“Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.” (Judges 10:14)
We rely on many different things to provide us with “blessings”. These can include our own abilities, money, family and hobbies. Yet, these things are gifts from God, not things that provide us with blessings. And, if we aren’t careful, these things can start to take over all our spare time, and we can begin to give them credit for our happiness.
The Israelites worshipped other gods, falsely believing this would lead to more blessings than simply relying on the one true God. It had quite the opposite effect, bringing suffering and misery because it cut them off from God, the one true source of all blessings. This failure becomes quite apparent in their distress: the false gods cannot save them, and they must turn to God for deliverance.
In this text, we can hear God’s exasperation with his people, just like an exasperated parent. God was the one who brought the Israelites out of Egypt and provided for them in the desert, yet the Israelites continuously turned to other gods for provision. God’s response highlights how false these other gods are: we trust them to bring us good things, so why don’t we trust them to provide deliverance? Why do we call on God only in times of distress? The false gods can’t actually save us, which reveals how they also fail to provide us with good things. It is God who blesses and delivers.
This text also highlights God’s great love for us. Despite his exasperation, he still had mercy on them and delivered the Israelites when they turned back to him. God is forgiving and truly loves his people. God wants to provide for us.
Lord, I want to turn to You for all things in my life; to thank You when You bless me, and to call upon You when I am troubled. Let me be mindful of who I have my trust in. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.