30 April

Finding Peace Through Humility in the Book of Judges

by Joel Muddamalle, PhD

Joel Muddamalle
Joel Muddamalle

I hate being lost and losing my way. It leaves me disoriented, and honestly, it can be a really scary feeling to not know where you are. Today, we have modern tools like smartphones that give us maps and directions at our fingertips. But before that technology was available, one of the most vital tools that people used to keep from getting lost was a compass.

A compass shows us which direction we should go and keeps us from going where we should not. God’s Word is a type of compass. It points us to where Jesus is and reveals when we start to falter, or get distracted, or are going in a direction that will take us away from him. Yet a compass is only good if we use it. If we fail to keep our focus on it, we will lose our way.


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In the book of Judges, we discover this happening to the Israelites. In the days of Moses and Joshua, the people kept their focus on God—their “compass”—and experienced peace. They lived in safety, security, and stability . . . constantly being reminded that the God who had saved them from Egypt would protect them now. This was a peace that came from humility.

Israel during Judges

But then the Israelites lost their focus on God. They did evil in his sight and worshiped the pagan gods of the peoples around them. This angered the Lord, and “he sold them to the enemies around them, and they could no longer resist their enemies” (Judges 2:14). When the people of Israel lost their humility, they also lost their peace.

The author of Judges frequently reminded his readers that the events of his book took place when “there was no king in Israel” and “everyone did whatever seemed right to him” (Judges 17:6). I want this statement to be an anchor in our minds as we work through this study. Things fell into this state of affairs because the Israelites had rejected their sovereign King, the Lord God, and chose to do what they thought right in their own eyes.

Before Joshua died, he had challenged the Israelites: “If it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship—the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). We read that at that time, the people promised to follow the Lord. But ultimately, they failed to keep their word.


Download an Infographic on Judges


The question Joshua asked the Israelites is the same question God is asking us today: “Where will your allegiance be? Will it be to counterfeit helpers that provide no help at all? Or will you bend your knee in humility to me, the King of the cosmos, who created you?” Jesus is the King of heaven and earth, the Creator of the cosmos. When we reject him, we are exhibiting pride. But when we recognize our need of a King and focus on him, we are rooted in humility.

Humility . . . that’s what we unpack in my Bible study on Judges, Finding Peace Through Humility. Humility may not be what we expected, but it’s what we need to experience the peace we all long for.


Watch the first full session of Finding Peace Through Humility:


Joel Muddamalle

Holding a PhD in Theology, Joel Muddamalle is the Director of Theology and Research at Proverbs 31 Ministries, the theologian in residence for Haven Place Ministries, on the preaching team at Transformation Church, is the teacher of Finding Peace Through Humility, and the co-author of 30 Days with Jesus, and is a frequent speaker for conferences and events. Joel, his wife, and four children live in Charlotte, NC. 


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