Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them deliver you in the time of your oppression. – Judges 10:14
As every student of the Scriptures knows, the Book of Judges is the repeated history of a rebellious people. In a sense, it reminds us of how grateful we should be that our own history is not preserved for the ages!
In the centuries sandwiched between their entrance into Canaan and Samuel’s arrival, Israel followed a pattern of idolatry, oppression, repentance, obedience, and failure … and while God did not grow weary of their cries for deliverance, He often reminded them of the futility of their broken, twisted ways. As His people slipped into another round of disobedience and life for them began to unravel, the Lord would let them bask in the aftermath of their poor choices until the pain became unbearable.
While God will never abandon those who belong to Him (in Christ), He often allows His possession to experience the “ends” to their “means” … a little rope with which to hang ourselves. His silence in such agony is just another way of communicating the inevitable lesson to be learned. Understanding (that leads to repentance) will eventually come for the disobedient disciple, but not without some struggle … and possible gasping for “divine air.”
Jesus promised the disciples three things … that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy and in constant trouble. – G. K. Chesterton