No King in Israel – The History of the Judges

Joel Portman

Precious Seed

Paperback, 224pp. Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St. West, Port Colborne, ON, Canada L3K 6A6. Available in UK from John Ritchie Ltd. Price £9.99. ISBN 978-189711-762-0.

‘This book was written to develop the link between the history of the Judges and the letters of Christ to the seven churches of Asia in Revelation chapters 2-3, as well as to suggest practical teaching applicable to every local assembly today’. So says the publisher’s note on the back cover of this challenging book by Joel Portman. In fourteen chapters the author develops his theme. He understands that the Spirit of God has given us the book of Judges so that we may learn from these examples of God’s dealings with Israel and that their history will ins ruct us in our life and service. ‘God’s principles are unchanged and unchanging’. The author has wisely avoided delving into detail in such matters as the chronology of this period so that he can concentrate on drawing out the pastoral and practical lessons of the book.

This work is spiritually stimulating and challenging. The style is gentle and persuasive, yet it compels the reader to face honestly many of the problems which confront assemblies today. Uncomfortable truths are clearly identified and the reader is challenged to address them. Above all, this is a book which urges its readers on to further study and meditation. The author will prompt us without spoon-feeding. Nor does he shirk his responsibility to move us to self-examination.

Inevitably, there will be some matters with which some may disagree. But to travel with the author through the period of the Judges will sharpen our awareness of our own situation and will remind us of the timeless principles which we must observe if we are to be faithful in our own day, which falls just before the setting-up of the kingdom.

[Our thanks to Ed Hotchin, Hucknall, Nottingham, UK, for this review]