Thursday, October 7, 2010

Over and Over and Over Again

The Babes and I are currently working through Java With the Judges by Sandra Glahn.  At the same time, I'm working through a study on Joshua.  I find it interesting working on these studies simultaneously as choronologiclaly Joshua does comes before Judges.  However, through them both I'm seeing Isreal making the same mistakes over and over again..  The root of this issue - disobedience and not trusting God.   Do I see these things in myself - Don't you know it!

I struggle with obedience.  I want control. I want it my way and I expect God to see it that way too.  When things go wrong or I fall into the pit I created myself, I expect Him to immediately save me.  What does God ask for?  My complete & immediate obedience.

In Judges 4, we see Deborah tell Barak
"The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: 'Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor.  I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.' "(Judges 4:6-7 NIV)
Does he jump up and down in excitement of how God is going to use him?  NO!  He says: 
"If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go." (Judges 4: 8 NIV)
 What?  God just told you what to do. How many times have I told my daughter to clean up her room only to be told, "Only if you help me?"  Am I pleased with this response.  NO.  The reason she doesn't get an allowance is because I am the one who usually cleans her room.  So, what does God do to Barak, he withholds his allowance or actually the glory in the battle.  When God tells me to do something, do I jump up in immediate obedience.  I wish I could say yes.  However, more often then note, I'm like Barak and my daughter, I drag my fee.  I want the reward, but I'm not willing to do my part for it.  

Again and again in Judges we see Isreal turn from God and then God let them fall into their enemies hands.  You would think they would have learned their lesson every time.  But NO, over and over again they continue to repeadedly turn from and worship our idols.  In Judges 6, we see

1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. 2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help.
 7 When the Israelites cried to the LORD because of Midian, 8 he sent them a prophet, who said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 9 I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, 'I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.' But you have not listened to me." (Judges 6:1-10 NIV)

Did you notice that it took 7 years for them to finally cry out to the Lord for help.  How long do I have to turn from God and deal with trials before I finally "cry out" for help?  Am I that stubborn?  I hope not.  There have been times since I became a believer that I haven't always walked the walked.  Sometimes  it seemed like I was happy and content with my life, then things would get tough.   Did I pray immediately?  NO.  I thought I could get through those times on my own, in my way.  Then I would hear a message, read a bible verse, or see something that would remind me who saved me and continues to save me from my sins and myself.   Upon reflection of those times, I realized I was just like the Isrealites - not listening to God and His commands and worshiping my own idols.  

Praise God that we have an amazing Father who loves us and "...does not treat us according to our iniquities...(Psalm 103: 18 NIV).  He always comes looking for us.  He wants us to come to Him.  He wants to redeem us, so much that He died on a cross for us.  Am I willing to embrace this?  Am I willing to turn from my "idols" and turn to the Father who truly loves me.  You bet!

Prayer:  Thank you Father.  Thank you for never turning from me.  Forgive me for those times I turned from you.  For not judging me according to my sins.  Father, help me to obedient to you.  Help me to learn your commands.  Help me to follow you with a willing and open heart.  May you lead me from all temptations I face that would lead me away from you and your commands.  Amen.


Linda said...

I heard a preacher once say, " when you sin, don't run FROM God, run TO Him"....
love that. Your post is wonderful! Thank you!

Andi said...

Thanks for the word today!

I have to ask, as I'm new to your blog, and probably you have already addressed this, but what Ephphatha mean? I'm confused...

Andi said...

Never mind. I googled it. Glad you are being "open" to God's word!

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Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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