This week, the Eastridge Reading Plan moves into Judges. From the very start, the same themes emerge that run throughout the Old Testament; the themes of rebellion and the incredible amount of grace that God offers. In chapter 1…all through chapter 1…the Israelites stop short of doing what God expects and commands them to do. They don’t quite drive out the Canaanites; they don’t adequately punish Adoni-Bezek when they capture him (and it’s funny how he realizes the severity of God’s punishment more than the Israelites do).
If you’ve read the Bible, you see the same thread throughout the story of God’s chosen people. They’re the same people who kept whining in the desert after God delivered them from generations of slavery. They’re the same people who drifted in and out…mostly out…of faithfulness in the age of the kings. They’re the people who relied more on their own manmade rules than on either the letter or the spirit of the law in the time of Christ. It’s easy to say that the Israelites just didn’t get it.
But wait a minute…aren’t we the same sometimes? Probably far more often than we’d ever admit. I know I can be shortsighted; I can be smug; I can overlook a blessing and complain when I don’t get my way. To paraphrase a conversation I had earlier today, it’s easy for me to say, “I’ve never been as bad as so-and-so,” but I can be just as unfaithful as the Israelites in my own way. Even with the lessons from God’s Word, I can blow it. I may not turn my back and follow another God or endanger myself to spend forty years in the barren desert, but I fail God on a regular basis nonetheless.
…yet God gives me grace time and time again. How valuable is that?