The Lord Sees you Sold Off, but He’ll Happily Buy You Back
“And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.”
The Bible project sums up Judges as “Isreals spiraling decline into being like all of the surrounding Gentile nations. ” Yep, that is accurate. When the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Hazor, it was a signal to them that they were off track and no longer under the Lord’s guidance.
The thing is, that didn’t happen overnight. They didn’t have an election and wake up to swear in a new king. Just like the various chances for repentance that come up in the books of the prophets, Israel had a lot of chances to turn back to the Lord.
One time I was in a small group and one of the older guys said he wanted to confess for being a ‘functional atheist.’ We all leaned in to see what he meant. He was a Christian leader and we all looked up to him. “I’ve been living my life and making decisions as if I didn’t think God existed.”
Wow, that was powerful coming from him. He caught himself acting that way after just a few months. In this passage of Judges, the people of Israel acted that way and didn’t notice for twenty years.
This time the oppression is the worst ever. It’s one thing for a wicked king to take tribute of the land, etc. But this king had 900 chariots. Those are serious war machines that prove dominance every time they roll through your crops.
Every time Israel got sold into something, God bought her back. When Adam sold his right to rule in Eden, God still took care of them. Hosea, Nehemiah, Moses, all show off how God buys back His people when they are down the wrong path.
Jesus re-told it all in the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15. When God’s people, whom He loves, stray away, He will pay any price to get them back.