By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“God has an individual plan for each person. If you will go to Him and submit to Him, He will come into your heart and commune with you. He will teach and guide you in the way you should go.” – Joyce Meyer
Sometimes, when reading the book of Judges you just have to sigh. The people of God get themselves in some pretty sticky situations, and most of the time it is because of their own disobedience.
Exile, war, disease, famine, enslavement, the Israelites had seen it all. The good news is that, whether it was their own fault or not, God always provides a way out.
When the Israelites come to the end of the road and are living in the consequences of their own actions, they cry out to God for deliverance and He sends a judge to lead them out.
There’s one passage in Judges that is different. Once again, the Israelites find themselves enslaved under the Philistines and the Amorites. They had served other gods and forgotten Yahweh, so now they experience the result of their actions.
But this time, they don’t just cry out to God to deliverance. This time they say something a little different:
“But the Israelites said to the Lord, ‘We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now’” (Judges 10:15).
This is so vastly different from the attitude that the Israelites had just a few verses before. They went from doing their own thing, worshipping idols, building Ashtoreths, to calling out to Yahweh, asking Him to simply do what He thinks is best.
Make no mistake, the Israelites are pleading to God for deliverance, but they are asking for it on God’s terms, not their’s.
It seems that the Israelites have realized that it isn’t Baal who knows what’s best, and they certainly don’t know what’s best, but instead it is Yahweh, their loving and all-knowing God who knows what’s best. It is to Him they call out and in Him who they put their trust.
So often, when we feel like we are in exile, I think that we are so quick to call out for deliverance. But, I think that our prayers always attempt to push God to deliver us on our own terms.
God release me from the pain I’m experiencing, take me out of this toxic work environment, remove me from this broken relationship, take me out of this discouraging situation.
But, what if, instead we prayed more like the Israelites. God deliver me, BUT, do whatever you think is best.
What if God allows the pain so that you must rely fully on Him? What if you are in the work environment so that God can use you to minister to the broken and lost? What if you are in that broken relationship so that God can work reconciliation in the midst of it? What if you are in that discouraging situation so God can work a miracle.
Lord, we pray for deliverance today, because we are unhappy with where we are, but more importantly, we pray that your will be done and that you do whatever you think is best.