Day 16

O Come, Faultless Judge

Judges 2:1-23, Ezekiel 11:19-20, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

I knew of a young man who invited a staff member from his church to lunch. The young man had a problem. He felt like his life was a mess and going nowhere, so he wanted to ask this mature believer to disciple him. He laid out the problems he was facing over lunch and asked the staff member to mentor him. But the staff member responded by reinforcing what the young man already knew: that his life was a mess and he needed to be discipled.

If we’re honest, we already know our lives are a mess, that something is wrong with us at our core. We look back at our sins, the second chances we’ve taken, and all the new leaves we’ve turned over, only to see nothing but a long string of failure. We see the cycle of sin and long for something more.

While we may not have taken part in the special kind of debauchery that existed in Israel during the time of the judges, their cycle of failure should feel familiar to us. The people would fall into sin and idolatry. Then, the Lord would give them into the hands of their enemies. They would cry out for deliverance, and God would send a judge to rescue them. After the judge’s death, their sins would pile up higher than they had before.

Like every other servant of God in the Old Testament, the judges delivered the people for a time and things would get better, but the change never lasted. This is why the prophets spoke of one who would come to bring abiding change to the hearts of God’s people. God promised through Ezekiel: “I will give them integrity of heart and put a new spirit within them” (Ezekiel 11:19).

This is good news for those of us spinning our wheels in a never-ending litany of resolutions and promises to change. In Christ, God gives us a new heart and puts his Holy Spirit within us. In Christ, he receives us freely. In Christ, we get to experience a real and lasting change in our lives. By the power of his Spirit at work within us, we are no longer slaves to our old habits, sins, and hang-ups. We are men made new by the righteous Deliverer.

Written by Scott Slayton

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4 thoughts on "O Come, Faultless Judge"

  1. Justin Harger says:

    Hope. So much hope. It is comforting to know I’m not alone when I wander, but even more comforting to know that there is hope in the fact that He is our God and I am a part of His people.

    I think this is just another example of how my works mean nothing towards reconciliation of faith with God. It is through Christ alone that any of my works even mean anything. Otherwise they are a futile attempt to make myself righteous instead an outpouring of my heart resulting from an overflowing cup that the spirit fills. I pray all of our cups overflow today.

  2. Kevin says:

    Day 16: Don’t we match up with these people so well? Continually turning to sin and from God, then coming back for a bit, and then turning away again? It can be so frustrating sometimes. I feel that in myself when I’m on point with God, feeling him move in me, and then the next next, struggling with porn and lust. What the heck! Gods promise is beautiful though. He will restore in us a new heart. His grace abounds this mistakes! How great is our God. ⚒

  3. Troy says:

    Thanking God today for the new heart He gave me some 20 years ago. While reflecting on this today, I feel a bit like Paul in Romans 7 — wanting to throw off this sin nature once and for all, ending the struggle between the new creation that I am and the old nature of the flesh that still wrestles for control and attention. Who will deliver me? CHRIST! As I trust and depend on Him more and more… as my spirit cries out to His Spirit.

  4. Sean says:

    As a man who too often over promises and under delivers, I must be reminded of the new heart and Spirit inside of me because of Christ. Not as a way to continue to make empty promises, but to walk confidently, with quiet strength, knowing that God is working in me and making me new.

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