Reading through the Bible in a year has brought me to the book of Judges. For many Judges comes across as a bloody, brutal book that reveals what happens when “everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 17:6). The book seems like an endless cycle of despair. Israel forgets, Israel falls, Israel cries out and God sends Judges. The cycle is repeated 7 times, and gets worse every time. Still God delivers.
What amazes me in this book is not only God’s patience and forgiveness, but His knack to make leaders out of anyone and anybody. Ehud in Judges 3 comes off as the left-handed judge. Literally the Hebrew says Ehud has something wrong with his right hand. No problem for God, he turns Ehud into a left handed warrior and a leader is born. God can make anyone a leader.
Deborah is a woman, not a great thing to be if you want to be a leader in the Old Testament. But Deborah leads the way. She’s not only a judge, she’s a prophetess. She even writes her own song, her own chapter in the Bible. God can make anyone a leader.
Gideon’s name means “the one who sits down.” Not really a name that will bring fear to one’s enemies. Ever heard of a leader called “the Great Sitter”? Gideon even sees himself as the bottom rung of the ladder — least clan of the tribe, least member of the family. Gideon can’t go any lower, but God can make anyone a leader and he turns in Gideon into a “Mighty Warrior.”
Out numbered 4 to 1, the odds in God’s eyes are not fair. So God takes Gideon’s band of warriors to being outnumbered 450 to 1, still not fair when God is on your side. God can make anyone a leader.
That’s the leadership hope I find in the book of Judges, God can make anyone a leader — Samson, the lustful strong Judge. Jephthah, the illegitimate saving judge. A whole series of minor judges who are listed but whose stories are not well known. What is known from Judges is God can make anyone a leader.
That gives me hope. For what God did in Judges is what God still can do today. In a world where everyone does as they see fit. We still need to cry out to God to deliver, and to still believe God can make leaders out of anyone. And here’s the best part, that anyone includes you and me.
Whatever is holding you back. Whatever is your physical weakness or spiritual failure, don’t give up. We still need leaders and God can still use you. That’s where I am finding hope in the book of Judges. How about you, who is your favorite Judge / Deliverer in the book of Judges? And perhaps even more important where is God calling you to lead? You are one of the anyone’s He’s making into a leader.