Jumping Through Judges – An Introduction

The book of Judges is about a downward spiral of one spiritual disaster to another for the Israelites. Of course the greater tragedy of a mistake is not the mistake itself but failing to learn
from it. All the better if you can learn from the mistakes of others! Judges 2:6-3:6 gives something of a theological introduction to the book.  Here are four questions that come to mind in my reading which help me to reflect upon my own life and faith.

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Living out the Gospel – Confession

Confessions are great as long as they’re not mine! The world enjoys a good confession. From Bill Clinton, to Lance Armstrong it seems that we are often fascinated when someone admits their faults and their wrongdoing and even more so when the confessor has previously denied all charges.

Why is it that these two men struggled to admit their fault? Why did they have a change of heart? One answer may be to do with pain and progress. Denying sin is one way to avoid immediate pain and admitting sin is one way to progress through it.

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Living Out The Gospel – Self Examination

“It is easy to look down on others; to look down on ourselves is the difficulty”.

So says the eighteenth century rebel Walter Savage. How often do you look down on yourself and examine your heart? For the Christian I think the answer should be no more than 24 hours ago.

Another matter at the heart of the Gospel is self examination. This is the fourth Gospel principle that I’ve tried to build into my life which has proven to be both helpful and challenging.

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Living Out The Gospel – Decision

“Sir, what is the secret of your success?” a reporter asked a bank president.

“Two words.”

“And, sir, what are they?”

“Right decisions.”

“And how do you make the right decisions?”

“One word.”

“And, sir, what is it?”

“Experience.”

“And how do you get experience?”

“Two words.”

“And, sir, what are they?”

“Wrong decisions.”

Decision making is one of the unavoidable realities of life. Apparently the average human being makes 612 decisions per day (according to ask.com!). Yet as is implied in the joke, we sometimes make wrong decisions before we get to the right decisions. Decision making is the third gospel principle that I have tried to build into my life and which remains a challenge today.

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