‘I am not going to rescue you’: Judges 10.6–16 (26 July 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.

Reflect

Daily reflection: Judges 10

The 1647 Westminster Confession defines God as being 'without body, parts or passions', but that's more of a philosophical statement. In the Hebrew Bible he is very passionate indeed: loving, sad, angry, regretful, and sometimes downright exasperated.

In Judges 10, after the rule of two effective judges, the Israelites lapse again. They are oppressed by various enemies for 18 years, and cry out to God for help. The answer is not encouraging. God points out that they have been here before: 'But you still left me and worshipped other gods, so I am not going to rescue you again. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen' (verses 13–14).

It would be comical, if it weren't so sad – and it's very true to life. God comes across here as a parent who has run out of patience with a child who keeps ignoring his warnings. Sometimes the only thing to do is to let them get into trouble so they can learn some life lessons.

The Israelites spend a long time away from God and suffering accordingly. We too aren't preserved from the consequences of our sins and our mistakes. No parent, though, is really going to let their child come to serious harm – and God 'became troubled over Israel's distress' (verse 16). How long will it take us, though before we come to our senses? Often, far too long.

Pray

Pray

God, thank you for bearing with me, even when I disappoint you and let you down. Help me not to try your patience, and bring me back to you when I stray.

Bringing the Bible to life

Bible Society, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7DG. Registered charity 232759