Scripture: Judges 2:11-23
Key Verses: Judges 2:11-12 Then the Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and worshiped the Baals; 12and they abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; they followed other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were all around them, and bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger.
Reflection: This ancient book in the Old Testament is about a period of time in Israel’s history when they came out of the wilderness and moved into the Promised Land but were still formed in nomadic tribes. These are people who were born in the wilderness and their ancestors were slaves and now they are trying to become a nation. They have no idea what they’re doing!
There’s a cycle in the Book of Judges where Israel abandons their commitment to God to worship other gods and the Lord allows their enemies to rise up against them. Then they cry out and God delivers them…only to repeat the cycle again and again and again.
What is it with us? Wouldn’t it be nice just to lock into something and stay there? Why do we have to have the ups and the downs, the ins and the outs, the temptations, the failures, the weaknesses, the stumbles and the falls? Wouldn’t it be nice to be solid, completely committed, never wavering, and humble at the same time! But our human condition is something different from that. We wrestle with the serpent, we are tempted by the fruit, we always want to be something we’re not and we get lost.
But there’s somebody else in our story. God keeps looking for us. God keeps providing ways out for us in places where we have fallen and failed. God keeps sending gifts to empower us, forgiving us for even the crucifixion, rolling back stones and defeating all the odds and offering us another way to do it. Isn’t that incredible?
Prayer: Lord, it’s easy for me to read the story and get bogged down and depressed about our human plight. It’s so repetitious and exhausting. In fact, sometimes it even looks hopeless. But then you show up in the story. You won’t quit! You keep coming back with grace, power, strength, forgiveness, hope, healing, reconciliation, resurrection! The story is not about us is it? The story is about You! What a relief! In Jesus’ name. Amen
Author: Steve Eason
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].