I've been reading book of Judges the past few days. It's one of those books that tears at me, in some ways it's fun and adventurous and war stories. In others it's just so full of vile and disgusting acts done by people who claim to be following God.
Almost every story starts the same. The people of Israel again did evil in the eyes of the Lord and He lets their enemies gain power over them. But in Judges 10 there's this little story. The people again abandon God, again their enemies attack and again they turn back to God. This time God says no. "Has there ever been a time when you cried out to Me that I haven’t rescued you? Yet you continue to abandon Me and to worship other gods. So go away; I won’t save you anymore. Go and cry to the new gods you have chosen! Let them save you in your hour of distress!” (Judges 10:12b-14, LB).
Thankfully, the people wake up a little and destroy all the other Gods and idols and vow to return to God, so He takes them back. God does amazing things and saves His people. And over the next few years there are good judges whom we know very little about.
About 30 years later, Israel is worshipping idols again. And again, God still takes them back when they cry out to Him.
As we head into Lent, instead of thinking about what we give up for God, what about things we can do for God, like instead of only focusing on Him or calling on Him when things are bad, we make a conscious effort to serve and worship Him, be a little pro-active in our lives of faith? Just a thought...