Summary: In these days of turmoil, rely on God’s grace to save you despite your sin, to use you despite your status, and to give you victory despite your stupidity.
Several years ago (2011) Chevrolet produced a Superbowl commercial which featured a Silverado pick-up truck, acting like a modern-day Lassie. It repeatedly rescued a young boy named Tommy from various disasters. Take a look… (show Chevy Silverado Superbowl Commercial 2011; www.youtube.com/ watch?v=qpAW8vGazrc)
The ad begins as the truck rushes into the driveway and honks. Tommy's father listens to the truck "speak," and then the anxious father asks the truck, "What? Tommy slipped into a well?" Then the father and his faithful truck proceed to drive off and rescue the boy from danger.
This scenario repeats itself several times, and each time the father blurts out his frustration: "Tommy's stuck in a cave?" "Where did you get a [hot air] balloon?" "How did you get trapped in the belly of a whale?" And "I didn't even know this town had a volcano!"
Each time Tommy gets in trouble, the loyal truck shows up and delivers Tommy from his self-made disasters. Some people have a real knack for getting into trouble; and in the last several months, it seems that our whole country has gone through a lot of trouble from a pandemic to a recession to riots in the streets.
So what do you do in times like these? What do you do to find deliverance? What do you do to find rescue from disasters, even if they’re self-made? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Judges 10, Judges 10, where Israel has gotten into trouble again.
Judges 10:6-9 The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. And they forsook the LORD and did not serve him. So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the Ammonites, and they crushed and oppressed the people of Israel that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the people of Israel who were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. And the Ammonites crossed the Jordan to fight also against Judah and against Benjamin and against the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was severely distressed. (ESV)
Here we go again. For the sixth time, Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Canaanite gods. As a result, the nation is severely distressed. They have a real knack for getting into trouble, don’t they?
Judges 10:10-14 And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, saying, “We have sinned against you, because we have forsaken our God and have served the Baals.” And the LORD said to the people of Israel, “Did I not save you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites, from the Ammonites and from the Philistines? The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you, and you cried out to me, and I saved you out of their hand. Yet you have forsaken me and served other gods; therefore I will save you no more. Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.” (ESV)
Israel was remorseful, but not repentant. They were sad about the consequences of their sin, but not enough to turn away from their sin. So God says, “Enough! I’m not going to save you anymore. Let your worthless idols save you now.”
Judges 10:15-16 And the people of Israel said to the LORD, “We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to you. Only please deliver us this day.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD, and he became impatient over the misery of Israel. (ESV)
He grew tired of their misery and could no longer bear it. Israel finally repents, so God relents. He decides to save His people, because His people genuinely turn back to Him. And that’s what you and I must do in our times. Stop trusting in the “idols” you turned to for comfort, and...
RELY ON GOD’S GRACE TO SAVE YOU DESPITE YOUR SIN.
Repent and cry out to God for deliverance. Turn from your worthless gods and trust the true and living God.
Christopher Wright says, “The worst thing about idols... is that they are utterly useless when you need them most.” (Christopher J. H. Wright, “Editorial: ‘All Our Gods Have Failed,’” Themelios 18, no. 3, 1993, www.PreachingToday.com)
So stop living for comfort; stop living for money; and stop living for power. These are the idols that we worship today, which the Coronavirus, the recession, and the riots have shown to be worthless. So stop living for these things, and start looking to the Lord, who by His grace has grown impatient over your misery and wants to save you from it.