RECOVERY THROUGH JUDGES
"Jehovah raised up judges" Judges 2:16
This brief sentence records THE METHOD OF GOD DURING THIS PERIOD. It was a METHOD MADE NECESSARY by the REPEATED FAILURE OF THE PEOPLE. That should be clearly understood. These men were not judges in our sense of the word. Neither were they appointed to rule in the normal way. The nation was a THEOCRACY, having GOD AS KING. Its life was conditioned by His law, and His will was made known through His worship, and the teaching of the priests. The first sentences of the previous chapter reveal the nation inquiring of Jehovah on a matter of national importance. The answer was direct. It was sought and obtained by the use of Urim and Thummin by the priest (Exod. 28:30). The people had no need of any other administrators in times of obedience. When through DISOBEDIENCE they passed into circumstances of DIFFICULTY AND SUFFERING, GOD RAISED UP JUDGES WHO BECAME THE INSTRUMENTS OF DIVINE DELIVERANCE. The Hebrew word Shophetim is derived from a word meaning TO PUT RIGHT, AND SO TO RULE, and this is exactly what these men did. In the earlier cases, when they had accomplished deliverance they retired again into private life. Gradually they came to retain office. Samuel judged Israel forty years. THE NEED FOR THEM AROSE OUT OF HUMAN FAILURE: THE PROVISION WAS OF DIVINE GRACE. This principle runs through all the history of man. Man persistently fails, but God persistently overcomes man's failure in order to man's well-being. PRIESTS, JUDGES, KINGS, PROPHETS, ARE ALL MEANS BY WHICH GOD STOOPS TO MAN'S LEVEL IN ORDER TO RECOVER HIM.