What the Book of Judges Can Teach the Church Today
By Chara Donahue
It is a frightening thing to know that churches can grow and find success not because they are close to the heart of God, but because they have learned through tradition and good business how to build an enterprise. The time of the judges was full of rising and falling, disaster and success, but there is a constant refrain of people forsaking the one true God for a false idol, which knowledge, business, and best practices can become. The church and its leaders can never forget where true life comes from. They must remember the prayer Jesus prayed for his church: “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3
One of the most striking and beautiful characteristics of the church is her diversity. She reaches across the world and makes disciples of all nations. While the global church may be made up of every race, sex, and ability, many local churches struggle with homogeneity. Another problem is when churches welcome others who are different, hoping that they will assimilate and adhere to their church’s customs, which may be outside of what Jesus asks of his people.
When building teams or choosing leadership, churches must remember that a body is composed of many parts, and each has their particular function.
In Judges 3 it was Ehud’s differing characteristic that enabled him to be Israel’s deliverer from Eglon, the king of Moab. Ehud was a left-handed strategist who was born into a right-handed society. While this difference is slight, it was vital to his success as a judge. Ehud was underestimated because he was different, and we lose strength as the church when we demand that people think, act, and look the same. We should all stand firm on the Word of God by following his commandments as the Spirit enables, seeking unity amidst diversity. We are at our best in glorifying God when the different parts of the church body function as a whole.
If you have never read the book of Judges, today is a good day to start. Far beyond the paltry dramas you find on Netflix or Twitter; not only will you find the full stories to the lessons mentioned here, you will also read of Samson, the rash vow of Japheth, a tragically slain concubine, and many more. Judges reveals the brokenness of humanity apart from the Spirit interceding. These stories clearly show that what the church needs most is Jesus’ rule and reign.
Editor’s Note: The following was adapted from 5 Powerful Lessons the Book of Judges Has for the Church by Chara Donahue. To read the full article, follow this link.
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