Judges and a White Horse?
Good morning, everybody. Good morning to those of you who are joining us on the livestream. I am not there to interact with you via chat today because I’m here. But we’re really glad that you are with us and that we can connect with you. So, if you don’t know me, Ryan Ferguson, one of the pastors here, we are at the very beginning of a study of the book of Judges. And we’re back in Judges today, and I have a question for you. Why should Judges make us think of a horse? Why should Judges make you think of a horse, or more specifically, a white horse? Let’s find out.
Today, we’re going to read today’s Scripture in four sections, and I’m going to ask you to stand multiple times as I read God’s Word. When you’re standing, that will help you remember that you’re listening to God’s words, and when you’re seated, that will help you remember you’re listening to my words. So, would you stand? And I’m going to read Judges 3:1-6 is where we’re going to start.
“Now, these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the Lord, which he had commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perezzites, the Hivites, and Jebusites. And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and Israel served their gods.”
You can be seated. So, in this section, we learned that God leaves nations in the promised land to test and to teach, to test and to teach. God tests Israel. Will Israel do what God asks them to do in the law? That’s the test. Now for most of us, I think testing has a little bit of a negative overtone, whether that’s taking a test at school or school test anxiety or medical testing, for those of us who are getting older, or even laboratory testing. So, is that what God’s doing here? Is God a scientist, and Israel is a mouse running through a maze, and he’s just watching to see what they’re going to do? I don’t think so.
I remember the moment when Max, my son, was 16 and drove off for the first time by himself and our Toyota Corolla. He had his learner’s permit. He was headed to work. He was legally permitted to operate a motor vehicle. And he wasn’t a bad driver, but as he left, he knew and I knew that there was more going on than just his first drive. There was a moment of trust happening. That first drive was a unique test of Max’s ability and commitment to do what we asked, because when he drove, he wasn’t supposed to listen to the radio. No phone. Drive straight there and come straight back. I tested Max’s character and ability by letting him choose to drive and do it the way we asked.
Testing is not inherently distrustful, unkind, or ambivalent, not caring. Testing is a moment of relational trust. A Hebrew poet in the Psalms says this:
“You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing. I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.”
A follower of Jesus named Paul wrote this:
“Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.”
So, as we look at God testing Israel, God is a father who allows his children to make real choices in real time. Israel and us — we are not mice in God’s lab. We’re not robots in God’s factory. We’re children in God’s family. Testing is a moment of relational trust. And sadly, we learned that Israel failed the test. At the end of verse 6, these brutal words come through: “And Israel served their gods. They left Yahweh and started serving other gods.” God tests Israel.
Secondly, God teaches Israel. God teaches Israel. God left nations in the promised land so
“that the generation of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before.”
Israel learned war through the nations God left behind. Anyone else uncomfortable with that little moment there? I am. Why does God do this? So, I’m going to answer briefly, and if you want a longer conversation about this moment, email Peter Hubbard at Peterh@hardbiblicalquestions.com. He’ll love it.
So, why teach war? Well, I think to answer that question, we have to have an accurate picture of Israel first because I think there is potential for us to think of Israel as kind of like this military juggernaut coming into the Promised Land to “kick butt” and take name. The problem is that’s just not accurate. Israel is the third or fourth generation of weak former slaves who don’t know how to fight. Israel’s best thing they can bring into this scenario is they know how to hike through a desert really, really well. They did it for forty years. They can boast that they’re coming in to fight in the Promised Land with sandals that are forty years old that never wore out. That’s all Israel’s got as a nation, and they are entering into regions that are filled with war-torn tribalism and battle-ready-and-tested fighters. Israel, I believe, must learn war or quite simply, they will die. Now, I’m trying to be careful. I’m not trying to oversimplify this moment in the Bible because it is hard. But it’s OK for us to wrestle with the complexity of God allowing his people to learn war while concluding God decided they needed it simply to survive.
