“No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. They also failed to show kindness to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) for all the good things he had done for them.” (Judges 8:33-35)
History is a call to see God in action and depend totally on Him. Israel was too often tempted to see history in Canaanite terms as a cycle of recurring agricultural seasons. They wanted to depend on Yahweh, the God of Israel, for political leadership and on Baal, to god of Canaanite agriculture and fertility, for crop protection. Even a leader like Gideon had received a name honoring Baal from his parents. God controls all aspects of history—-military, political, economic, social, and agricultural. He expects His people to depend on Him in each new season because He has proved His power and care through History, not because they go through proper rituals to cause the seasons to repeat themselves.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, may we remember in all situations of life, that throughout history, You have been visible if not with the eye, certainly through Your presence being felt. You haven been and always will be, in control of any and every situation that find ourselves in, and we know You are there in the midst of us. It is in Christ Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Christ died for us and our sins, will you die for Him?”
“Now Jeremiah was free to go come and go among the people, for he had no yet been put in prison. Pharaoh’s army had marched out of Egypt, and when the Babylonians who were besieging Jerusalem heard the report about them, they withdrew from Jerusalem. Then the word of he lord came in Jeremiah the prophet. ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the king of Judah, who sen o to inquire of me, ‘Pharaoh’s army, which had been marched out to support you, will go back to its own land, to Egypt. Then the Babylonians will return and attack this city they will capture it and burn it down. ‘This is what the Lord says: Go not deceive yourselves, thinking, ‘The Babylonians will surely leave us. They will not! Even if yo were to defeat the entire Babylonian army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and furn this city down.’” (Jeremiah 37:4-10)
God used history to call His people to faith. They repeatedly sought security in international alliances. He showed them their covenant alliance with Him was all they needed for true security.
“Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is upon you. There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.’” (2nd Chronicles 19:2-3)
Evil alliances included alliances with unfaithful kings of Israel, the Northern Kingdom. Jehoshaphat followed Solomon’s bad example by using marriage to gain political advantage. God did not ignore the king’s good side. The kings of Judah illustrate the complexity of sin prone humans seeking to be faithful to God.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“At the king’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which ed: ‘People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are let, who have escaped from the hand of he kings of Assyria. Do not be like your fathers and brothers, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their fathers, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the Lord. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. If you return to the Lord, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will no turn his face from you if your return to him.’” (2nd Chronicles 30:6-9)
History calls God’s people to repentance and faith. The history of unfaithfulness and judgment experienced by ancestors should lead us to faithfulness and trust in God’s grace.