Finding Peace in the Midst of Bad Leadership
Peace in the Midst of Bad Leadership
In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25).
The book of Judges does not indicate, who wrote the book, but in Jewish tradition, the prophet, Samuel, is named as the author. Samuel 1 and 2 are also books he authored; he was the last of the judges during those times. Samuel was an exceptional leader in Israel, who God raised up during that period of time to rescue His people. The judges did not oversee just legal matters; their tasks often included military and administrative authority in Israel. They worked to guide, protect, and care for the people, as they took direction from God.
Who Were These Leaders?
We think about the judges as both a period in time and a book of the Bible. The period of the judges began after the death of Joshua in the early fourteenth century BC (Joshua 24:29). It continued until Saul was crowned King of Israel by the prophet Samuel in 1051 BC (1 Samuel 10:24). The book of Judges acts as the sequel to the book of Joshua, linked by comparable accounts of Joshua's death (Joshua 24:29–31; Judges 2:6–9). Events within the book of Judges span the geographical breadth of the nation, happening in a variety of cities, towns, and battlefields. Scholars believe some of the judges ruled simultaneously in separate geographic regions. There are no real dates for when the book was written, but generally, the book begins soon after the death of Joshua and ends in the years just before the entrance of Samuel onto the scene.
Why is the Book of Judges Important for Today?
The time of the judges brought about great apostasy in Israel. The nation underwent political and religious turmoil, as the people tried to possess those parts of the land that had not yet been fully conquered. The tribes fought among themselves, as well, nearly wiping out the tribes of Manasseh (Judges 12) and Benjamin (20–21). The pattern of behavior in the book of Judges is clear: the people rebelled through idolatry and disbelief, God brought judgment through foreign oppression, God raised up a deliverer—or judge, and the people repented and turned back to God. When the people fell back into sin, the cycle started over again.
When we think of today with everything happening with this pandemic, we see Democrats and Republicans fighting and blaming each other for what is not done. While people are dying senselessly and families are struggling. We are struggling financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually, as our leadership finds ways to continue to lace their own pockets and forget about those who are most needy in our community. It reminds me of the book of Judges, as a Christian leader and community activist it is those in most need that we must not forget.
What is the Message here in Judges?
The main message of Judges is that God will not allow sin to go unpunished. He was their King, and they were his people. They were disobedient and turned away from God once they got in the promise land. God was watching and he did not forget, this is why they were disciplined. In Judges, He disciplined them because they followed other gods, disobeying His laws, engaging in corruption, and descending into lawlessness.
We see similarities with America and around the world. It seems like "right is wrong" and "wrong is right," injustice has the most significant voice, and justice is frowned upon by the people. My hope is that even though it look like evil or wrongdoing is winning, that love will trumiph. When you see all this chaos, one has to ask, What do I do? How do I find peace? What does God say about Bad Leadership?