Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Faithfulness of the Lord

Today's Reading:
  • Judges 3:1 - 5:31
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Judges 3:1 - 5:31

These three chapters of Judges had a theme that repeated multiple times. First, the Israelites were left in peace. Then the Israelites increasingly began to sin and to forget the Lord. They began to worship other gods, and take on the evil practices of the rest of the world.  Next, as punishment, they were oppressed and given over to other kings. Then the people would ban together and cry out to the Lord. The Lord, ever faithful, would raise up and send a judge to successfully rescue them. They would live in peace, until they once again started to lose sight of the Lord.

Unfortunately I think that what we see out of the Israelites is reflective of Christian people all over the world. Why is it we only want to serve the Lord when we need Him to do things for us?  Shouldn't we always be cognizant of our Lord, of His commandments, of how He wants us to live?  Why do we wait until we're completely over our heads to cry out to the Lord for help?

What do we do in times of peace and prosperity? Is this the time for sinning and for leading ourselves astray of the Lord?  Or is this the time to grow in our relationship and closeness to the Lord? Thanking Him for His hand over our lives? Worshiping Him and remaining close?

The Lord is more gracious than we deserve. Every single time the Israelites called out to the Lord, he delivered them. It didn't matter how far they had strayed, He was there to pick up the pieces. I can't help but wonder how much better our lives would be if we didn't wait until everything was a mess to rely on the Lord. If God is this good to us, even when we are so far away, how much better off would we be to just remain close to Him at all times, and never stray?  I don't want the Lord to have to pick up my pieces, I want to remain close to the Lord to avoid being shattered in the first place. No matter how close we are to the Lord, we will still become broken and cracked. That is the sin nature of the world we live in. But I'd rather have God holding me from the moment it happens, then wait and have to call out to him when all feels hopeless and lost. I know that the Lord is faithful, so it is on me to remain close to Him. He has given us everything - His Word, His Spirit, and His only Son - so it is on each of us to use those things to remain in Him. The Lord will do the rest, all we have to do is trust in Him.