strong man who ever lived!
The judges repeatedly brought changes in circumstances, but they never managed to bring a change of heart. The book leaves you asking, “How long is this going to go on?” God raised up a judge. The judge delivered the people of God by the power of the Holy Spirit and the land enjoyed a time of peace. Then the judge died and, within a few years, things are back where they started.
As you read through this book, you begin to think, “We need a better deliverer than any of these folks. We need a deliverer who can bring a change of heart, not just a change of circumstances. We need a savior who can bring change that will last.”
God does a new thing
“Give him the name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
Roll the story forward 1,400 years. The people of God have been given into the hands of their enemies. This time it is the Romans. There had been riots and attempts to overthrow the might of Rome, and the people were hoping God would raise up a deliverer. Folks like Simeon and Anna were calling out to God, and then God does a new thing. He sends his Son into the world.
Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), the exact representation of his being (Hebrews 1:3). He is who God is and he does what God does. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:19). “Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does” (John 10:37).
When Judas Iscariot saw what Jesus could do, he just knew that He could be the deliverer. This is why the crowds wanted to seize Christ and make him king, but Christ refused. He had not come to overthrow the Roman Empire, because that would not change the hearts of the people.
Then, at the height of Jesus’ ministry, He was nailed to the cross, and all hopes of deliverance were shattered… until the third day, when He rose from the dead. Here is a Deliverer who will never die. He always lives to deliver His people. How are you going to respond to this Deliverer? “They turned from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
This week's Scripture: The people were in great distress. Then the Lord raised up judges who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Judges 2:15
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This LifeKey is based on the message “Deliverer,” by Pastor Colin S. Smith, delivered on April 30, 2000, from the series “Unlocking the Bible.” Colin currently serves as Senior Pastor of the The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is committed to preaching the Bible in a way that nourishes the soul by directing attention to Jesus Christ.