And they needed to learn war so that Israel could execute God’s judgment on the empires that were set up in Canaan against his name. That’s why Israel was coming in in the first place: to execute judgment on nations that were set up against God’s name. So, what could testing and teaching have to do with a white horse? This section concludes the overall introduction to the book of Judges 1:1 through 3:6. That’s the intro.
And now the parade of judges begins. We’re going to hear story after story of the judges. That’s going to take up most of the book. Leading the parade are these guys named Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar. And that’s who we’re going to talk about this morning. So, would you stand with me? And let’s hear God’s Word about Othniel.
“And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth. Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. So the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.”
Have a seat. So, the people of Israel did evil. They forgot God, served other gods. Now to deny God worship is to deny God himself. Therefore, God responds to their denial by using a pagan nation to correct his people. After eight years of slavery and oppression, the people grow discontent serving the king of Mesopotamia and cry out for deliverance. Now, Israel crying out for deliverance is going to happen multiple times in this book, but it never really seems like a real cry of “God, completely change us.” It really comes across like “God, fix our circumstances. God, fix this moment right now. We’ll wait eight years. Now, fix this. We don’t like it anymore.” And God still responds to them. God raises up a judge. Othniel.
Why would a judge named Othniel make you think of a white horse? Othniel — he’s the first judge listed. He’s the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. And that family lineage piece is important. While a part of Israel, Othniel’s heritage is probably Edomite. God empowers Othniel, and he gives the king of Mesopotamia into his hand, and Israel wins. Othniel delivers Israel, and we have peace … rest! But it’s with a time frame and a condition. The time frame — forty years. The condition — it only lasts as long as Othniel is alive. So, Othniel is kind of the prototype for the parade of judges. His story sets up varying elements that are going to be used in different ways through all of these stories, and Othniel starts us off well. We have to wrestle with the idea of war between Israel and Mesopotamia. But Othniel, as a person … There’s nothing negative said about him, nothing to give us a question mark about his character. Enjoy this moment. It doesn’t continue through the whole book.
This story also contains what I would call the first revolting reversal, a revolting reversal. So, remember — Israel learns war to execute God’s judgment on immorality and child sacrifice. Now, Israel has conformed to the cultural culture around them, and God ends up using the objects of judgment to be the tools of judgment against his own people. Everything is wrong. Everything is upside down even though we end up with a sort-of peace. That’s Othniel.
Now, Ehud. Would you stand with me again? This is a longer one. Get those legs ready.
“And the people of Israel again did what is evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of the city of palms. And the people of Israel served Eglon the King of Moab eighteen years.
“Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. The people of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. And Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, about a cubit in length, and he bound it on his right thigh under his clothes. And he presented the tribute to Eglon the king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who carried the tribute. But he himself turned back at the idols near Gilgal and said, ‘I have a secret message for you, O king.’ And he commanded, ‘Silence.’ And all his attendants went from his presence. And Ehud came to him as he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, ‘I have a message from God for you.’ And he rose from his seat. And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh and thrust it into his belly. And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not pull the sword out of his belly; and the dung came out. Then Ehud went into the porch and closed the doors of the roof chamber behind him and locked them.
“When he had gone, the servants came, and when they saw that the doors of the roof chamber were locked, they thought, ‘Surely he is relieving himself in the closet of the cool chamber.’ And they waited till they were embarrassed. But when he still did not open the doors of the roof chamber, they took the key and opened them, and there their lord lay dead on the floor.
“Ehud escaped while they delayed, and he passed beyond the idols and escaped to Seirah. When he arrived, he sounded the trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim. Then the people of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he was their leader. And he said to them, ‘Follow after me, for the Lord has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand.’ So they went down after him and seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites and did not allow anyone to pass over. And they killed at that time about 10,000 of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest for eighty years.”
Have a seat. So, the people of Israel did evil in the sight of Lord, again. God strengthened Eglon, the fat king of Moab, who in turn recruited the Amalekites and the Ammonites, who all took over Jericho. After eighteen years this time, the people cried out to the Lord to change their circumstances, and God raises up a deliverer, Ehud, the left-handed Benjamite.
