Who is God to you?

 

A Rando?

God is just some guy; you certainly don’t know Him. He is someone that Christians hide behind; that’s all you know about Him. You’ve seen Him referenced on your Grandma’s embroidery. Long story short, God isn’t someone you know or think highly of.  

After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.
Judges 2:10
NLT

The new generation of Israelites didn’t know God either—not for themselves. Mind you, this is the same God of Israel who parted the red sea and who gave them all of those victories in Joshua. But this is a new generation of people, and they themselves hadn’t experienced and walked with God.

 

A Means to an End?

You know God, but you don’t have a relationship with Him. You may pray for help with this test you didn’t study for or help with getting out of whatever rough spot you’re in. Basically, God is an ATM and you only make withdrawals, never any deposits (spending time talking with Him, reading His Word, giving to His kingdom).

But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Othniel, the son of Caleb’s younger brother, Kenaz.
Judges 3:9
NLT

So, things got rough with the Israelites serving King Cushan-rishathaim, and the Israelites called on God, which is totally relatable. I do the same thing. However, the Israelites allowed themselves to fall into a cycle of amnesia/forgetfulness. Throughout the entire book of Judges, the Israelites “once again […] did evil in the Lord’s sight” and forgot about how he saved previous generations. The cycle was literally: forget all about God and His goodness, grace, and mercy; be under the rule of a King who treated them poorly; beg God for help; be saved by a new judge; live in peace with that judge; judge dies. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

They were able to forget God, because they put God in a box. He was their Savior—when they unboxed him and listened to the judge, but once the judge was out of the picture and they were living comfortably—when they got that A on the test, when they got out of that bad job, when they made it out of the storm—the Israelites put God back in the box and shelved Him.

God wants us to ask Him for help, but He also wants us to know Him. He wants us to thank Him for the good things that happened in our lives; to check in every once in a while; to learn about Him and to read His word. He’s not just an emergency line nor is He a last resort. God is someone you have a constant relationship with so you can have and walk in true peace, even in the midst of those rough times.

 

Abba Father, Elohim, El-Shaddai, Jehovah, Adonia, your Comforter, your Lord and Savior, your Provider, your Protector? [1]

God is your everything. You read this list above and added a few dozen more names/roles that God has in your life, because God is your everything. You know Him and have a personal relationship, but maybe, like the Israelites, you are in the midst of a tough situation. Let me tell you what made me smile as I read this book. 

So Moab was conquered by Israel that day, and there was peace in the land for eighty years.
Judges 3:30
NLT

Peace for eighty years! Why does that make me smile?

Earlier, in this chapter, we learned that the Israelites had “served Eglon of Moab for eighteen years” (Judges 3:14, NLT). So, eighteen years of being in the storm led to eighty years of peace. Eighteen years of working for other people in jobs that didn’t make you happy but eighty years of being your own boss with a thriving business. Eighteen years of struggling to make ends meet but eighty years of living peaceably with your finances. Eighteen years of being “in the middle of it” for eighty years of peace! The storm was only twenty-two and a half percent of the time of peace.

And this was also a re-occurrence throughout Joshua: the peace outlasting the pain. With Deborah as their judge, they had 40 years of peace after 20 years of pain (Judges 4-5). With Gideon as judge, they had another 40 years of peace after 7 years of struggling (Judges 6-8).

In other words, no matter what you’re going through right now, God already worked it out and the peace that is coming will far outweigh the storm you just went through.

That’s just my two cents about what God revealed to me while I was reading Judges. I encourage you to read the book for yourself and tell me what you think! Please leave comments and/or connect with me on social media.

[1] I’m going to stop the list here before I get too into who He is, before I can’t stop.

 

Update: Please, watch this sermon. Earlier, I mentioned that I did other activities to give time to God. One of those activities is watching a sermon with friends on Wednesdays and Fridays. This sermon hit me and it hit me hard, but as I was watching, I was reminded of my own study of Judges. I hope this message blesses you just as much.