Imperfect Reflections of God as Judge 

Certain aspects of God’s role as Supreme Judge are imperfectly reflected in the human judges whom God appointed over the tribes and nation of Israel as recorded in the Book of Judges. These human judges:

 

         gave judgements about what was right and wrong (see Deuteronomy 1:15-17, 16:18, Judges 4:4-5 and 1 Samuel 7:15-17).

         decreed and oversaw punishments for certain crimes (see Exodus 21:22-27, Deuteronomy 17:8-12, 19:16-21 and 25:1-3).

         saved or delivered the various tribes or the whole nation of Israel at various times from slavery, terrible suffering and physical death (see Judges 2:16, 2:18, 3:9-10, 3:15-30, 4:6-31, 6:11-21, 10:16-11:33 and 13:2-16:31). Such terrible bondages were punishments decreed by God the Perfect Judge (see Judges 2:14-15, 3:8, 3:12-14, 4:2, 6:1-6, 10:6-9 and 13:1). But note on the basis of His own perfectly loving, gracious and merciful character and Jesus’ preordained death, God the Judge would work through His human judges to save His people from such horrendous bondage. Christ’s future death enabled God the Judge to express His perfect love, grace and mercy to His people without Him being unjust.

Judges 2:16 and 18 states: “Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them. And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them.”

         ruled the tribes and nation of Israel to a very limited extent. Gideon’s words in Judges 8:23 suggest that these God-appointed judges such as himself were not absolute supreme rulers in the sense God is. Later godly kings such as David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah were probably better (though still imperfect) reflections of God being the Supreme Ruler than what the Israelite judges mentioned in the Book of Judges were. Such kings acted as the God-delegated highest rulers and judges in Israel or Judah. God combines the roles of Supreme Ruler and Perfect Judge together. So this is why the Israelite judges were only limited reflections of God being the Supreme Judge.

 

 


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