Handed Over to the Enemy
Scripture: Judges 3:31-6:40
“The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years.” (Judges 6:1 NLT)
Today we'll read about the Israelites’ evil, or disobedience, in the sight of God.
“I told you, ‘I am the LORD your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.’ But you have not listened to me.” Judges 6:10 (NLT)
God did not ignore their disobedient acts, and He will not turn a blind eye to our waywardness either. He loves us too much to sit idly by and watch His children continue to sin. In order to get our attention and cause us to repent and return to Him, the Lord may divinely allow harsh circumstances to surround us. It is similar to a form of discipline.
Many times, we are fully aware of the sin in our life but choose it over the Lord’s ways. However, I am not suggesting all problematic situations are a repercussion of disobedience. Far from it. Some difficulties are a result of living in a sinful world. Like Gideon, we may ask God why such things are happening. There are times we need help to determine the origin of our hardships. One certain way is to ask God to reveal any sin in our life. We can start our prayer with the words of Gideon, "Sir … if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6:13a NLT) Then, we wait for the Holy Spirit to show us our disobedience. When He reveals, we confess. When we confess, He forgives and restores.
No one likes to be disciplined. As a child, I was the recipient of much discipline. I didn’t enjoy receiving it then and do not relish administering it to my two teenagers now. Yet, if there is no discipline, there is no real love. The writer of Hebrews says the following about discipline. "‘For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.’ As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?” (Hebrews 12:6-7 NLT)
The next time hardships hit, take a step back and ask the Lord, “Is this a result of the fallen world or my fallen nature?” Either way, you can be sure of God’s love through each difficult season.