Now, why would a left-handed, sword-wielding judge make us think of a white horse? This left-handed description is important. There’s a lot written on it, a lot of different theories, what that actually means. But most people agree it’s more than just whether or not they were right- or left-hand dominant. One explanation is that Ehud’s right hand wasn’t even usable. He had a physical disability in his right hand; therefore, he was left handed. And I think that story makes the most sense because it lets us know why he wasn’t perceived as a danger to the king and why the servants would leave the king alone. He was a physically incapacitated man, and in that day, he would have been looked down upon. Ehud assassinates Eglon, escapes, and then declares that God has given Moab into their hand. A group of Ephraimites attack Jericho, take it back, and in the process, kill 10,000 people. Israel then has peace. But there’s a time frame and a condition: the time frame — eighty years this time. So, we’re going up … more time of peace. The condition? It only lasts as long as Ehud is alive. We have another revolting reversal, those nations who are committing idolatry become the tool in God’s hand to discipline his people who are committing idolatry. And that’s the judge Ehud.
Would you stand again with me, please, one more time? And it’s very brief.
“After him [that is, after Ehud] was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and saved Israel.”
So, no mention of people doing evil this time. No mention of God raising a nation. No mention of people crying out. No direct mention of God raising up Shamgar. But he is called a savior or a judge or a deliverer of Israel. Interestingly, Shamgar’s name is probably more Hittite than Israeli. He’s either from a foreign background or maybe a mixed-marriage background. Shamgar takes out 600 Philistines with an oxgoad, which is basically an 8-10 foot poker that could be sharpened into a spear.
So, why would a spear-wielding judge make us think of a white horse? There’s no mention here of peace or the death of Shamgar. So, Shamgar for us is a unique moment in the parade of judges. He’s the first to be mentioned who doesn’t follow this cycle or have all this information that the previous two had. So, what’s the deal with Shamgar? So, I’m going to offer my opinion, and there’s lots of opinions as to why Shamgar is in here. So, I just want you to note the word “opinion.” You study the Scripture and see why you think he’s in here.
First, I think Shamgar shows us that God’s deliverance is not dependent upon his people’s cry. God rescues his people because he loves them. God raises up someone to deliver his people of his own accord because he loves them.
Secondly, as you read the story, you’ve got Ehud, Shamgar. Chapter 4 picks up with Ehud again, and we find out Ehud dies. So, in one way, it makes Shamgar kind of a parenthesis in the middle of Ehud, and I think he seems inserted here to remind the reader that God is working in more than one place at one time. See, these judges that we’re reading about in this book, they’re not national leaders. They’re not in charge of all Israel. Some of these people overlap. These stories we read, they’re not chronological. The saying that “Israel is saved” doesn’t mean that all of Israel is saved at any particular moment. So, we see that God raises up particular judges in particular places all over the place, just like Shamgar. Shamgar shows us that God is always at work. God is working in different places at different times, and God is always working.
And finally, it is my opinion that Shamgar had to go by the nickname “Shammie” to all of his friends. So, if you get nothing else, there you go. So, that’s all of Judges 3.
Now you might have noticed something if you’ve been in church for a while. All I’ve done is read the Bible, retell the stories, and ask about a white horse. That’s all I’ve done. I didn’t go into a lot of specific details about what these stories mean, and there are some really cool details in these stories. Let me give you a couple. One, the meaning of the name Cushan-rishathaim: it actually means “Cushan of the double wickedness.” Did you notice how many times I had to say Cushan-rishathaim? The author is making fun of the guy. It’s a made-up title to make fun of this guy.
