Never Ending Cycle
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 59:6-13 | Judges 2:10-3:31 | Luke 22:14-34 | Proverbs 14:22
Today’s Scripture Focus: Judges 2
Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the LORD’s commands (Judges 2:16-17 NIV).
What happens when God’s people turn away from God’s commands and do whatever is right in their own eyes? That seems to be the question that the writer of Judges is trying to answer. The answer? In short: Chaos. The pages of Judges are filled with missed opportunities, deceit, destruction, and death.
There is a pattern in Judges that we see over and over again and it is clearly laid out in chapter two verses twelve to nineteen. First the people forsake the LORD and worship the gods of the people around them. This arouses the LORD’s anger that results in God giving them over to their enemies. Because of their idolatry and sin, when they go out to fight, they end up fighting not only an opposing army, but the LORD himself (vs. 15). Eventually God’s people become distressed and begin to cry out to God. Then he sends a judge to rescue and save them from their enemies once again. Their gratitude for God’s saving action does not last long. Soon they drift off into idolatry and disobedience once again. When the judge dies, their disobedience and rebellion are taken to new heights. This triggers the cycle again. Each time, things only get worse and worse. If you understand this section, you get the point of Judges.
There is much to be learned from the cycles of disobedience and repentance found in Judges. The church has not been immune from these cycles. There are times of revival and religious fervor and there are times of compromise and drifting. There are times of repentance that are sometimes quickly forgotten as we drift back to our old ways and worship the gods of our culture. Perhaps it is a time for us to cry out to the LORD for his deliverance.
In our individual lives, drifting back into old patterns of disobedience comes easily. We are easily lured into compromise, just as they were in Judges. We must cry out to God in true repentance and seek his deliverance. We must walk in the fullness of his Spirit to break the old patterns and move forward into the abundant life he offers.
Judges is a powerful reminder of how easy it is to drift; how easy it is to compromise; how easy it is to miss out on God’s best for our lives. It is a reminder that “everyone doing what is right in their own eyes” is a recipe for chaos that causes hurt and harm. Open up your heart to Jesus. Cry out to him for deliverance and break the cycles of compromise.
Lord God, let my life be characterized by doing what is right in your eyes and not my own. Keep me focused and following you and not drifting off the way you set before me. Deliver me from the gods of this age and give me whole hearted devotion to you. Amen.