03/18/16 They Cried Out to the Lord

READING: Judges 3-5

Perhaps you already know the cycle that is evident in the book of Judges: God’s people turn from Him; He then hands them over to an oppressor; the people cry out to God; He raises up a deliverer who subdues the oppressor; the land has peace for some years. 

It’s the third part of this cycle that grabs my attention today — evident in these verses:

  • “But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them.” (Judges 3:9)
  • “Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite.” (Judges 3:15)
  • “Because he [Sisera] had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.” (Judges 4:3)

They cried out to the Lord, and the Lord heard them. He gave them a deliverer when they sought Him in their distress. 

May I be honest with you? It’s been some time since I felt it necessary just to cry out to the Lord. I can’t remember the last time I was so desperate that all I could do was plead with the Lord. Granted, the Hebrews cried out because they were oppressed by enemies used by God as instruments of judgment on His people — and that situation is clearly different from mine and yours. Still, though, the Hebrews had come to a place of desperation. 

I fear that I’m not desperate enough for God. I want to get there, but I want to get there without first losing touch with God and risking His judgment. I want to be broken under His loving hand rather than His judgmental hand. I want my desperation to come as I run toward Him, not away from Him. 

I cry out to You today, Lord, for help. 

ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps:

  • Pray for desperation. That’s a frightening prayer to pray, but God delivers through desperate prayers. 
  • If you’re living in sin, God has already given you a Deliverer: Jesus Christ. Turn back to Him. 

PRAYER: “Father, thank You for sending Your Son as our deliverer. I cry out to You today to make me desperate for You.”     

TOMORROW’S READING:  Judges 6-7