Or let’s consider this story of Ehud. Why do we laugh? Because it’s written in kind of a dark comedy style. It includes really awkward details, and it’s written for the Jews to read the story and glory in their victory over the Moabites. That’s why those details are in there. It’s making fun of Eglon’s obesity, Eglon’s gullibility to believe in a secret message from God from his enemies, his stupidity (he sends his guards away), and last, but certainly not least, all the included bathroom humor of Eglon’s activities after being stabbed, namely the dung coming out, the guards probably smelling it and assuming that Eglon was going to the bathroom. And then there’s the fact that they then waited to the point of embarrassment. “How long is this guy going to take?” is basically what they’re saying in the text, and we would say Israel defeated a nation by killing their king in the cool roof chamber, or … he died on the toilet.
These details are in there for the good of the victor as they make fun of Moab. But are points like that in the story the point? I think the most important question we can ask is this: Why is the author of Judges telling these stories to the people who received them? And why is he telling them when he’s already given the story away? Remember the end of Judges 2? The author already tells us what’s going to happen. God’s going to raise up judges. They will save God’s people. God’s people will sin again. The end. He gives away the whole story of the book at the very beginning. So each judge story is not unique. It’s not a surprise. There are unique elements, but we all know where it’s going to end. The people are going to sin again. The end.
So, why is he telling these stories? Why did the original readers need each individual judge story? February 5th — Two weeks ago was the second anniversary of when my dad died. I spent that week remembering Dad in lots of different ways, actually. I called my mom. I checked in on my sister. I talked about Dad with my family at home. I looked at some pictures, and I don’t know why I re-read his obituary. As I was remembering my dad, I remembered something about my dad remembering. When I was a boy and Dad wanted to remember something, he would put a rubber band around his wrist. My dad’s job was, he was an electronics draftsman. He drew stuff, and they had stencils and paper and rubber bands everywhere on his desk, and he would use that to remember. Dad needed help remembering.
Judges is a rubber band on the wrist of God’s people. Judges is a rubber band around the wrist of God’s people, helping them to remember. Now it’s by no means … It’s a memory book; it’s not the prettiest memory book in the world. But we can go through really dark memories and come out with bright truths. I remembered my dad dying, and then I had this memory I haven’t had in probably thirty-five, thirty-eight years about my dad and remembering, and it was sweet to remember. The compiler of the stories in Judges — who is possibly Samuel the prophet in the time of David — he’s clearly wanting his readers to remember. Remember how deliverance worked with these judges. Remember. I’ll give away the whole story, but remember how this works over and over and over. Judges is a memory book for God’s people; therefore, each story that’s in here asks the reader to remember this. Remember: God raises up unlikely, imperfect, and mortal deliverers that cannot righteously and eternally save Israel and cannot defeat the evil empires of the world.
You read every judge story … Here’s your conclusion, here’s the point: God raises up … And it’s a lot of words I know. Hang with me … God raises up unlikely, imperfect, and mortal deliverers that cannot righteously and eternally save Israel and cannot defeat the evil empires of the world. What does that mean? What’s going on? Well, God raises up. God still acts. Will God keep his promise? That is the great drama of the book of Judges. That is the conflict. Joshua tells Israel, “If you don’t keep your promise, God will not save you.” And over and over and over, God’s people break their promise, and over and over and over, what does God do? God keeps his promise. God is in the deliverance business, and he never gives up on his people.
God raises up unlikely deliverers. The first three judges include an Edomite, a Hittite, and a man with a physical disability. As we move through the book, we’re going to encounter three key females who play roles in the book of Judges. Now, ladies, don’t be offended at what I just said. It’s unlikely in the history of that day for a woman to be the hero, and we’ve grown way past that nowadays, right? Well, let’s keep moving. You keep moving through the book of Judges … There’s an addict with serious control issues, there’s a coward who turns into a cult leader, there’s a mob boss turned judge, and there’s a pretend king. Every hero in the book of Judges is an unlikely deliverer.
God raises up imperfect deliverers. Their stories at times make us cringe a lot. They’re mortal delivers. These guys keep dying off. There are deliverers that cannot righteously save. In the first three stories, we have to deal with deliverance that occurs through violence. As we continue through Judges, the moral question marks of each judge is only going to get more severe.
