Sorry for running late today. It’s been very busy here in my neck of the woods!
In today’s chapter, first we meet Tola. He became a judge, and lived and died. The came Jair. He became judge, and lived and died.Then Israel did the same thing they always do; they began to worship other gods. This time the Ammonites became their oppressors. Eventually (I’m assuming after several years) the Israelites turned back to God. They asked for salvation. His response was unexpected, “Did I not rescue you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites? When they oppressed you, you cried out to me for help, and I rescued you. Yet you have abondoned me and sever other gods. So I will not rescue you anymore. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you in your hour of distress!” (10:11-14, NLT). The Israelites still chose to plead with Him and seek after Him, but they had to meet their oppressors in battle.
It seems that the Israelites had finally found God’s breaking point. For around 250 years, His people were in a cycle of rebellion then submission. They would not keep His Commandments. The only reason they would stay loyal was because of the Judge that was living at the time. But as soon as the Judge died, the people turned away from Him to some false God.
Many people would say “Wait hold on a minute. God doesn’t leave His people or say that He won’t save them. What is going on here?” I would have to agree. We know that God will not “fail [us] or forsake [us]” (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8, NASB). But there is a verse that gives reason to what God is doing. “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:9, NLT).
Did you catch that? It’s a part that I think we all seem to forget at times, “those who love him and obey his commands”. You see? This faith of ours is just saying a prayer or filling our commitment by going to church every week (or less). I feel like many of us act that way, then blame God when He hasn’t “held up His end of the bargain”. The truth is that God did all He had to do upon the Cross. Yet we all wonder why God isn’t blessing me? Or why does He seem to have abandoned me? There should be a different question that we ask when we feel this way. Have I been faithful? Do I love God? Have I been keeping His Commandments? If we don’t want God to forsake us, we must remain faithful to Him, just as He is faithful to us.
At the end of this story we see that the Israelites faith helps them. It says, “Then the Israelites put aside their foreign gods and served the Lord. And he was grieved by their misery.” (10:16, NLT). Despite God telling them that He would not save them, when they turned their hearts to Him, He had to act. The same goes for us. We are never to far gone to receive God’s love. All we have to do is turn our hearts to Him and remain faithful.
Also in this series
- Just a Bit of History (Judges 1)
- The Testing of Israel (Judges 2)
- We Need God to Succeed (Judges 3)
- Make Your Enemy Flee (Judges 4)
- Being Thankful (Judges 5)
- Staring Down the Mob (Judges 6)
- We Don’t Need More (Judges 7)
- Are You Obeying (Judges 8)
- Are You Ambitions? (Judges 9)
Psalms to Pray: Psalm 59-60