A Faithful God and an Unfaithful People
The book of Judges presents a stark contrast between the faithfulness of God and the unfaithfulness of his people. It is astounding to consider that so soon after their miraculous deliverance from Egypt, a generation arrived on the scene that neither knew the Lord nor the works that he had done for them. The very same nation who was an eyewitness to the stunning might of God had now forgotten him altogether. Their forgetfulness is seen in their ever-increasing propensity toward rebellion.
One would anticipate that their sin would prompt God to abandon his people forever. Yet, time and time again, an avalanche of God’s grace meets the faithlessness of the people. In fact, the text records God’s pity on the people and his attentiveness to their cries. Previously, Moses recounted how the people of God groaned because of their slavery and cried out to the Lord (Ex 2:23 – 25). These cries for deliverance were met by responses from the Lord. He heard their cries. He remembered the promises he had made in his covenant with them. He saw their need, and he knew their pain. This is the nature of the faithfulness of God — he hears, remembers, sees and knows.
Now, generations later, God heard the cries of his people and provided judges to lead them to victory. He did this despite the fact that they had demonstrated a perpetual inability to obey, even for a generation. God’s faithfulness is clearly not predicated on the goodness of his people. Rather, God’s faithfulness is founded on his character. He is a faithful God who always keeps his promises.
The faithfulness of God is the hope on which the Christian life is built. Those who know Jesus through repentance and faith can rest assured that God is faithful to his promises (1Co 1:9). He will not abandon his people, nor will he turn his back on them when they are unfaithful. Instead he hears, remembers, sees and knows. He hears the cry for mercy from those who know they are broken. He remembers his covenant, made long ago to Abraham, to save his people. He knows the needs of his people and, by virtue of Christ’s work, has made provision to meet those needs and restore them to a right relationship with him forever.
Jesus, I thank you and praise you for your grace and faithfulness. Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I am ungrateful, rebellious and forgetful of your goodness. Amen.
Devotion is excerpted from The Jesus Bible, NIV Edition