Archive for October 9th, 2009

Judges 10

Judges 10 gives us yet another look at how fickle we are in our walk with God.  Tola becomes the next judge over the people.  “He rose to the occasion to save Israel”.  This guy stepped up and took on a tough job.  Leaders do that.  They see a need and step up – signing up to tackle difficult situations so they can make a difference.  Tola served for 23 years before he died.  Jair followed him and “stepped into leadership”.  He had “30 sons who rode on 30 donkeys and had 30 towns”.  He was a busy guy but took on the responsibility of leading the people for 22 years before he died.  So 45 years of solid leadership and then these fateful words come: “and then the people of Israel went back to doing evil in God’s sight….they just walked off and left God, quit worshipping him”.  Another broken record.  Here we go again.  While there is strong leadership, the people can be kept focused.  But when it ends, or the leadership itself leads them away like we see so often with the kings, the people fold and fall away in an instant.  How can that happen?  How can we lose sight of God so quickly?  But before you throw rocks here, consider how sin works in your life.  Sin is a choice we make to walk away from God.  It happens quickly – most sins aren’t typically planned in advance from my experience – we just make a choice when temptation brings us an opportunity and we choose to walk away from God.  We choose to do the wrong thing.  That is what happens over and over to the People of Israel, and it is what happens to my life and yours too.  If someone was recording how we live, I fear we would have more than a few instances where we chose to do evil in God’s sight.  The result: “Israel was in a bad way”.

 So almost on cue – “the People of Israel cried out to God for help…..we’ve sinned….we left our God.”  Duh.  You knew that when you did it.  So to fix the issue stop leaving.  It isn’t rocket science.  But the pull of sin is so strong that unless we lead or are led strongly, we tend to fall away.  That is why accountability partners and small groups and the Body of Christ is so critical for us to live holy lives.  God doesn’t respond well – He is filled with “hot anger” and says “I’m not saving you any more”.  Sorry folks, God isn’t just on call to bail us out when we make bad choices.  He is not a genie in a bottle waiting to save our rear ends.  But the people are at the end of their rope – they have been put back into slavery and are in a giant mess.  So they plea to God: “We’ve sinned….do to us whatever you think best, but please get us out of this”.  Sound familiar?  You ever go to God like that.  I sure have and sometimes still do.  Not the most effective way to have a relationship though.  The People do get it right and “cleaned house….and worshiped only God”.  That is what He wants from us.  To be the center of our worship.  To be put on the throne of our lives.  God wants relationship. And guess what?  When they get it right and put Him where He belongs in their lives again, “God took Israel’s troubles to heart”.  He is always ready to love us when we come back, whether we are crawling from our stupidity in choosing sin, or seeking Him the first time.  God always is ready to love us. It takes a changed life – one where we are willing to stop doing what separates us (sin) and replaces it with relationship with Him.  That is what repentance is all about.  Stopping what we are doing and turning to go the other way.  God is all about that for your life and mine.  Are you walking with Him today?

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