After Abimelech’s death Judges Chapter 10 begins with two brief accounts of the judgeships of Tola and Jair. They are among what we call “The Minor Judges,” not because they are unimportant, but because there is little known about them.

These two “minor” judges provided a time of respite from the upheaval of Abimelech’s day.  They provided peace for Israel for nearly 50 years. Jackman describes it well; it was “a time of God’s grace in which the people had the opportunity once again to mend their ways and turn back to God wholeheartedly. But they failed to do so. Surely, the application is abundantly plain. Nothing short of a work of God’s Spirit in the hearts and lives of thousands of “ordinary people” can turn the juggernaut of our increasingly godless Western materialism back from the slippery slope of collapse and disintegration. While we are right to pray and work to restrain sin and to enact Christian legislation to prevent the corruption of our society and the upholding of God’s moral absolutes, we shall never change the hearts of people that way. Law can restrain, for a while, but only the gospel can liberate.”

The only true source of life change is a change of heart. JND Anderson observed Man does, indeed, need a radical change of heart; he needs to begin to hate his sin instead of loving it, and to love God instead of hating him; he needs, in a word, to be reconciled to God. And the place, above all others, where this change takes place is at the foot of the cross, when he apprehends something of the hatred of God for sin and his indescribable love for the sinner.”