Judges 21:25, “At that time there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.”
Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God….”
“Even when we are unfaithful, God remains faithful.”
The book of Judges covers a time period in Israel’s history that isn’t a shining example of their obedience to God, but it is a shining example of God’s faithfulness to them. The Israelites in the Promised Land indulged in traditions of their neighbors: idol worship and immoral behavior. Due to their blatant disobedience, God allowed the Israelites to face harsh consequences through foreign oppression. Yet, because they were his people, he listened to their cries for help and raised up leaders time and again to deliver them as this pattern kept repeating in a spin cycle of rebellion.
It’s easy to “judge” (pun intended) the Israelite’s behavior for worshipping false gods. How could they continue to rebel after all God had done for them? But, before we point fingers, we need to look at ourselves, because we can fall into the same trap. Idol worship, though it may not involve a literal gold statue, is anything that distracts us from putting God first. And just like the Israelites, we will have to face the consequences of our actions.
How can we break this cycle? Memory is key! The best way to overcome our forgetfulness of God’s faithfulness is to be reminded of his astounding commitment to us. And the best reminders can be found in the stories of Scripture. That’s one of the reasons regularly reading the Bible is so important!
Confession is not informing God of anything he doesn’t know, but it does keep the lines of communication open. Confess to God those times you have been unfaithful to him and, with a repentant heart, turn from your sin and ask for his help to keep you from repeating the same behavior.
Dear Lord, I want to obey you. But time after time, I fall short of honoring you with my words and actions. Guide me so that I may grow to be more like Jesus every day and become a shining example of your faithfulness, forgiveness, and grace. Thank you, God! In Jesus’ name, Amen.