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The Canaanized Church
Loving God should be the easiest, most natural response in the world. Why then is it often so difficult to love him first and only? The book of Judges tells us; we don’t love God as we should when we forget who he is and what he has done.
My Sunday School class today got to hear the part of the sermon that, because of time constraints, I had to leave on the cutting room floor. It concerns the cycle I presented in this mornings sermon: Rest, Idolatry, Oppression, Deliverance, Rest. We looked at God’s changing response to Israel when she can’t stand the oppression any longer and cries out to God for deliverance.
- First cycle: God responds immediately by sending Othinel (Judges 3:9).
- Second cycle: God responds immediately by sending Ehud (Judges 3:15).
- Third cycle: God responds immediately by sending Deborah (Judges 4:3-7).
- Fourth cycle: God send a prophet to rebuke the people for not remembering the Exodus; then he sends Gideon (Judges 6:7-12)
- Fifth cycle: God says “no”. (Judges 10:10-13)
That’s the one that really gets your attention. God says, “Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!” (Judges 10:14). Israel insists that they really are serious about serving God and prove it by getting rid of their idols. Then the Bible says God could spare their misery no more, so he sent Jephthah to rescue them.
When we forget God we fall in love with our idols. When oppression comes into our lives we suddenly remember God and cry out to him. But how can he continually deliver us when don’t get serious about removing the idols from our hearts? Eventually we have to choose: God or Idols? And choosing God means the idols must go. Keep the idols from your heart by remembering what God has done and loving him in response.