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—OCT. 6.—JUDGES 2:1-12,16.—

Golden Text.—"The Lord raised up judges which delivered them."—Judges 2:16.

NO special comment is needed on the simple narrative of this lesson, except to call attention to the Lord's providential care over his people, notwithstanding their waywardness and many backslidings.

It should be noted that the object in raising up judges was a gracious and beneficent one: it was to deliver and bless the people, not to condemn and punish them, though the latter idea of judgment is too often the only thought gathered from it by many minds. The term judgment applies to the whole process of trial and the administration of justice.

In this view of the office of a judge how precious is the promise that our blessed Lord Jesus cometh to judge the world in righteousness. His judgment will be the greatest blessing the world could possibly have. Though it will come in wrath and indignation against all unrighteousness; though it will lay judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet; though it will rudely sweep away every refuge of lies and expose all the hidden things of darkness; though his iron rod will dash the nations to pieces as a potter's vessel; and though he will suddenly bring down every high thing that exalteth itself (Isa. 13:5-9; 28:17; 1 Cor. 4:5; Psa. 2:9; Isa. 2:11), nevertheless his judgment will be for the world's deliverance; for he wounds to heal. And when mankind has been thoroughly submitted to the leveling process of the great "time of trouble," and has been humbled and made teachable by it, then the same wise Judge will turn to bless—to heal the broken hearted, to deliver the captives of sin and death, to speak peace unto the nations, to make wars to cease to the ends of the earth, to give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, and to wipe away all tears from off all faces.—Isa. 19:22; 61:1-3; Zech. 9:10; Psa. 46:9; Isa. 25:8; Rev. 21:4.

In this view of the day of judgment, notwithstanding the commotion that shall attend it, but realizing that the great Judge of all the earth comes to bring forth judgment to victory, to establish truth and righteousness on a firm and enduring footing, and to punish all that oppose that blessed work, we understand the joy of the Prophet-Psalmist, when, looking forward to this glorious time, he exclaimed, Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad; let the fields be joyful; let the sea roar and the floods clap their hands; and let the hills be joyful together before the Lord: for he cometh to judge the world, and the people with equity.—Psalms 98:7-9.

So let our hearts rejoice and our tongues be glad; and let the blessed secret be known among the saints, that the Lord is now present, and that we are living in the days of the Son of man; and let our joyful hearts and voices bid him a royal welcome; for indeed he hath put a new song into our mouths.