An unending pattern existed in Israel during the time of the Judges. It went like this: “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord,” and some versions word it this way: “There was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.’ This happened eight times in the course of the Judges.
Of course, it was inevitable that hardship should fall on the people. They had turned from God and were doing their own thing, and it wasn’t a good thing. They messed up.
The next part of the cycle went like this: “And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.”
Finally, they understood that there was only One who could help them. Things had gotten so bad they could no longer depend on their own strength or wisdom. They needed God. He heard their cry and came to their rescue.
Then, here’s what happened, time and time again: “And the land had rest 40 years.” (One time it was 80 years.) But, how does the Book of Judges end? “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
And, no surprise, the next book (the Book of Ruth) begins with a famine in the land.
Now, I’m aware that this example is talking about the Israelites in that day and time. Didn’t God warn His people not to behave that way? (Deuteronomy 12:8)
The thing is, we should learn from their example. A similar pattern prevails in America and throughout the world. We become smug in our prosperity. We ignore God and do our own thing. Then, the enemy hits us. We experience 9/11. We are at war. A terrible illness threatens our very lives.
Isn’t this the time to turn to the only One who has the power to rescue us? Hasn’t He proven Himself, year after year, decade after decade, century after century? Just like the Israelites eventually turned to the Living God to rescue them, so should we.
While we wait for the doctors and scientists to come up with a cure, do like the Israelites did long ago and cry out to the Lord, and then watch Him work.
To God be the Glory!