Read the Bible in One Year:
OT – Judges 1-3
NT – Luke 4:1-30
Judges 2:16 – Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.
God is merciful, even when we are undeserving.
In the book of Judges, we witness a recurring cycle of disobedience, oppression, and deliverance among the Israelites. During the time of the Judges, Israel only cried out to God and really depended on Him in times of emergency. The Israelites continually turned away from God and fell into idolatry. Their disobedience and unfaithfulness led them into a cycle of oppression and misery. However, in their darkest moments, when they cried out to God, His compassion and mercy shone through.
To be stubborn against the LORD is to have a hard and unyielding heart; and it results in a hard life. The ancient Hebrew word translated stubborn (also translated as stiff-necked) is a word that was also applied to Israel many a time during the Exodus (Exodus 32:9, 33:3, and 33:5).
And yet, whenever the people of Israel cried out to Him with groaning, He answered with pity and faithfulness. The divine response to the cries of His people was mercy and compassion. Despite their unfaithfulness, He did not abandon them in their distress but raised up judges as instruments of deliverance. God’s compassion and mercy provided a lifeline for His people in times of distress.
God raised up judges – heroic leaders – to rescue Israel from their calamity. God did this not because Israel ever deserved such a deliverer, but in spite of the fact that they were undeserving. God knows that is the only way they can be kept trusting in Him. God’s desire is that we be in a constant relationship of dependence on Him. But sad reality is that the pattern of bondage, deliverance and blessing; followed by sin and bondage again is a discouraging fact in many Christian lives today.
God continues to be merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 103:8). His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Despite our shortcomings and unfaithfulness, God hears our cries and responds with grace. May we find solace in the knowledge that God’s compassion and mercy are everlasting and embrace His lifeline in times of distress. May we also be people who extend His compassion and mercy to those around us.
- Do I truly believe that God’s compassion and mercy are available to me, even when I feel undeserving?
- Is there a cycle of bondage, deliverance, and sin in my own life? What can I do to break it?
- When faced with difficulties, do I genuinely turn to God in dependence and cry out to Him for deliverance?
For more daily devotions like this – At the Potter’s Wheel (Kindle)