Remember that the the days when the Judges were raised up were dark days spiritually speaking for the people of God. Joshua had died and they had rebelled, doing evil in the sight of the Lord, and disobeying his voice (Judges 2:2, 11). Out of his love and compassion, God raised up Judges or Deliverers to save them (2:16) This certainly reminds us of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, as he came into the world at a time when the people had wandered far from God, saying the right things with their lips but their hearts were far from Him (Matt 15:8). Into the darkness came a Light, the Light of the world! "And the darkness comprehended it not" (John 1:5)
Just think of some of these 'saviours' and their characteristics in relation to the true and perfect Saviour!
- Othniel - of him it is recorded that "the Spirit of God came upon him" - when we think of the Lord Jesus we remember that he was LED by the Spirit (Matt 4:1), he was DRIVEN by the Spirit (Mark 1:12) and he was FULL OF the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1) how lovely to think that the Saviour was ever guided and led by the Spirit, in sync with the Father's will. He was driven from within by the Spirit, ever moving with purpose and conviction. He was full of or 'full up' with the Holy Spirit, meaning he was controlled and directed by it!
- Ehud - God;s left-handed right-hand man! The stand out feature of this Judge was his 'homemade' double-edged sword, surely speaking to us of that Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Eph 6:17, Heb 4:12).Surely we cannot help but think of the Lord Jesus of whom it is said "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..." (John 1) He was the very Word of God, he embodied it and fully told it out!
- Gideon - we are reminded of the few that fought against the many, described in that Midianite dream as - "a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it". I cannot help but think of one who took those humble small barley loaves, and multiplied them to the blessing of many! Remember they said on that occasion "but what are these among so many?" (John 6:9). Just as in Gideon's day, they were vastly outnumbered. But as is so often the case God uses "the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty" (1 Cor 1:27)
- Think of Jepththah - Here was a man marked by speaking unwisely. He made a foolish and rash vow, to his great cost! Think of the Lord Jesus, a man who confounded and amazed men with the wisdom and grace of his speech! Satan was defeated by his words, men marvelled at wisdom, remember the words of the Proverb; "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." (25:11) surely an appropriate application to our Saviour.
- Finally think of Samson - God's mighty but weak strong-man! Here was a Nazarite from birth, who failed and was defiled. We remember that the Lord Jesus was the perfect fulfilment of a Nazarite, he was wholly separated and consecrated to God! We also remember that he could not fail, or be defiled, he was "without sin", he did no sin, he knew no sin and in Him is no sin!
- Remember he was betrayed by a close one
- He was humiliated and suffered many things at the hands of wicked men
- He was led out to the place of death, as our Lord was (Mark 15:20)
- Both cried out to God, one was answered, but for the other the heavens remained silent (Matt 27:46)
- We remember that their deaths fulfilled their life work, or purpose. Of Samson it is said "So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life." (Judges 16:30) When we think of the death of the Lord Jesus we are reminded that "...he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again." (2 Cor 5:15) He died that we might live! "Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him." (1 Thess 5:10)
I hope that this provides some food for thought and encourages us to look closer at these things, this is just a start of what could be a nice study, given more time and application.