God of Victory & Peace . . .
Judges 3:7-11 NLT
The Israelites did evil in the LORD’s sight. They forgot about the LORD their God, and they served the images of Baal and the Asherah poles. Then the LORD burned with anger against Israel, and he turned them over to King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram-naharaim. And the Israelites served Cushan-rishathaim for eight years. But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD for help, the LORD raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Othniel, the son of Caleb’s younger brother, Kenaz. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he became Israel’s judge. He went to war against King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram, and the LORD gave Othniel victory over him. So there was peace in the land for forty years. Then Othniel son of Kenaz died.
Reflection . . .
In this story, the Lord helps His people despite the fact that they forgot the Lord their God and worshipped the abhorrent idols/images of Baal and the Asherah poles. They followed the customs and worship of the various gods of the nations around them and namely Baal and the Asherah poles. Baal was the fertility god and the Asherah poles represented pagan sensuality rituals and ritual prostitution. It doesn’t take much to imagine the abhorrent behaviour they were involved in. The Israelites call out to the Lord for help because He turned them over to serve this foreign king. How amazing that the Lord hears and responds to rescue them even after such sinful behaviour!!
Othniel is chosen by the Lord to become a judge, to gain victory over their oppressors and experience peace for 40 years.
God hears. God responds. God rescues, and He lets them experience peace!
What a merciful God! What a loving God who cares enough to forgive and take back the very people who turned their backs on Him.
That’s the story of God’s grace and forgiveness, yet again!
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