True Judges

I will restore your judges as at the first, And your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.
— Isaiah 1:26NKJV

Prior to the period of the judges, God raised up specific men and women among the Israelites as His chosen vessels for leading His people. The bedrock core of their leadership was to follow God’s commandments so they could lead the people to do the same and thus bring them close to their King, who was God Himself. One of the most stunning truths of Scripture is that we as humans have been made in the image and likeness of God, which makes Him our Father. God is fatherly in His attitude toward all people, but is Father in truth to all who have become His spiritual children through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Of all the names ascribed to God in Scripture, none is greater, higher, or more wonderful, where we are concerned, than that He is our Father.

As men and women lead, the power of God begins to reveal what’s in their hearts. Scripture reveals that God raised up many extraordinary leaders in the nation of Israel. We read about their humble beginnings and how they came to understand God’s call on their lives. But the Bible is painfully honest; we read also of their mistakes, failures, and sins. There’s a treasure trove of lessons for us in the stories of their lives because they were people just like us and therefore represent us in some way or other. Israel’s best and most effective leaders were God-fearing people who gravitated always toward repentance and obedience, and faithfully guided the people to God. Others, sadly, were ill-hearted, self-driven, and motivated by their own deceptions. Their selfish, worldly “leadership” led the people away from God, which cost the nation dearly. Theirs is a cautionary tale for us.

God, our Father, always partners with people. When a man or woman arrives at the level of understanding that he/she is a “son” of God (pertaining to inheritance), this partnership becomes cemented in a God-led cause. God’s restoring of judges and counselors means He is bringing back sons who have an extraordinary desire to know and follow their Father’s heart. Just as it took wise men to follow the star that led them to Christ, so also will these wise judges and counselors be a vital component in showcasing the comings (movements) of the Lord in our day. When true, authentic, and obedient God-fearing leaders are present, righteous rule and order become the pattern of building. Faithfulness is a fragrant aroma to the Lord. It attracts Him to us, and us to each other in purity and holiness.