Here comes ‘da Judge
In reading the book of Judges I was reminded of a 1995 movie starring Sylvester Stallone. The movie was Judge Dredd. Below is an excerpt from a Wikipedia article about the movie.
In 2139, people live in a single city, Mega City, ruled by The Council. Crime is dealt with by a special police force, Street Judges, who may act as judge, jury and executioner of criminals.
The power of the Judges in this sci-fi tale sounds very similar to that of the biblical judges in the book of the same name. The following Wikipedia excerpt really was interesting to me.
Dredd’s commander and mentor, Chief Judge Fargo, assigns him to teach a class in ethics at the academy where he tells the recruits they must be prepared to live in isolation until they take the Long Walk, a time when a retired Judge leaves the city and goes into the “cursed earth” to take the “law to the lawless”, those who live outside the city.
Now paint this portrait biblically. Judges, typically quite alone, are assigned by God to go into the cursed earth to take the law to the lawless, those who live outside of heaven.
Again the Israelites did evil in the LORD’s sight. They worshiped images of Baal and Ashtoreth, and the gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, Ammon, and Philistia. Not only this, but they abandoned the LORD and no longer served him at all. – Judges 10:6
Why did they need judges? Why did they sin so much? Why did they abandon God so easily and chase after other things and other Gods?
For the answer I go to a New Testament book of the bible.
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it the whole army of evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can’t possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it. And even when you do ask, you don’t get it because your whole motive is wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can’t be a friend of God. – James 4:1-4
The whole army of evil desires at war within them… Within us.
So was there hope for the Israelites? Of course there was!
But the Israelites pleaded with the LORD and said, “We have sinned. Punish us as you see fit, only rescue us today from our enemies.” Then the Israelites put aside their foreign gods and served the LORD. And he was grieved by their misery. – Judges 10:15-16
So is there hope for us? Of course there is!
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites. Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor. – James 4:7-10
The greatest honor we could ever be afforded is a place at our Lord’s table. And if we are his children, then we know that we have that place guaranteed.
Father, may I humble myself daily before you. May I resist the Devil, May I draw close to you in prayer, reading, and in waiting. May I truly grieve and turn from any and all wicked ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
He is the Law. Jan