Whenever the Lord raised up a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the Lord took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering. But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They went after other gods, serving and worshiping them. And they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. Judges 2:18-19
There is something profound to me about this Old Testament scripture. Here’s a quick breakdown:
*God raises up people to serve as a representative for him.
*God’s mercy and love for the oppressed and suffering.
*People forget God’s goodness and turn back to old ways.
*People refuse to follow God and give up their own way.
This is heartbreaking! This set of scriptures in Judges is referring to the Israelites and how God reached down and saved them over and over. He loves them so much and is trying every way possible to reach them. In the first part of Judges 2, we read about a pattern of sin and judgment. The people would cry out and God would raise up someone to deliver. Yet time and time again, they would do evil in the Lord’s sight.
When we read this, we think how can people do this again and again? May I suggest that we are no different than the Israelites? We do this in our current culture. Here’s the breakdown:
*God sends his son, Jesus, to save us from our sin.
*God sends the Holy Spirit to reside in us upon confessing Jesus is Lord.
*People forget God’s goodness when everything is going good and turn back to old ways.
*People refuse to follow God’s prompting and try to do life their own way.
Do you see the pattern here? God, God, People, People. We start with seeing God work and move in our life and the lives of others, then we see God when He pours out mercy and love. Then before you know it, we leave God out as He gradually disappears from our focus and we become the focus again. What if the pattern was God, God, God, God and we continually put Him first every day? How would our lives be different if intentionally set a pattern of putting God first all the time?
If you are in Christ, God has empowered you with the truth, the way and the life through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Now go live like it!!