Judges 10:10-18

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 21, 2016 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, ‘We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.’ The Lord replied, ‘When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you and (you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!’
But the Israelites said to the Lord, ‘We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.’ Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the Lord. And he could bear Israel’s misery no longer. When the Ammonites were called to arms and camped in Gilead, the Israelites assembled and camped at Mizpah. The leaders of the people of Gilead said to each other, ‘Whoever will take the lead in attacking the Ammonites will be head over all who live in Gilead.’” (Judges 10:10-18)

Last week, we saw how the people of Israel were again disobeying God and worshiping false gods. Because of that, God allowed them to be oppressed by the Ammonites and Philistines. The Israelites are still stuck in their recurring pattern of sin, slavery, supplication, salvation, and silence.

Now in this week’s passage, we finally see the people crying out to God for deliverance (the supplication part of the pattern). We see them crying out in both verse 10 and again in verse 15. Israel had repeated this pattern so often that they definitely did not deserve God’s salvation. He had saved them so many times, and they kept turning back to their old ways of serving false gods.

At this point, we know that God had delivered them from at least 7 oppressors. Through Moses, God released them from oppression and slavery to the Egyptians. They were delivered from the Amorite kings Sihon and Og in Joshua 2:10. The judge Ehud killed Eglon, the king of the Ammonites / Moab, in Judges 3:12-30. The judge Shamgar defeated the Philistines previously in Judges 3:31. Deborah and Barak delivered Israel from the Canaanites and Sisera in Judges 4. The Amalekites helped out the Moabites in Judges 3:13. Finally, through Gideon, God delivered them from the Midianites, also known as the Maonites (Judges 6).

You know how when someone keeps doing the same annoying or hurtful thing to you, you tend to get frustrated and angry with them? God got to that point with the Israelites too. This pattern had gone on so many times. God gets a little snarky with them in verses 13-14: “But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!” If they obviously think these other gods are so great that they’re worshiping them instead of God, why not cry out to them for salvation, right?

But Israel continues to plead with God. They tried to show God that they really meant it this time by throwing out their idols (verse 16). And, being the loving God that He is, God finally relented and begins working to save them yet again.

The stage is now set for a battle against the Ammonites, but Israel didn’t have a commander for their army. They improvise and see who would prove themselves to be fit for the job. Come back next week to see how that plays out.

The Israelites were taking advantage of God’s grace by continually doing what they knew was wrong and expecting God’s forgiveness. This attitude is not just in the book of Judges, however. Paul spoke against this in his letter to the Romans: “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2). We should not knowingly sin, just because we also know that God will give us grace and forgive us.

What sins are you committing in your life that you know are wrong but you do them anyway? While God will forgive you of them when you are truly sorry for them, don’t be like Israel and continue to commit them anyway. Ask the Holy Spirit for help to turn away from those sins for good.

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