Israel…did evil in the sight of the LORD. —Judges 6:1
Read Judges 6:1-10
After Deborah’s death and the forty years of rest, Israel began to backslide again by serving the idol Baal, one of this nation’s recurring temptations. On the one hand, we may be inclined to ask how it is possible for this nation to be repeatedly so unthankful and sinful. On the other hand, how is it possible that the Lord would uphold His people and deliver them every time they fell into sin? The Lord is truly merciful, but He is also a jealous God who will not tolerate His people following other gods.
As a direct consequence of Israel’s sin, the Lord allowed the Midianites to enter the Promised land. They did not settle in Ca-naan, but plundered the land as an army of grasshoppers in a field ready to be harvested. As a result, Israel became impoverished and left their villages to hide among the rocky hills and caves. After experiencing seven years of great need, they finally called unto the Lord.
The Lord heard their cry and answered them, although it was in a different way than they expected. The nation hoped for deliverance, but the Lord sent a prophet to them instead. For ultimately, Israel’s need was a spiritual one. The name of the prophet is not given us, but what matters is the message he gave to God’s people: “It is your own fault that these judgments have come upon you, for you have broken God’s covenant.”
What idols in our lives turn us away from God?