Today, as our nation faces decline, economic upheaval, global tensions, and the constant menace of terrorism, we have to ask ourselves: Is God using these circumstances to discipline us, to call us collectively and individually to repentance?
In the time of the judges, God always sent Israel a deliverer (or judge) to rescue them from the consequences of their sin and folly. The people of Israel went through cycle after cycle of defection, discipline, and deliverance. They didn’t have to continually wobble from deliverance to defection and back again, but that was how they chose to live. The Israelites had free will and could have chosen obedience to God. Instead, they chose to compromise with sin.
That’s the tragic lesson of the book of Judges. But the stories in Judges are also about our time, our culture, our churches, our sins. They are stories about us. If we don’t want to follow in the same pattern, we need to take God’s commands seriously. No longer can we accommodate ourselves to sin and to the surrounding culture. If we choose to flirt with sin instead of dealing with it, firmly and decisively, we will end up like the Israelites, repeatedly bringing sorrow and suffering upon ourselves.
The nation of Israel was in moral and spiritual decline and could not defend itself against its enemies. The people had no king, so everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Our own circumstances seem equally hopeless. But today, as in the time of the judges, our King is coming. When Jesus returns, He will rule with righteousness and justice.
Today, we cry out to the Lord, “God, help me overcome my circumstances!” Some of those circumstances may be the result of our own moral failure and spiritual defection. Have we, like ancient Israel, forgotten God’s love for us? Have we forgotten all of His grace and goodness toward us in the past? Perhaps God is using these difficult circumstances to remind us how much we need Him. Perhaps God is calling us to repentance.
No matter how dark and troubled our circumstances, God stands ready to deliver us. Our King is coming. He will come in victory. He will deliver us. He will save us.
Prayer: God, help me overcome my circumstances. God, I repent of my sin. I recommit myself to You. I choose to live for You. Come be the Lord of my life once more! I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 ESV).
This devotional material is taken from Dr. Michael Youssef’s book God, Help Me Overcome My Circumstances. Drawing principles from the trying time in Israel’s history found in the book of Judges, Dr. Youssef helps us understand how the troubled seasons of our own lives can lead to spiritual growth and maturity.
For more information and resources from Leading The Way, please visit ltw.org.