Them or Us?
As we continue through Judges it will be helpful to identify and remind ourselves of the focus of the book. It is easy, especially these days, to forget upon whom the ire of God falls in the book of Judges and to whom we think it could end up today.
Many read Judges and look at our society today and think, "Just like America. Look at the people running around doing as they see fit, doing whatever they see is right in their own eyes." And that's the slip, the misstep, the blind reaction, which ignores or simply does not see the intended actual target. This is an easy mistake to make. Whether made in ignorance or arrogance.
After all, why would God be angry with His people? Certainly, it's with the treasonous heathens that God is angry. Or we think that God wouldn't, couldn't, be angry with us. But let us look at the text of Judges and consider the situation.
In Judges, there are two groups of people essentially. The nation of Israel, made up of the 12 tribes, and then we have the nations of the land, the Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Amorites, Philistines, and so on. The first group, Israel, is in a covenantal relationship with Yahweh which they entered into willfully after having been graciously delivered from Egyptian bondage, and had recently renewed their commitment to at Schehem as recorded in Joshua 24. The second group, the Canaanites and the other various nations, are not in a covenantal relationship with Yahweh. However, they are under judgment for their sins and their idolatry. One does not need to be under the law to sin against the Creator or to be under judgment (Romans 1) which is the case for these nations.
Today, there are essentially two groups of people. The church universal, that is the body of Christ, made up of those who trust and believe in the name of Christ, who have been redeemed by His blood, having been born again, and made partakers of the new covenant. Then the other group is everyone else. For us to apply the lessons of Judges to America, the nation as a whole, would be liking applying the lessons of Judges to the Canaanites or the Perizzites. The United States of America is not, and has never been, in a covenantal relationship with God. However, the church has, is, and will forever be in a covenantal relationship with Yahweh. Of course, the framework of that coventanal relationship is different than the old covenant, and ought to be taken into consideration when we apply the lessons of Judges to our lives.
But in order to consider how to apply those truths we must first ensure we are applying them on the intended target.
Ourselves, the church. Not America, not everyone else.