In the book of Judges, we see the Israelites go through a continuous cycle. Throughout the entire book, they continue to do the same four things.
First, they go against God. In turn, God becomes angry and gives the Israelites over to their enemies. Because of this, the Israelites cry out to God for help, and he decides to send them a judge. But, as soon as the judge dies, the Israelites go right back to their sinful ways.
Let’s go a bit deeper, shall we?
When the Israelites go against God, the Bible memtions some specific sins. For example, see Judges 2:12 – They deserted the LORD, the God of their people. He had brought them out of Egypt. But now the people of Israel followed other gods and worshipped them. They served the gods of the nations that were around them. They made the LORD angry.
The Israelites weren’t just doing things like taking each other’s sugar (sorry, that’s all I could think of) or even having affairs with each other. While I don’t boubt they did these things, the Israelites went so far as to worship other gods. These were gods like Baal and others of the region they were in.
Now, God is a VERY jealous God. He HATES it when people take their devotion away from him and give it to others. But, this doesn’t just have to be false gods like Baal and others. An idol is anything we put above God. This could be social media, reading, friends, ANYTHING. You would be upset if your spouse/child/friend “cheated” on you, right?
Now onto the second part of the cycle. This one is more simple. Since the Israelites were unfaithful to God, He became angry and decided to punish them. He let their enemies defeat them and let robbers overtake them, among other things. The Israelites would eventually become so desperate as to move on to this next step.
They would cry out to God for help. Makes sense, right? If you were in a desperate situation, you would probably go out in search of help too. So God, being his merciful and gracious self, decided to give the Israelites another chance.
To keep them in shape, God gave the Israelites a judge. The judge would rule over them for a while, but would eventually die. Without a person in authority, the Israelites went right back to their sinful ways and the cycle repeated.
Just in chapters two through four, the Israelites go through this cycle FIVE whole times. Aren’t you shocked? And yet, we do the same thing!
Although we don’t like to admit it, we worship all kinds of things! Everyone has some sort of idol. Some people have things like social media, or wanting things like comfort and acceptance. Some people have different religions all together. As I said before, God is a jealous God, and He does not share His glory or praise (Isaiah 42:8).
If you have idols, God WILL break you of them. He will try and try. Some people never give in though. I beg you, don’t be one of those people. My heart grieves for those who never accepted Jesus; for those who were too late.
Coming to a low point is hard. When God breaks you, that’s where you’ll be. And you should pray. With God’s help, you can get to a place where you never could have been without him. As a famous pastor once said: “If you can show me a life that is better that Jesus, I will cease to be a Christian on the spot.” (Something like that)
Just make sure that when you get near God, try not to restart the cycle. 🙂