More than Words
We’ve all done it…made a mess of our lives and then cried out to God to fix everything.
The children of Israel continually repeated this vicious cycle: Enjoy the favor of God, walk away from Him, fall into oppression, cry out for mercy, find deliverance by the hand of one of God’s divinely empowered judges…and then only to repeat their neglect of God.
Here in Judges 10, we find this cycle repeating itself…again! God raised up the Philistines and the Ammonites to deal with Israel’s idolatry. And at their low point, Israel admits that they’ve sinned against God by walking away from Him and pursuing other gods. (By the way, that’s how it always happens: we slack in our relationship with Him and then pursue other things to fill the void left by our abandonment of God.)
We know that God will receive us and forgive us, but did you notice God’s response to their prayer? He reminded that He had delivered them time and time again, and yet they still hadn’t learned their lesson. In fact, in verse 14, God told them to go and pray to the false gods they had chosen to worship.
We’ve already learned that prayer is a two-way conversation between God and man, and while their cry for deliverance was sincere and honest, they needed to realize the significance of their idolatry. God wanted to remind them that by forsaking Him, they were pursuing things that could neither satisfy nor deliver.
When they heard God’s chiding, they reacted by accepting God’s correction while pleading for His deliverance. They realized that their situation was the result of their failure, and in verse 16 we read that they put away the strange gods that they were worshipping and served the Lord.
At the top of this lesson, I said that we’ve all done it. We’ve all cried out to God to deliver us from the adverse circumstances of our lives. But we should realize that God will deliver us only as we get serious with Him! The cry of our lips is insufficient to secure the deliverance of the Almighty. He is looking as much as listening. What is He looking for? He wants to see that our prayer is more than words.
What this prayer shows us that prayer is more than words! Words can be empty, hollow, and even false. And if we view prayer as merely words, don’t you think God feels the vanity of it all? Prayers of empty words do not move the heart of God! Sincere prayer is More Than Words!