The book of Judges tells how God’s people struggled to stay faithful to him once they settled in the Promised Land. A familiar pattern developed:

  • The people would start worshiping the false gods of those who lived around them.
  • God would discipline his people by letting their enemies conquer them.
  • The people would cry out to God.
  • God would raise up a judge to be their leader and save them.
  • The judge would die, and the people would start worshiping false gods again.

At first, the judges were good leaders. But as the years wore on, they were less and less godly. Gideon’s mistakes led his family into civil war and led the people into idol worship. Jephthah made a foolish vow—and then kept it! Samson was a strong man but a moral failure.

The people needed a better leader than any of the judges. They needed a strong fighter who would also teach them to worship God. It would help if he lived forever, too.

The one leader God’s people have always needed—and still need today—is Jesus. Jesus is strong to save us, like the judges were, but better than the judges. He leads us in serving God, and he never gets foolish or proud or selfish.

We must follow Jesus. No other leader can save us from the sinful patterns we’re trapped in. Only he is able.

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