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The Repentance of Israel

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Samuel Colgate, the founder of the Colgate business empire, was a devout Christian, and he told of an incident that took place in the church he attended. During an evangelistic service, an invitation was given at the close of the sermon for all those who wished to turn their live … More

Repentance

Under heavy persecution from the Ammonites, the tribes of Israel began to pray for grace and confessing their wrong doings (v. 10). They put away all of the foreign idols in order to serve the Lord. The Lord spoke sternly to His people (vv. 11-14). He reminded them of how He had granted them seven great national deliverances in reply to their appeals and yet they had not remained true to Him. He said that mercy must yield to judgment.

Would the Almighty give them another chance?  The people prayed and got rid of their pagan deities (v. 15). The longsuffering of God was again revealed as a battle-line was drawn in Gilead against the enemy (vv.16-18). This particular invasion of the Ammonites was presumably at the end of the eighteen year oppression. The people of the Israelite tribes assembled themselves together, with possibly a new morale and a will to resist following their repentance and return to the Lord. God again showed His compassion to the Israelites and directed His indignation toward their enemies.

Application

Why do people so often wait for a crisis before turning to God? I must continually be asking myself if I have turned over every area of my life to His control?

Judges 10:10-18 (English Standard Version)

And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, saying, "We have sinned against you, because we have forsaken our God and have served the Baals." And the LORD said to the people of Israel, "Did I not save you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites, from the Ammonites and from the Philistines? The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you, and you cried out to me, and I saved you out of their hand. Yet you have forsaken me and served other gods; therefore I will save you no more. Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress." And the people of Israel said to the LORD, "We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to you. Only please deliver us this day." So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD, and he became impatient over the misery of Israel. Then the Ammonites were called to arms, and they encamped in Gilead. And the people of Israel came together, and they encamped at Mizpah. And the people, the leaders of Gilead, said one to another, "Who is the man who will begin to fight against the Ammonites? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead."

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