Crying Out to God
Daily Bible Reading – Judges 4,5; Psalms 39,41; 1 Corinthians 13
Today’s Key Passage – Judges 4:1-16
Right before Joshua died around 1390 B.C., the Israelites promised him that they would never turn away from God. It took less than fifteen years for the Israelites to break that promise. At the time of our key passage today, the Israelites were living in Canaan, but they had turned away from God. Because they had sinned against God and turned from Him, “the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.” (Judges 4:2) The commander of Jabin’s army was a man named Sisera, who had a large army with 900 iron chariots. (Iron chariots were the most feared weapons of the day.) For twenty years, Sisera ruled over the Israelites with an iron fist and “cruelly oppressed” them. Finally, after twenty years, the Israelites “cried to the Lord for help” (4:3) At that time, Deborah was leading the Israelites and she coordinated an attack on Sisera. The Lord was with Deborah, so the Israelites prevailed against Sisera and he was killed. Sounds like a happy ending for the Israelites, right? Well, as we will find out in later chapters, their story of despair is really just beginning, but that is a story for another day. For today, I would like to focus on one aspect of this story – why did it take the Israelites twenty years to cry out to God?
Notice that in our key passage, when the Israelites “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (4:1), he allowed Jabin to rule them, but as soon as they cried out to Him, He immediately rectified the situation and brought them peace. Of course, the easiest remedy would have been to never turn from God in the first place, but knowing that they did you have to wonder what would have happened if they would have cried out to God sooner. Would God have saved them immediately if they had cried out to Him after only one year of Sisera’s rule? I have to believe that He would have, but sadly, the Israelites did not take their problems to God right away. They tried to solve their problems without God’s help, and only cried out to Him when things got really bad.
It is easy for us to look back and wonder why it took so long for them to cry out to God, but the truth is that many times we can all fall into the same trap as the Israelites. How often do we try to handle our own problems and wait until things get really bad before we cry out to God? We waste so much time and energy trying to deal with things ourselves, when God really wants us to bring everything to Him first. He does not want us to wait until things go sour to get Him involved; He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives. God wants to be consulted on everything we do, and He wants to be a part of our decision making process in all things. In reality, we should be crying out to God every single day, not just when things are bad. Every single day we should surrender ourselves to His will. We should let Him lead us, as we simply follow His guidance. When we cry out to Him in prayer when times are good and press into Him daily, we are less likely to create our own desperate situations. Please do not misunderstand what I am saying – I am not suggesting that when we cry out to God He will immediately solve all of our earthly problems and fix all of our mistakes. Crying out to God is not some magic wand we can wave to get our will. However, when we cry out to God, we can be assured of one thing – He will bring us peace. He will bring us the peace that comes in knowing that regardless what our present circumstances are here in this temporary home, our eternal circumstances in our permanent home are secure. When we cling to Him daily, we will never lose perspective on what is truly important. Our troubles here in this world are just a moment in time, but our eternal life with God lasts forever. In today’s reading, we also read Psalm 39. In it, we read in verse 5, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.” Cry out to God today and focus on the eternal. Focus on what really matters, and let God take care of the rest.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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Posted on March 28, 2014, in 07 - Judges and tagged Bible, Canaan, Christian, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, Faith, God, Israelite, Jabin, Jesus, Prayer, Religion, Repentance, Sin, Sisera. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.