Read Judges 10:6-18
I. Ammonite Oppression and Jephthah’s (jef’-tha) Deliverance. In this chapter of Judges the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They forsook the Lord and followed after idols.
God became angry and sold them to the Philistines and Ammonites. After 18 years of oppression, the people cried to the Lord, got rid of their idols, and the Lord is moved with compassion.
- 18 years. Notice in vs. 8 that the people of God suffered 18 years of oppression, by the hands of people. First, when preaching doesn’t work, God often uses pain. Hearing and obeying the word of God is easier to deal with then the pain.
Second, the pain can come through people. God doesn’t have to send a lightning bolt from the sky. He can simply use mean people around us. Let’s work on hearing and obeying what God says through the one He sent, so we don’t have to experience pain.
- Let it go. Notice in vss. 10, 16 that even after 18 years of oppression the people still had to turn from idols. In other words, even though their idols caused them great pain, they kept holding on, until the pain was just too much to bear.
It would be terrible if the reason that things are so difficult in our lives is because we will not let go of the sins in our lives. It would be even worse to discover that we will not let go of our sins until God sends more pain.
Let’s repent of our sins, so we don’t have to experience so much pain for such a long season.
- Real repentance. Notice in vss. 13-14 that God knows the difference between lip service and a real change of heart. It is so important for us to be honest at least with ourselves. It is terrible for us to lie to ourselves so much that we began to believe the lies.
Repenting from sin calls for us to be honest about the sins that we are involved in. Let’s work on having a real heart felt turning to God from our sins.
Think about the sins of not giving our best in studying, serving, and giving. Think about the sins of not giving our best in living by God’s principles for every area of our lives, including our attitude, health, finances, relationships, and contributions.
- God’s compassion. Notice in vs. 16 that the Lord could not bear Israel’s misery any longer. This is an example of God’s compassion towards His people. In like manner, we should remember that God doesn’t take pleasure in seeing us oppressed.
As soon as we really repent, God is willing to start turning things around. Let’s be so thankful for God’s compassion that we repent, so we can experience the benefits.
- Help wanted. Notice in vss. 17-18 that the people were looking for a leader to fight against the enemy. It is interesting that just as there was a shortage of people willing to step up and lead in the book of Judges, there is often a lack of people willing to step up and serve today. As believers, we are called to give God our best in service.
We are called to use the gifts and personalities that God has given us to serve Him. We serve God by being involved in the work that needs to be done. Let’s make ourselves available to do what needs to be done.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.