The judges themselves are not completely righteous people; therefore, they lack the capacity to save their people in a completely righteous way.
These are judges that cannot eternally save. There’s always a time frame and a condition. So many years, the judge dies, and we do it all over again. Salvation from the judges doesn’t last.
They cannot defeat the evil empires of the world. And I just want to encourage you. I think this is so important for the modern audience looking at Judges. Don’t forget, one of the main characters in the book of Judges are the nations that are setting themselves up against God’s name. And the judges never can really win. When the book of Judges is delivered to God’s people, again, somewhere between the kings and exile, many of these nations, they’re still fighting with Israel. They never completely defeat the anti-God empires.
Judges is a rubber band on the wrist of God’s people asking you to remember. Remember, Israel. God raises up unlikely, imperfect, and mortal deliverers that cannot righteously and eternally save Israel and cannot defeat the evil empires of the world. Judges, the memory book, reveals Israel’s deepest need. And our deepest need. And what is that?
Our deepest need is this: we need God to raise up an unlikely, perfect, immortal deliverer that can righteously and eternally save all people and defeat the evil empires of the world. That’s Israel’s deepest need and our deepest need. We need God to raise up an unlikely, perfect, immortal deliverer that can righteously and eternally save all people and defeat the evil empires of the world.
We need God to raise up an unlikely deliverer. The greatest Judge, Deliverer, Savior in all of history is a man named Jesus Christ. Jesus was God incarnate. That means God became man through the birth of Jesus. Jesus was announced and named by an angel, born out of wedlock to a young girl and a noble man, delivered in a stall, hailed from the backwoods of Nazareth, and trained as a contractor. Jesus befriended tax collectors, fishermen, prostitutes, and drunks in order to change the world. Jesus taught truth instead of driving a tank. Jesus, instead of trying to overthrow the government of Rome, allowed himself to be killed on a Roman cross. Jesus is, without doubt, the most unlikely deliverer of all peoples ever.
Jesus is a perfect deliverer. Jesus obeys all of Moses’s law that Israel failed to obey. Jesus passed the test. He doesn’t fail in one point of thought or action.
Jesus is an immortal deliverer. Where the judges all died, Jesus lived with the Father and Spirit in eternal joy for eternity past, presided over creation, entered into time as the God-man, died, was buried, but he rose again, and now he lives at the right hand to the throne of power in heaven forever.
Jesus can righteously save, and this is huge. The judges’ actions and character did not always match their calling. They were supposed to be saviors. They were supposed to be deliverers. Their methods did not always match the message. Compare that to Jesus. The judges used violence to save. Jesus endured violence to save. Ehud crafted a sword to assassinate a king. Jesus will return as a judge, and from his mouth will come a sword. Jesus’s razor-sharp words alone are enough to execute judgment on the earth. The one who preached the world into existence by his word will, with a word, bring about his terrible judgment on all the evil empires that are set up against his name. Shamgar — he used a spear to kill. Jesus was stabbed with a spear. Later in Judges, there’s going to be a woman who will kill a man with a hammer and spike. Jesus will allow a human he created to use a hammer and spikes into his feet and his hands. Jesus is a deliverer who can righteously save. Jesus’s actions and character match his calling. Jesus’s methods match his message.
Jesus can eternally save. Because Jesus is God, Jesus is immortal. Because Jesus lived a perfect life, Jesus meets God’s standard of holiness; therefore, because of those two things, the consequences of Jesus’s salvation last forever. The author of Hebrews compares Jesus to priests, but you could do the same comparison between Jesus and Judges. The author of Hebrews says this:
“The former priests [people who came in between God and man] … The former priests were many in number. [Why?] Because they were prevented by death from continuing in office.”
These priests could not permanently help God’s people because they died just like the judges.
“But this priest [talking about Jesus] holds his office permanently because he continues forever. Consequently he’s able to save [people] to the uttermost.”
