Daily D – Judges 2:1-3
The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim and said, “I brought you out of Egypt and led you into the land I had promised to your ancestors. I also said: I will never break my covenant with you. You are not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land. You are to tear down their altars. But you have not obeyed me. What have you done? Therefore, I now say: I will not drive out these people before you. They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a trap for you.”
JUDGES 2:1-3 (CSB)
Everybody’s got problems.
I do not know a single person who does not have problems. Every person I know struggles with something.
There are at least two classes of problems. There are the problems others cause us, and there are the problems we cause ourselves. If you had to choose a seventy-thirty split, which kind of problem would you want in the majority? Would you choose the problems you create because of decisions you make to honor God and serve others? Or would you choose the problems created for you because of your disobedience?
A couple of generations into the Promised Land, Israel chose the problems created for them because they did not obey God. This book records a slide from bad to worse to pure evil in its few chapters. Sometimes God’s expectations and requirements seem hard. Harder yet are the problems arising from disobedience.
We have noticed from Genesis 1 through Joshua that where God guides, God provides. This is true for the rest of the Bible as well. It is true today in our lives. We have also noticed that where people chose their own way rather than God’s way, they made things harder than they had to be. Consequences ranged from painful to downright deadly.
Everyone has problems. We have a choice in which kinds of problems we have more of. We get to join God in solving problems by his grace and in his compassion.
Our God is a problem-solving God. On this Tuesday of Holy Week, let us remember the problems Jesus solved. Can you name a range of his miracles? He turned blind eyes into those full of vision. He returned a firm grip to withered hands. He made dangling legs dance. He opened deaf ears to the music of laughter and celebration. He filled empty stomachs. He raised deceased loved ones to life.
Jesus also ultimately, finally solved our sin problem. The one thing standing between us and relationship with our Father in heaven was removed by Jesus’ death and resurrection.
You will have problems today. You get to choose the source and the solution. Just a suggestion, but don’t make it harder than it has to be.
I will choose the problems that accompany honoring God and serving others.
Our Father, you are the Problem Solver. I will get myself into trouble today. May it be good trouble. I will cause problems. May they be good problems. I will experience difficulty and challenge. Solve those problems for me through your grace and compassion. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”