Because [Jabin, the king of Canaan,] had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help. (Judges 4:3)
Twenty years of oppression is what it took for Israel to turn back to God? Seriously? Twenty years?
It’s remarkable to me that it took so long for the nation to realize that it was headed down the wrong path. No doubt, the lethargic realization led to greater consequences than were necessary had Israel simply walked with God in the first place.
The truth is that sometimes God allows difficult circumstances into our lives for the sake of bringing us back to Him. That isn’t to say that God is the author of evil because the Bible clearly indicates that such an act would be outside of His nature. However, God doesn’t necessarily intervene unless we cry out to Him.
Shortly after the Israelites began pleading to God, He answered and sent hope in the form of Deborah, the Judge. But once things were easy for Israel again, they turned away from the Lord.
As you look at your own life, it’s worth asking the question, What does it take for God to get my attention?
For the Israelites, at that time, it took a king with chariots and cruel oppression. Hopefully for you and I it will not take the same.
Father, I am so prone to wander away from You. When things in my life go well, I tend to forget you and attempt to live my life on my own. I don’t want to be like the nation of Israel, walking away from You until a catastrophe brings me back. Help me to stay near to You always; give me tenacity in my relationship with You to live in a way that brings glory to Your Name.