Thebook of Judges in the Bible gives an account of the life and historyof Israel and their judges. The interaction between the people withChristianity beliefs of God’s deliverance and that of the rule ofthe various judges of Israel leads to the repetition of the cycle offalling and rising again. This paper purports to discuss the vitalaspects of the cycle during the later monarchy period including thepostexilic events and themes portrayed. These aspects will give aclear picture on the forces and impacts of the repetition of thecycle on the development and rule of law and religion in the region.
Thejudges of Israel are in this account seen to be the rulers anddeliverers of the people of Israel from oppression to the state ofpeace, and plenty promised to them by God. It is of fundamentalnoting that the cycle of events, falling and rising of the Israelpeople was in direct relation and effect by the nature of rule andlaws through which the judges would impart. This causes them torepeat the states of apostasy, deliverance, and depravity (Knoppers,2011).During the state of apostasy, Israel is seen as a failure in the eyesof its God due to failing to complete the conquest and cleansing asinstructed. The cause of the catastrophe is living with the pagansafter failing to drive all of them away. Over time, throughout thedifferent periods, the people are seen to relive this cycle. It isrepresented by the failure to completely do away with the old that isassociated with sin and start afresh. In different instances,individuals are seen to still covet their past and sinful waysincluding those of their named enemies. It is such mixture that leadsto the depravity of success of conquering the enemy fully as they areseen as not yet worthy of the prize promised to them with suretyattached to conditions of living.
Thestate of deliverance looks into the six different war campaigns aimedat conquering the enemy in accordance with the commands of their God.It is during these periods that the curses of apostles are releasedand maim the ability to deliver victory on their side. With everyshortfall in following the lord’s commands and way of life, theyare given another chance to prove their worth and win the promisedprice. It is evident that the nature of this cycle was not to denythem of their prize but to have them win it in a deserving manner.The people, through judgments and acceptance had to redo theirstrategies of conquering the enemy until it fits within theconfinements of conditions set to them by God. The wars against theenemies of Israel are but not just a physical one but a spiritual andmoral one too. The larger challenge is to bring judgment andcorrection to a way of life that is also even too familiar with thepeople of Israel and their past. In so doing, failures are registeredand thus find themselves falling into repetitions of the same cycleof deliverance. In this case, their deliverance is vested in themanner through which the judges would be able to enforce trueinterpretations, salvation and judgment on the ruling of the people.
Dueto the nature of self-inflicting of the state of apostasy andfailures in deliverance, a repetition in the state of depravity iswitnessed. This is as a result of the witnessing of the decay instates of Israel’s spirituality and morality. In failure to fullyabscond the prior and historical evils and ways of life aspects ofidolatry, civil misconduct, and civil wars within Israel arewitnessed to having a large bearing on their ways of life.Furthermore, the desperation of such continued repetitions in thecycle leads to most individuals to lose themselves even further. Withtime, the deliverance of the Lord’s promise both in physical and intheir spiritual lives gets seemingly impossible. With the judges justable to offer guided assistance it becomes difficult to enforcepositive change and hope in times of severe desperation.
Thecycle was more pronounced in the time of the monarchic period due tothe impacts of experiencing rules of different kings who haddifferent spiritual standings to those of the people and the judgesenforced by God. There is a lacking of formal and Godly order inIsrael as every king is seemingly weighed towards their selfish ways.In view of such leadership, the people too are seen to be lacking adirection of true deliverance in accordance with the Lord’spromise. It is during these periods that leadership is accepted inanticipation of the realisation of the promised good king amongstthem (Matthews,2014).The arrival of King David would prove to be the final deliverancethey were promised and waiting upon.
Accordingto Knight(2015), anemergent theme is that of the Deuteronomistic theology where Israelentered into a binding treaty with God. It is through the binds ofthis treaty that they relive the different states of the cycle uptill their final deliverance to the promise of the Lord. It plays outin that every time the people go or act in break of the agreements ofthe treaty the Lord punishes them in way of delivering them to theirenemy. Once they have undergone harsh treatment, they repeal formercy from the Lord by prayer and changing their ways to be in linewith the agreements of the treaty. This would lead to God sendingthem judgment in the form of a judge who would ensure theirdeliverance from the oppressions of their enemies. However, thiscycle would repeat in the three states of apostasy, deliverance, anddepravity. This is where once the judge delivers and rescues themthe people would soon again fall short of the agreements of thetreaty with God thus prompting God to gain deliver them to theirenemies.
Inobservance of the cycle, it is clear of the nature of God to show hispower and authority over all people and all lands. At the same time,the vitality of adhering to agreements made with God in line withnature of acceptance of his will and ways of life. This representsthe theme of the sovereignty freedom of God (Hughes,2011).It shows that God is almighty and does not always act in accordanceto what is expected of Him but tends to create his own ways thatwould lead to the desired result.
Thehistorical repetition of the cycle undergone in the book of judges issignificant of the nature through which deliverance was to bedelivered to the people in strict observance of the treaty-covenantthey entered into with God. The aspects of the power and authority ofGod and the vitality of honouring agreements with God within theChristian dialect emerge as deliberated results of the cycle in thebook of judges.
Hughes,J. (2011). Secretsof the Times: Myth and History in Biblical Chronology.A&C Black.
Knight,A. (2015). "Deuteronomyand the Deuteronomists.”T&T Clark.
Knoppers,G. (2011). Introduction: Reconsidering Israel and Judah: recentstudies on the Deuteronomistic history. Eisenbrauns
Matthews,H. (2014). Judges and Ruth. Cambridge University Press.