Apr 3 (Daily reading: Judges 10-12) The details given about the eighteen-year period between Jair and Jephthah are revealing. The people confessed: “We have sinned against You, for indeed, we have abandoned our God and served the Baals” (10:10). The sin of abandoning God brought His judgment on His people. This catches our attention because of what Peter later wrote: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17). We live in the period of grace, but we know that God will judge the unfaithfulness of His own household!
We see how serious abandoning God is by noting what He said: “Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress” (10:14). We can turn to our gods of busyness, pride, intellectualism, or ambition, but they offer us nothing of eternal significance. We always end up asking, like Peter: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (Jn. 6:68).
When the people repented, we see God’s reaction: “And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel” (10:16, NKJV). Oh, the depths of God’s grace! He is touched by the suffering that is brought on by our sin. He is a God of mercy and forgiveness! “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all who call upon You” (Ps. 86:5).
– Al Gary