Deborah: Faith Delivers
The proper question would have been: “How did we get into this mess?”
The repeated question, however, became: “Who will get us out of this mess?!”
Like out-of-state drivers encountering the Capital City’s new “round-abouts,” the children of Israel seemed confused and stuck. They were caught in a vicious cycle and could not seem to find their way out. The book of Judges contains a regrettable refrain:
“Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord…And the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord…Now the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord…Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord…Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord…Then it came about that the sons of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals…Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord…Now again the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord… (Judges 2:11; 3:7,12; 4:1; 6:1; 8:33; 10:6; 13:1) See what I mean? Like a “flatlander” on his first visit to Boston, “round-about, round-about, round-about...how do we get out?!”
“It was I who brought you up from Egypt, and brought you out from the house of slavery. And I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land, and I said to you, ‘I AM the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. BUT…you have not obeyed (listened to My voice) Me.” Judges 6:8-10
Sin led to Servitude which then led to Sorrow which led then to Supplication which led to Salvation and delivered a season of Silence.
Or let me say it another way: Rebellion bred Retribution which bred Regret which finally led to Repentance which resulted in Restoration and finally a season of Rest.
But God mercifully met their rebellion with His amazing redeeming grace: “Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.” Judges 2:16
Do you find yourself stuck on the “spin-cycle” and desperate to find your way out? Take a page from the play-book of Israel—the positive side of the story: “And the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord!” Those who cried out to Him in genuine repentant faith found He was ready and able to deliver!
See you Sunday, Church!