“So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord. And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.” (Judges 10:16)
In this chapter arises two judges after Abimelech. Tola from Ephraim judged 23 years, then Jair of Gilead judged 22 years. He had 30 sons who rode 30 donkeys who owned 30 towns! After these judges, Israel forsook the Lord again and were oppressed by the Philistines for 18 years before they cried out to the Lord again. When they cried out to Him this time, the Lord told them He would no longer rescue them for all their backsliding. But when He sees that they put away their idols and were serious, He could no longer endure their misery- and so the next chapter He raises up someone else.
“He could no longer endure the misery of Israel.” You know, it didn’t matter how many times Israel backslid, the Lord always rescued them, even after threatening to abandon them completely. This was because of one thing God has- compassion. He could no longer endure their misery, so raised up another judge to rescue them. His love is everlasting, His mercy is new every morning and His compassions never fail. He will never leave us nor forsake us, because He cannot stand to see His children suffering. As long as we put away our idols and are serious about turning back to the Lord, He will always come to our aid to relieve our suffering. We can also, as God’s people, learn to walk in the same compassion He has- to see the world as He sees it, and help relieve the suffering of those around us. Rom 5:5 says the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Because He lives in us, we have the same love and compassion He does- the same kind that cannot endure the misery of His people. Let’s allow the Lord to live through us- amen.
“Lord, thank You for Your never ending compassion and mercy toward us. I thank You that You live in me and have shed Your love abroad in my heart by Your Spirit- so I may live like You in this world, not standing the misery of the world any longer, and bringing hope to this hopeless world- in Jesus’ name, amen.”
*Jer 31:3; Lam 3:22-24; Rom 5:5; Heb 13:5