Reflections on Judges 3

Judges 3:7-9 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.

Judges 1-3 chronicles how the Israelites repeatedly and continually disobey God by turning from him to other idols such as the gods Baal and Asheroth and how the Israelites' suffering and outcry result in God delivering them.

When reading, I remembered the first time I read these verses and thought "wow, the Israelites are so dumb. God delivers them from their oppression, only for the Israelites to indulge in idolatry and disobedience the minute there is no more suffering. How ungrateful".

However, upon further introspection, I see the frustrating parallels between the Israelites' disobedience and my own fickleness. At times, I find myself responding to God in the same way the Israelites do: only calling on God when I need something from him, and indulging in my other idols in other times. In a sense, I would treat God as this "genie" that I only call upon when I absolutely need something from him, rather than treat him as a central figure in my life.

In our own lives, it's easy to not think so deeply about how we truly respond to God and whether we only treat him as our personal genie. However, having this narrative presented in front of us make our situation clear and provides a wake-up call: God wants us to seek him during the good and bad times, during all seasons. Through becoming aware of this, we can take steps forward and inquire not just what we want from God, but also what God desires of us.