Judges 3:31-6:40
Salvation and redemption are constants in Christian life. The ultimate sacrifice made by Y’shua (Jesus of Nazareth) for the redemption of our sins places us in a position that makes forgiveness and redemption readily available. For me, there is a peace in knowing that the price for my sin is already paid for through Jesus Christ, with earnest repentance being my only requirement. However, the experiences of the Children of Israel, as chronicled in this section of Judges, should serve as a warning and counterexample of taking our relationship with Christ for granted.

The Children of Israel chose to establish a relationship with God but repeatedly failed to abide by His laws and guidance. “…again, Israel did evil in the sight of God.” (Judges 4:1, 6:1), was a repeated theme that resulted in consequences, repentance and salvation by God. Why would people who have seen the power and faithfulness of God with their own eyes, continuously breach their obligations to Him? I’ve always been puzzled by the collective thoughts that led them to evil actions. But I have always believed that there are parallels in the walk of Christians today to the actions of the Children of Israel then. Today, we often avoid the sins that we deem to be most egregious and rely on grace to cover the sins that we are comfortable with. When we sin against God in the face of His faithfulness, we breach the terms of our relationship with Him.

You see, relational maintenance with a spouse, parent, child, and friend are no different than our relationship with God. Relationships are created through mutual disclosure, common interests, deep revelation and trust through consistency. God disclosed who He is through His creation, faithfulness, unconditional love, correction and forgiveness. He shares our interest in His desire that we live life abundantly and free of condemnation and worry. Through prayer (conversation) and His Word, we gain deeper knowledge of Him. Finally, He is ever faithful to do what He says, thus establishing trust.

One of the greatest blessings/benefits of having a relationship with Y’shua is knowing that despite our human inability to match the depth of His friendship, He loves us. Because He loved them, God allowed the Israelites to endure the consequences of their actions, teaching them not to take for granted His grace and mercy. Let us learn from the Children of Israel by not taking God for granted and investing in growing our relationship with Him. Let’s continue to take seriously our duty to Him in return for His forgiveness, faithfulness and love. Love your neighbor. Put no other god before Him. Feed the hungry. Love the fatherless/motherless. Keep the Lord’s commandments and when we fail, earnestly repent and turn away from our sins. We are not obligated to do these things to keep His love but to grow our relationship and introduce others to an everlasting relationship with Him of boundless benefits.

by Dameon Gray

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