The Revolving Door of Righteousness


Pastor Jonathan Falwell

About 50 times in the OT, “Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord”, “everyone did that which seemed right in their own eyes.” The book of Judges is a picture of the cycle of destruction that was ever present in the lives of Israel’s next generation


Judges 2:10 That whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors. After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works He had done for Israel.


1. Forgetting the goodness of God of yesterday is the first step towards our disobedience of God tomorrow

Vss 11-12 The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. They worshiped the Baals 12 and abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods from the surrounding peoples and bowed down to them. They infuriated the Lord.

  • In almost every circumstance, Israel always moved away from God when times were good
  • They stopped depending on God
  • The minute they forgot how much they needed God in the crises of the past was the very minute they forgot God in the comfort of the present


2. Disobedience requires punishment

Vss 14-15 The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and He handed them over to marauders who raided them. He sold them to the enemies around them, and they could no longer resist their enemies. 15 Whenever the Israelites went out, the Lord was against them and brought disaster on them, just as He had promised and sworn to them. So they suffered greatly.

  • God cannot tolerate sin and disobedience, there must be payment
  • Hebrews 9:22 – “without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins”


3. Punishment doesn’t mean God stops loving us

Vss 16-18 The Lord raised up judges, who saved them from the power of their marauders, 17 but they did not listen to their judges. Instead, they prostituted themselves with other gods, bowing down to them. They quickly turned from the way of their fathers, who had walked in obedience to the Lord’s commands. They did not do as their fathers did. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for the Israelites, the Lord was with him and saved the people from the power of their enemies while the judge was still alive. The Lord was moved to pity whenever they groaned because of those who were oppressing and afflicting them.

  • Even with Israel’s continued cycle of disobedience, God offered relief
  • The Lord cares, even when we don’t


4. So stop the cycle

Vs 19 Whenever the judge died, the Israelites would act even more corruptly than their fathers, going after other gods to worship and bow down to them. They did not turn from their evil practices or their obstinate ways.

  • The only way to stop the cycle is to remember the value of God’s presence and the power of God’s deliverance
  • This is true dependence on Him


Leon Morris says, “The voice of conscience can become dulled by successive acts of sin, and repentance can become more and more superficial until, ensnared in the character formed by a multitude of thoughts and actions, a miracle is needed to produce a genuine repentance and a seeking of the Lord with the whole heart.”[1]

[1] Arthur E. Cundall and Leon Morris, Judges and Ruth: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 7, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1968), 72.

Ruth 4:6-8 The redeemer replied, “I can’t redeem it myself, or I will ruin my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption, because I can’t redeem it.” At an earlier period in Israel, a man removed his sandal and gave it to the other party in order to make any matter legally binding concerning the right of redemption or the exchange of property. This was the method of legally binding a transaction in Israel. So the redeemer removed his sandal and said to Boaz, “Buy back the property yourself.”