Cover to Cover
Reading: Judges 1:1-3:31
Focus: Judges 2:1-19; 3:7-8, 12-14
Have you got a friend who is constantly repeating the same mistake over and over again? Every time it happens you hear the words, “I won’t do it again…” but it is only a short amount of time before it happens again. They suffer the same consequences and struggles each time, but they just don’t learn their lesson. You urge them, time and time over again, to look after themselves, to be careful that they don’t make the same mistake again…but they just don’t get it.
The story of the Israelites, particularly in the period of the Judges, is a overly repeated cycle of disobedience, cry for help, salvation… disobedience, cry, salvation… disobedience, cry, salvation… for God’s sake, figure it out already! In the time of Moses and Joshua, God had already made it extremely clear that they were to drive out the Canaanites from the land and if they did not do so and destroy their altars and sacred places, then they would become a snare to the Israelites.
Well, the Israelites didn’t listen and allowed the Canaanites to remain and did not destroy their sacred places. In turn, they started intermarrying with the Canaanites resulting in the Israelites joining in the worship of Baals and the evil practices which accompanied them. In their disobedience and idolatry, God would bring foreign powers against them to rule over them. In their oppression, they would cry out to God and God would bring them a deliverer, a judge. They would be delivered and during the lifetime of the judge, they would return to the ways of their forefathers… but when the judge died, the cycle began all over again.
Sounds awfully familiar to me. We go through life and we live life our way, our rules. Then trouble comes and we call out to God, “Help God, help me, and I’ll live my life for you, serve you, whatever, just get me out of this hole!” God brings us through the difficult times, and we ride on a wave of this spiritual high of experiencing God’s deliverance, then we start to get comfortable with life again, all is good and we no longer need God. We start living life our way, thinking that it’s all ok… and the cycle starts all over again.
Normally, I’d probably say “God help us,” but the irony of the matter is that He does and then we take for granted and repeat the cycle all over again. Wake up, people! Wake up! Why do we want to put ourselves through the same rubbish over and over again?! Oh would we please just get the point already!
Next Reading: Judges 4:1-5:31