Summary: The message reviels the Cycle of sin. 1. Rescued by the Lord 2. Rejection of the Lord 3. The Reaping of Sin 4. Remember Who He Is 5. Return to Him
Gideon - "The Cycle of Sin of the Nation"
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:11-12)
A loving parent will not allow their children to do wrong. A loving parent will discipline their child so that the child will not come to harm. When my daughter ran out in the street "without looking" she was disciplined. If I had done anything less it would have been negligent of me as a father.
The Lord disciplines those He loves. Charles Spurgeon said, “The Lord does not permit His children to sin successfully.” Judges 6:1 says,
"Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD",
Israel had once again turned from the Lord to sin. The first verse is a recurring statement throughout Judges. The people seemed to have developed a pattern of sin and redemption in relation to God. Call it their/our "cycle of sin".
A Rescue - Delivered by God
The Lord had delivered the Israelites from their enemies. They had entered the land which the Lord God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were living in prosperity and safety as long as they obeyed the Lord.
The Lord had even cautioned them before/upon they entered the land. Deuteronomy 6:8 says,
When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
The Lord had brought them into the Promised Land. The people had prospered and grown wealthy. In every way the Lord blessed them.
A Rejection of the Lord
Unfortunately the people did not heed God’s warning. Once they became comfortable. The prosperity and successful went to their heads. They became proud in and of themselves. They would begin to ignore/forget all about the Lord God and take credit for everything. Deuteronomy 8:11 spells this out,
Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
The first part of the cycle is the Lord’s redemption from slavery and sin as they followed Him, then a period of prosperity. Of course as long as they obeyed and followed the Lord they remained free and prosperous. The Lord God blessed them in all that they did.
The people would begin to forget who it was that got them to the land and caused them to prosper. They would, gradually and over time begin to rely on themselves, they would become self centered and prideful. It was no longer God who prospered but as Deuteronomy 8:17 foretells,
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”
A Reaping of Sin
They had turned their backs on the Lord once again and they were caught in sin and rebellion. As I quoted earlier, Charles Spurgeon said, “The Lord does not permit His children to sin successfully.” The Lord loves all of us so much that He will not allow anyone to "run to ruin". He desires only the best for us.
The judgment of the Lord comes when they sinned. The Lord would allow them to reap the results of sin, a loss of the blessing of God, destruction, and slavery.
Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help.