Do you ever wonder why we continue to sin? The cycle of sin in the Old Testament carries through to the New Testament as well, with one extra ingredient of what I would call fullfilled hope, and that Hope is Christ Himself… read on!
Joshua 2:13 is phase 1 – SIN
because they forsook him and served Baal and Ashtoreths
Its so much easier to do the easier thing, the selfish thing. The sins of Baal, and Ashtoreths put God last in the minds of Israel. These religions were self-gratifying, and “more fun” than trying to walk in the narrow path of what God has in store. We have choices that we can make as Christians, and one of them is to be selfish or selfless. God will do anything, and use anything to get our attention when our focus is not on Him.
This brings us to the 2nd Phase of the Sin Cycle. Oppression.
In Judges 2:15 God said:
Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he has sworn to them. They were in great distress.
God has to chastise when we are in the middle of sin. He has to get our attention. Of course, we need to be listening and knowing that HE is putting this chastisement on us for a reason, and wants to get our full attention, and ultimately bring us back to Himself to restore our relationship. Remember God is VERY QUICK to forgive. 1 John 1:9
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
In Judges 2:18 we see the result of the chastisement.
the Lord had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them.
GROANING! Like every human being, we dont like to be chastised. I know that in my disciplining of my children its the same cycle in their own selfishness. They sin, they get disciplined, they groan, we kneel on the floor, and ask for Gods forgiveness, they repent, I give them compassion, and love, forgiveness, and our relationship is restored! I can’t stand to discipline my children… it’s the hardest thing. Our heavenly father is the same way. He doesn’t want to discipline us either… but look at the final outcome… future obedience AND most importantly their relationship with Christ is restored. We need not EVER forget, that EVERYTHING comes from God. He is in total control of our lives. EVEN if youre not following Him, God is in control! He is Sovereign! Everything belongs to God, and Everything comes from God. As I want my children to know, God wants us to know, ‘stealing’ isn’t a statutory law, it’s God’s LAW!
This brings us to the 3rd Phase of the sin cycle. Repentance.
Repentance, meaning; turning 180 degrees, is our source of restoration in our relationship with Christ. It’s your choice! If you know you’re in the middle of SIN you can either turn or not. I guess it’s either TURN or continue to groan.
Phase 4 is deliverance. Verse 16.
God raised up Judges who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.
Deliverance, what is it? Well, simply put its ‘rescuing from bondage.’ God rescues us! In the Old Testament, God used Judges to deliver and rescue the Israelites from their bondage in these other religions. The greatest rescuer of all times is CHRIST! He is also the final rescuer. Putting your faith in Christ will rescue you from the bondage, and the sin that you are currently in the middle of!
If you’ve been blessed by this devotional please pass it along. This devotional has been written to continue my studies at Trinity Seminary.