Cry Out! (Judges)

by Drew Anderson

“Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods; therefore I will no longer deliver you. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress.” The sons of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned, do to us whatever seems good to You; only please deliver us this day.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord; and He could bear the misery of Israel no longer.”
Judges 10:13-16

Let’s break this passage down together…and see what we might learn from God’s Word:

  1. Biblical Theological Background: God gave Israel the ten commandments (and others) as a provision for perpetual fellowship with Him (Exodus 20 & Deuteronomy 5).
    • As Israel obeyed, they were blessed (military protection, food provision, family multiplication, and continual fellowship with God). See Leviticus 26-27 and Deuteronomy 28-29.
    • As Israel disobeyed, they were cursed (military defeat, food deprivation, family cannibalism, exile from the land, and ultimately broken fellowship with God). See also Leviticus 26-27 and Deuteronomy 28-29.
  2. The Book of Judges Background: Moses and Joshua have died, and Israel is dispersed in their land. During the land conquest under Joshua, the Israelites did not remove all the pagan inhabitants and are therefore facing the consequences, i.e., the pagans are overpowering and persuading them to their ways of worship.
  3. Judges 10:13-16 Background: Israel stands condemned for pursuing idols.
    • [Judges 10:6] Explicitly breaking the ten commandments by forsaking the Lord and serving “the Baals and Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines.”
  4. Biblical ExpositionGod’s deliverance according to His mercy…
    • vs. 13: The people of Israel have been handed over to their sin because they broke their covenant with God. As a result, the heavy burden of God’s justice weighs down upon them as His provision is removed, causing them to sink under the weight of the curse.
      • See also Romans 1:28-32
    • vs. 14: Their only hope now is to “cry out” for help from the gods they served in hopes of finding their deliverance.
    • vs. 15-16: The response of the people and God’s response to them:
      • The response of the people toward God:
        • Confess: “We have sinned!”
        • Yield: “…do to us whatever seems good to You.”
        • Cry out: “…please deliver us this day.”
        • Remove sin: “So they put away the foreign gods…”
        • Restore worship: “[they] served the Lord.”
      • The response of God toward His people:
        • Compassion: “He could bear the misery of Israel no longer.”

The book of Judges unfolds this pattern time and again. God grants blessing and calls His people to covenantal obedience; they disobey and face the consequences of the curse, cry out to God, and then He is moved by compassion, sending a deliver to meet their needs according to their cries.

Reading through the book of Judges (and the Old Testament), one wonders, “How long will the Lord endure such flagrant exploitation of His goodness?

However, with 30 minutes of examination of our own lives, and a deeper look into the challenges faced by those in the New Testament, we are quickly humbled by God’s goodness toward us and them.

In fact, it is the Lord’s goodness that brings us to repentance.

How Does This Apply To Us Today?

  • God is holy, and all who are in fellowship with Him must be holy.
  • God gave the Law to show us how to live a holy life and remain in fellowship with Him.
  • However, like sheep, we all have gone astray from the Law in our thoughts, actions, and words, resulting in our unholiness and separation from God.
  • Thus, we are cursed and deserve righteous and terrible consequences provided under the Law.
  • God is just and must judge those who have transgressed His righteous standard set forth by the Law, which means God will not look away or wink at our transgressions.
  • In the fullness of time, Jesus entered our world by taking on flesh and living a life that perfectly aligned with the standards and requirements of the Law.
  • Thus, Jesus is blessed and deserves righteous and awesome rewards provided under the Law.
  • However, Jesus chose to become cursed and not blessed for Him to bless those who are cursed.
  • Therefore, God is both just and the Justifier (Romans 3:26) of sinful man.
  • And so, we never stop crying out… “God, I believe, help my unbelief.”

Glory! The goodness of God remains indefatigable. Glory!

You may also like

Update Required Flash plugin