The opening of the book of Judges paints a picture of a somewhat aimless people with a short memory and even shorter attention span. (Kinda like us.) Once they’d settled into the promised land, they forgot who’s promise brought them there. After disobediently settling in among the locals (rather than driving them out of the land as commanded), they forgot the one true God who’d brought them there and began to worship the local gods instead.
Over and over, God gives His people the chance to repent and worship Him alone, but time and time again He won their hearts only for a moment. It seems the Israelites just couldn’t stay focused. As they drifted from God, the peace they experienced when with Him faded from the nation and the people were dominated by the surrounding nations. “But when Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord raised up a man to rescue them.”
“When Israel’s leaders take charge, and the people gladly follow – bless the Lord!”
When God’s people call out to him for help, He raises up leaders to rescue them. When those leaders lead the way He calls them to, and the people follow the leaders He’s raised up… ANYTHING is possible. Bigger armies will melt in a puddle of fear – stronger kings will fall. Today… languishing churches will be revived, broken and hurting people will be brought together into wholeness, and the gates of hell will still not be able to stand against the church united in Jesus.
Pray for the leaders in your life and in your church. Whether you can see it or not, they are being attacked. Many have been wounded as they lead, sometimes severely. Pray that they’d be strengthened and that they’d rely on the presence of God to lead and sustain them. If you are a leader in some capacity, don’t ever forget who you’re leading for – remember that the strength you have is Him, not you. It always has been.