He has no limits on his ability to save. Jesus is able to save people as completely as is possible for as long as is possible, which is forever. When Jesus died in real time, his deliverance didn’t end.
And finally, Jesus can defeat the evil empires of the world. I think this is so important for a modern audience. The evil empires of the world did not cease with the Canaanites, nor are they marked alone by child sacrifice. They’ve continued throughout history — Egypt, Babylon, Medes, Persians, Romans. Nor do evil empires exclude the United States. Jesus promised that one day he’s going to gather the nations together. And by his word and his word alone, the nations will be judged, which for us means, in a culture that rightly, regularly talks about injustice … When it comes to injustice, I’m thinking of a sister that is in this room, who is familiar with the term genocide with her cultural background. I’m looking at brothers and sisters in this room who are aware of what it means to walk through racial prejudice. Whereas in the judges, they would look down upon women as humans, when we think of how women have been treated throughout our culture and cultures before us, any time we get into this realm of wanting to set wrong right, of making an injustice better, we all in one sense, no matter what you believe, long for a completely righteous judge to come back and wage holy war and place all these evil empires under his reign so that no injustice ever happens again. We all long for that! And brothers and sisters, we have that in Jesus Christ. Judges reveals to Israel and to us our deepest need. We need God to raise up an unlikely, perfect, immortal deliverer that can righteously and eternally save all people and defeat the evil empires of the world.
Now, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to remember all those words. And that’s OK. It’s hard to summarize a whole book in one short sentence. So, let’s put it this way. Why should the book of Judges make you think of a white horse? Because I think the ultimate Judge, the ultimate Deliverer, the ultimate Savior is best pictured by the judge Jesus on a white horse. Our deepest need is ultimately met by Jesus when he returns on a white horse to make war and to judge and to come back for his people.
Where does that come from? That is more than my opinion. These are God’s words in the book called Revelation. We studied this a couple of years ago. Brothers and sisters, this is the picture of the ultimate judge. So, I’m going to read parts of Revelation 19. As I do, you’re going to see things in all caps, and I want you to read that part with me, and I’m going to ask you to do it with a little bit of energy. Use that coffee you drank and let it out, OK? Revelation 19. I’m going to assume you’re ready when we get there. This is John’s vision.
“After this, I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out ‘HALLELUJAH!’ Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,” [Why?] “for his JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND JUST.” [What kind of judgments? True and just.] “For he has JUDGED the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality …”
Weird image there. Let me help us out. In the book of Revelation, the great prostitute is Babylon. Babylon is a city that was anti-God and is kind of like a catchall for all the evil empires of the world throughout history. So, here we’re seeing Jesus. He wins. Jesus judges the evil empires who corrupted the earth with their immorality.
“And Jesus has AVENGED on her the blood of his servants” [those who have died]. “Once more they cried out, ‘HALLELUJAH! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.’ And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, ‘AMEN. HALLELUJAH!’ And from the throne a voice came saying, ‘Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.’ Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, A WHITE HORSE! The one sitting on it is called FAITHFUL AND TRUE, and in RIGHTEOUSNESS HE JUDGES AND MAKES WAR. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on WHITE HORSES. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
I don’t need you to remember everything I said. I actually don’t need you to remember my particular statement about the book of Judges. Here’s what I would love for you to do moving forward. As we walk through the book of Judges, when you hear “Judges,” when you see the word “judge,” “deliverer,” or “savior” in the book of Judges, from this day forward, I want you to think, say, and if you’re bold, shout “Jesus on a white horse!” When you try to read the book of Judges this week and you flip it open and you see that title in the top right hand corner of that book, you see “Judges — Jesus on a white horse.”
So, let’s try it. Judges — “Jesus on a white horse!” Judge — “Jesus on a white horse!” Savior — “Jesus on a white horse!” Deliverer — “Jesus on a white horse!” Our deepest need — yes, is Jesus on a white horse! Jesus Christ — the righteous Judge, the perfect Savior, and the ultimate Deliverer. And that’s why Judges should make us think about a white horse.