It’s Their Problem, Not Mine

Leah DiPascal

Day: 34 | Plan: Joshua-Judges

Today’s Reading: Judges 10

Judges 10:6a (NIV) Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD.”

Have you ever sat in church listening to a sermon and thought, “Too bad so-and-so isn’t here. They sure need to hear this message, because they have a real problem with …”?

How interesting. When it comes to sin, it sure is easier to point out someone else’s instead of our own.

“My husband has major prideful issues.”

“My teenage daughter only thinks about herself.”

“My aunt is addicted to gambling. She’s so messed up.”

“Those Israelites worshiped idols. I’d never do that.”

“Me? Oh, I’m good. God and I have a sweet relationship. My sins? Yeah, Christ paid for all of those on the cross.”

But wait. Scripture reminds us that no one is righteous—not even one (Romans 3:10-12), which includes you and me. We have all sinned, so pointing fingers at each other is a waste of time and justifying our sin doesn’t make it go away.

In today’s reading, we’re reminded of the same worn-out sin patterns the Israelites kept justifying and repeating: Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD” (Judges 10:6a).

 Again? They haven’t learned their lessons yet?

What were their repetitive, evil acts? Idolatry. (Judges 10:6b)

How did God respond? Through anger and enemy oppression. (Judges 10:7-8)

How did the Israelites react to their consequences? Miserably … they cried out to God, tattling on themselves. (Judges 10:10)

Although God had forgiven and rescued them in the past, this time the Lord responded differently: “You have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!” (Judges 10:13-14)

Did you notice the exclamation point? God takes sin seriously and He detests idolatry. (Exodus 20:2-3) Idolatry is worshiping anyone or anything other than God.

Whatever we worship will occupy our thoughts. (Matthew 22:37)

Whatever we worship will manage our resources. (Matthew 6:21)

Whatever we worship we will seek after. (Matthew 6:33)

Whatever we worship will capture our time. (Ephesians 5:15-17)

And whatever we worship—other than the Lord Most High—will make us oppressed and miserable, just like the Israelites.

God created us and designed our hearts to worship only Him. Misery comes from exalting anything other than our Lord who is the source of all joy. All hope. All peace. All love.

The Israelites’ idolatry caused them to become so miserable and oppressed they eventually became desperate to the point of genuine repentance: “But the Israelites said to the LORD, ‘We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.’ Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the LORD” (Judges 10:15-16a).

The Israelites were no longer messing around with empty words, hoping to manipulate God. Their oppression brought them to repentance which reshaped their attitudes and actions.

Genuine repentance positions us to renew our thoughts. It shifts our heart and redirects us back to a God-centered lifestyle—no matter how spiritually lopsided we’ve become.

We are still going to sin and make mistakes. No doubt about it. We might even be tempted to put someone or something above God without even realizing it. When that happens, the Holy Spirit will prompt us as believers. Let’s respond right away with genuine repentance to the One who deserves all our worship, honor and praise. 

Prayer: Lord, I want You to be first in my life. Correct me if I have placed anything or anyone in the position that rightfully belongs to You. Expose any sin that has invaded my heart and caused me to make wrong choices. Teach me Your truth and show me Your ways so I can live a God-centered life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

Let’s take a look at God’s response to Israel’s genuine repentance as they... Read More

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