Responding to SufferingHow do you feel when your life is interrupted by suffering and adversity?
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You disobeyed My command. Why did you do this? (v.2).
I recently began searching for a good used car. When we went to check out a 2006 model, the vehicle looked pristine. Looks can be deceiving, however. For when I had my mechanic take a peek at the prospective purchase, he found some major transmission problems. If I had bought the car, it would have cost me thousands of dollars to fix.
Ancient Israel also tried to look good on the outside, but they definitely lacked something “under the hood”! Having professed undying loyalty to God and promising that they would serve Him in obedience (Joshua 24:21- 24), they did so partly—not completely. In Judges 1, we read that the faithful “Lord was with the people” as they drove out the pagans and their idols from Canaan (vv.19,22). But, sadly, the people were disobedient and didn’t complete the job. The word failedis used seven times to describe their lack of obedience (vv.21-33).
In response, the angel of the Lord appeared before the Israelites and said, “You disobeyed My command. Why did you do this?” (2:2). Then he told the people that God would no longer help them in their clearing-of-the-land quest, and they “wept loudly” (vv.3-4). Again, their outward appearance of contrition looked mighty fine. But soon they “did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal” (v.11). God, burning with holy anger, turned them “over to their enemies” (v.14). Something was rotten in Canaan—the hearts of God’s people. So He disciplined them in love, desiring that their hearts would be fully restored to Him.
What’s in your heart today? Are you fully committed to God or is there something rotten within your heart that needs to be brought to Him in repentance?
Read 2 Timothy 2:13 to see God’s response even when we’re unfaithful to Him.
What happened when God’s people truly served and loved Him in obedience in the Old Testament? What things can cause your heart to become rotten?
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