THE STORY chapter #8
(My home church is participating in the study of THE STORY – The Bible As One Continuing Story Of God And His People. Foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. Each week, my Friday post will focus on our current study chapter.)
After Joshua died, the people who witnessed the great things our Lord had done continued to serve God. But problems arose with the next generation. They did not know all that God is, and what He had done for their people.
The Israelites turned to other god’s, which aroused the Lord’s anger against them. He then allowed them to be overcome by their enemies. But each time the Israelites suffered at the hands of a rival – and suffering occurred many times at the hands of many rivals – they somehow managed to remember our Lord, who would then have mercy on them and rise up a leader to restore their peace.
Then the Israelites also turned from the judges God provided, thus again breaking God’s covenant. If only they obeyed God. He already promised to make them a great nation and to protect, prosper and provide for them (Leviticus 26.) Why were they changing directions? What part did they not understand? Nothing more from God was needed to show them the way. He already did that. Hard as it may be at times, they/we, need to trust that what God has done for us, will continue to be what God will do for us. Our role is to follow Him. But the Israelites kept forgetting the way.
Again, the Israelites turned. This resulted in suffering 8 years at the hands of king Cushan-Rishathaim. They cried to the Lord, and the Lord gave them Othniel, a judge who brought them 40 years of peace.
Again, the Israelites turned. This lead to suffering 18 years under Eglon the Moabite leader. They cried to the Lord, and He gave them Ehud, another judge, who brought them 80 years of peace.
Again, the Israelites turned. Under Jabin king of Canaan, they suffered 20 more years. They cried to the Lord, and He gave them Deborah, a prophet. She lead them to 40 years of peace.
Again, the Israelites turned, then suffered 7 years at the hands of the Midianites. They cried to the Lord, and He gave them Gideon the farmer. Under God’s favor, Gideon brought the land 40 years of peace.
Again, the Israelites turned, so they suffered 40 years under the Philistines. Mercifully, God gave them Samson a Nazirite, who lead the Israelits for 20 years.
Do you see a pattern? Can you recognize the problem and identify the solution? The Israelites knew the way, just like we do. They had the directions, just like we do. And like the Israelites, if we do not stop following our own wrong direction, and follow God’s right direction, we will miss out on all the greatness, protection and prosperity God desires to provide for us.
THE STORY foreword by Max Lucado & Randy Frazee