The Fine Art of Failure: Week 1 - Day 2
Lord Jesus, open my eyes to recognize my self-centered pride today.
Read: Judges 2:18-19 NIV
Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies, as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
The theme in today’s Scripture is the maddening cycle found over and over throughout the book of Judges: “another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10b) As a result of this, the Israelites would forget to focus on God, would turn to idols and get themselves into a bind with their enemies swooping in and persecuting them. They would cry out to God for help and He would patiently come to them with a Judge who would bail them out. Things would get better for a while, but then they would forget God again and enjoy life without a thought being given to the God who saved them.
This might be known as “the slippery slope to sin” cycle. When things are going well for us we may begin to pat ourselves on the back and take credit for our accomplishments, forgetting that it was the Lord who made any success possible. This happened to Nebuchadnezzar. He stood on his roof top and looked out over his holdings saying,” Is not this the great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power?” (Daniel 4:10b) He paid for the oversight that it was God who gave such blessings. He was sentenced by God to live like a wild animal for the next seven years. God then patiently restored him.
We always need to remind ourselves and our children of how patient God is with us and that He has patiently bailed us out numerous times. Without doing this we are doomed to fall back into our sinful ways and generations of children “who know not God” can result.
We need to constantly ask ourselves if we are giving God the credit for all that He has done to bless our lives - or are we taking credit ourselves? Without a Christ-centered life, we are doomed to slide down the slippery slope to sin.
Lord Jesus, forgive me when I take you off the throne of my heart and bring in idolatrous substitutes.