Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, “We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving Baals.”
The Lord replied, “When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites oppressed you and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. Go cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!”
But the Israelites said to the Lord, “We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.” Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the Lord. And He could bear Israel’s misery no longer.
Does it seem to you that you’re always in-and-out of trouble? Before one problem can be solved and you can experience peace for awhile, some other problem “crops up.” Is it possible that we are in trouble with God, our Father, because we don’t really know what He expects of us as His children? You may argue that God just requires us to “be good” and “do good.” To pull that off effectively, we really need God’s help. Learning what God expects is a process that begins with having a personal relationship with Him as Father and friend.
To get God’s help when we’re in trouble, we need to explain to Him that we really want to be a better person, but we’ve been selfish and self-centered for so long that we don’t really know any other way to live. Ask Him to help us to change into what He would have us to be.
As we talk with God we need to acknowledge our remorse over the things we’ve done that we know now, were wrong and probably the base cause of the trouble we’re in. Ask Him for forgiveness to go forward as a better person.
We then need to ask God to bring us into a right-relationship with Him that we want to nurture for the rest of our lives. This relationship grows deeper as we learn about God and how to obey His rules for living. We can start each day by asking Him how He wants to use us, and do what we sense He is telling us.
We also nurture this growing relationship through the study of the Bible, God’s holy word (New International Study Bible). Start by reading the Gospel of John, where you’ll experience his eye-witness account of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection. As you read and continue to daily talk with God, you’ll find tremendous corrections, peace, and understanding for your life as you grow spiritually.
(Previously in Homewords Small Group Bible Study Ministry, August, 2011)