Sovereign Over Every Misstep

The book of Judges tells the story of the Israelites in the promised land after the death of their leader, Joshua. It’s a depressing story because the people very quickly rebelled, beginning a cycle that repeats itself throughout the book. First, the people sinned; second, God allowed them to be defeated and oppressed; third, they cried for help; and, fourth, God intervened by raising up a judge, or leader, to defeat Israel’s enemies and restore peace to the land. But peace never lasted for long before the sequence was repeated.

Throughout the period of the judges, Israel was collapsing—religiously, socially, morally, and economically. In response, the people started to think that life would be a lot better if only a king were appointed, as God had declared to Jacob one would be. Yet, seeking to be like the nations around them, they rejected God’s kingship—the very thing that made them unique. They wanted a monarchy instead of a theocracy. And, rather than looking for a king who would govern under God and lead them in obedience to His rule, they were looking for a king who would rule instead of Him.

Remarkably, despite the sinfulness of the Israelites’ motivations, God fulfilled their request. Many kings of Israel followed, but never the king they truly needed. There was still someone greater to come.

In a way that only He could orchestrate, God used the people’s shortsighted demand for a king like those of other nations to fulfill His ultimate purpose for a King who would one day rule those nations. Eventually, Israel’s royal line would culminate in Jesus, the coming King whom God had promised—one whose “scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples” (Genesis 49:10). The true kingdom would be established by the Messiah, who would rule under God’s authority and would be His supreme gift to an unworthy people.

See how immense God is, that He is able to sweep into His purposes even foolish requests and bad motivations! God is bigger than our choices and even our mistakes. He is sovereign over every misstep. Though we, like Israel, may fail at times, we can surely trust God to overcome our failings as He accomplishes His purposes. And we can gladly obey His King in our lives today, rather than seeking to serve anyone or anything in His stead.

A. Begg

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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