I do apologize for yesterday’s missing post. Today we will look at two chapters as we study together:
In chapter seven we see that God has decided to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines. As we saw in the earlier chapters, the Israelite people trusted that God had the power to deliver them, but their hearts were in the wrong place. Chapter seven shows what God had intended for His people in order to use them as a light to the nations around them. In chapter six verse six we see the key to the reason that God had decided to deliver His people from their enemies. They had repented of their wrong doings. God was not going to simply protect them because they were His chosen people. But if God’s people approach Him with a repentant heart; we see in scripture that God answers. In verse six we see that the people fasted before the lord. Fasting was an illustration of a broken spirit. It represented the heart of the people remembering their sin and confessing it. We see in Isaiah chapter 58 when the prophet speaks the words of God in regards to the heart of the people; God asks them: “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke. Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?” (Is. 58:6-7) The people were going through the motions on the day of sacrifice, but there was no heart change. God demands a heart change. He demands repentance from His people.
In this chapter we see the outcry of the people for a king. They no longer wanted to be a theocracy, but instead like the other nations that surrounded them. It was not God’s desire, but He allowed it to happen. When man continually rebels against the will of God, He usually allows man to fall into his own folly. We can read about all of the turmoil that the kings of Israel caused. These problems were not God’s fault; but instead it was the disobedient heart of the people. We see many times in the books of Kings and Chronicles how the people cried out to God for help; but help seldom came. Just as we do today as a nation and as individuals. We tell God that we want it our way. We tell Him to “get out of my way; I know what I want / need!” Then, when the bottom falls out we blame Him because He did not step in to help us. We have kicked God out of our schools and our courthouses. God has politely stepped aside; we are now beginning to see the repercussions of our choices as we live in a nation that has moved God out of it’s society. When we decide that, we as individuals, want to make choices outside of the Word and will of God, He doesn’t stop us, but it never ends well. God doesn’t cause the calamity to fall upon us; it is just what happens naturally when we step outside of the boundaries of God’s truth. He always tries to reason with us to choose His ways. Sadly, we often think that we know more than He does and go at it in our own wisdom only to find ourselves exasperated and miserable. Once again in these chapters we see that the heart of man has changed little over the years.