And the people of Israel said to the LORD, “We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to you. Only please deliver us this day.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD, and he became impatient over the misery of Israel.
The Old Testament book of Judges can be summed up with the book’s last six words, “everyone did what was right in [their] own eyes.” The book describes seven cycles of Israel running from God, paying the consequences, then running back home.
In today’s passage, Israel had, once again, run from the true God to serve pagan gods. And once again, sin’s consequences caused them to cry out for help. And once again, God was merciful to his children . . . “he could bear Israel’s misery no longer.” (NIV)
There are two truths that echo throughout the book of Judges; truths we cannot ignore. First, running from God is a futile journey that dead-ends in a cul-de-sac of consequences. Before you start down the path of sin, know that it doesn’t end well. Second, God is gracious. Regardless of how far we have gone, how long we have been away, or how much hurt we have caused, the loving Father waits with open arms to welcome us (prodigal though we may be) back home.
- Thank God for his loving arms, open wide, to welcome you back home.
- Ask God to help you teach your children that no distance is too far for the open arms of the Father. That truth instilled in their minds today may be what brings them back home tomorrow.
Father, thank you for your great grace. We often (too often) determine to do as we see fit. But when we crash and cry out…you hear our prayer, forgive us, and welcome us back home. Lord, we are so thankful for your forgiveness. Please help us follow you closely so the cul-de-sac of consequences becomes more rare than common. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Continue to thank God all day long for his forgiveness and grace.
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