The Story - Chapter 8
This period of Judges is indeed an odd time in the history of Israel. You have this on-again-off-again relationship between Israel and God. In a way it reminds me of my high school or college days when boys and girls would date, then break-up, get back together, etc. For some couples you really never knew if they were a couple or not. One moment they'd be holding hands walking blissfully around campus and then next they'd be vowing to talk to the other never again.
It all reminds me of the title of a recent movie, It's Complicated! We really want a relationship with God but there are so many variables, so many issues that complicate the matter.
There are times when the relationship seems to take so much maintenance you wonder if it's worth it. There are demands on my time, sacrifices I must make, expectations I must live up to, other girls that seem more compatible, and the list goes on. When you think about it, it really is amazing that any man or woman finally makes the commitment to one person. But we do, and maybe that's the key - to finally make a commitment.
We make the commitment realizing that there will always be times when someone else seems more appealing but also realizing that there is real value in being a one-woman-man, or in this case a one-God-man. We realize that at times we may want to abandon God but because of the commitment we stand by our God! And usually things get better. The bad times pass. We expect ups and downs and hang on to our relationship with God because we know that in the long run a committed relationship far outweighs flitting back and forth from god to god.
As a nation Israel never seems to be able to make that complete connection with God. They're like that couple in college that you never know if they are together or not. And because of that their national life is topsy-turvy - a confusing mess of blessing and curses. And so it is with so many lives. Because we fail to make a clear-cut commitment to God we never experience the consistent blessing of a committed relationship. A relationship with God, or for that matter any relationship, is a complicated matter, but when we finally make the commitment then the complications disappear.
This chapter in The Story reminds me that until I make that commitment then my life will mirror this period in the history of Israel. I'll just have an on-again-off-again relationship with God that will be marked by anxiety and inconsistency. I must choose to make the decision to be a one-God-man and then I will consistently experience the joy and peace of a committed relationship with God.