Scripture Reading: Hebrews 3
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord, and served not him.7 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.8 And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.
Started by worshipping God and idols, now it’s just idols.
And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim.11 And the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? 12 The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand.13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.
God has had it up to here! No deliverance threat to get attention, to see where their heart was. There is always a condition upon which God will change His mind.
And the children of Israel said unto the Lord, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day.16 And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the Lord: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.
They would rather have God’s judgment than the oppression of people.
2 Samuel 24:14--I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.
They forsake the idols and return to God. Judges 11—God delivers them!
God is a God of grace, He can’t help himself but to want to forgive. He is moved with compassion and mercy for our suffering.
He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
Sinned yet more—added sin to sin. Tempted—asked for more proof in meeting their absurd lusts despite ample proof of His power.
Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:
He had always provided before, why doubt, why tempt? God continued to provide for them
For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.34 When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God.35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. 36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.
Sinned still—they may have had temporary repentance, but they kept going back to a default mentality of doubt and rebellion. Flatter and lie—false professions of loyalty and faith. Never addressed their underlying heart condition.
But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.39For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.40How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!41Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
Limited—pain, wound, trouble, thwart, exasperate, literally to put a mark on.