God Sent Difficulty and Deliverance to Get Israel’s Attention
And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.
Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia.
And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.
But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he judged Israel.
He went out to war, and the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.
So the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.”
In Hebrews it says that we should treat hardship as the Lord training us. He is using bad things from whatever source to turn out for His (and our) good. To the Corinthians, Paul said that any time we are tempted to sin, God will provide a way out.
Both of those things are happening here in the old testament book of Judges. God really wants the people to follow Him. He’s not some insecure wimp that needs the attention, He has a beautiful plan that will work out in whoever follows His ways! When everyone forgot Him, He gave the people a few ways to find their way back to Him.
They were overtaken by a foreign king. That would be a bummer and give them memories of their grandparents in Egypt. That stunk and was an awful 400 years. Who would want that to happen again? Not me! Let’s turn to the Lord.
Then God gave them Othniel, Caleb’s nephew. YES! That Caleb that earned best of the promised land, fought giants, continued the conquest even after Joshua decided to chill out on his farm. That Caleb. His nephew was the first of the judges and his life was typical of the judges.
God sent him and he fought Israel’s oppressors. Israel had peace for at least a generation, then forgot about God again and was re-oppressed after the judge died.
It’s an awful cycle that we’re going to study over the next few weeks. Great people raised up just in time by God, then a generation or two without anyone seeking the Lord. It proves God’s faithfulness to His cause and mission in the world, and the fact that out of nowhere He can raise up might people to follow Him.