Break the Cycle!

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Judges 3:7 (NIV)
The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.

Judges 3:7 (MSG)
The People of Israel did evil in God’s sight. They forgot their God and worshiped the Baal gods and Asherah goddesses.
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“And the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.” -AMPLIFIED

There sadly is a re-occurring theme in Judges and it goes something like this: “Then the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord and worshiped and served the Baals, and they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods from the gods of the peoples who were around them, and they bowed down to them, and offended and provoked the Lord to anger.” -Judges 2:11-12 (AMP)

This turning from God and turning back became a vicious cycle. This cycle did not make God happy. We can find proof of this in the verse that follows, “God’s hot anger blazed against Israel. He sold them off to Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim. The People of Israel were in servitude to Cushan-Rishathaim for eight years.” -Judges 3:8 (MSG)

Yes, God can become angry and not sin; His is a righteous anger. He was exasperated with this people who would willingly sell themselves as slaves to the false Gods; such as Baal and Asherah.

The expression, “Then the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord…” becomes the indicator that God was once again going to intervene and send a judge to lead the people. We find the Israelites, in their time of oppression crying out to God and He in turn raised up a man to deliver them. “But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them. The Spirit of the Lord came on him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him. So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.” -Judges 3:9-11 (NIV)

The children of Israel had chosen to turn away from God once again, but God…. God allowed the them to be disciplined for a time, but then He sent a deliverer; someone who would lead them and liberate them. Someone who would be their hero and defender.

God’s desire is that we remain faithful and true to Him. Sadly though, there are times that we fail. We sin, we chose to do exactly what He has commanded us not to do; choosing the things of this World over the things of God, and we wind up far from where He desires us to be.

The Apostle John, writing to Christians, said this; “If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.” -1 John 1:8-10 (MSG)

Dr. David Jeremiah shares these thoughts on staying true to God. “The Bible tells us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to the Lord and to serve Him with passionate zeal. We can’t love God too much, but we can love Him better. Rather than being conformed to the world, let’s be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Let’s be temperate in all things this year-except in loving God with all that’s within us.” (The Upward Call page 16)

May it be our desire to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind; with everything that is within us!

My Prayer:
Lord, it is my desire to love you with everything that is within me. I do not want to be enticed by the things of this World. Help me, Lord, to keep my heart, mind, soul, my everything focused on you. Have your way in my life this year, Lord. Every moment of every day I ask that you lead, guide and be in charge of my life.

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