Summary: Three things that are needed to receive God's help
“How to Receive God’s Help in Time of Need”
June 22, 2014
6 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the LORD and no longer served him, 7 he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, 8 who that year shattered and crushed them. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites on the east side of the Jordan in Gilead, the land of the Amorites. 9 The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim; Israel was in great distress. 10 Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, “We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.”
11 The LORD replied, “When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? 13 But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!”
15 But the Israelites said to the LORD, “We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.” 16 Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the LORD. And he could bear Israel’s misery no longer.
Have you ever needed God to come to your rescue? All of us at one time or the other need God’s help. It may be a health issue. You got that scary report from the doctor or you were blindsided with a heart issue. Maybe it is a relational issue. The mate packs their bags and wants an easier or a more pleasant relationship. Sometimes it’s the job. The layoff hits you and you face the frightening prospect of paying the bills with no income coming in. Or maybe it is something else entirely – but a time comes when you need help – BADLY!
Have you ever been there? I have a number of times through the years and I am happy to report to you that God always came through. He always came to my rescue. But I had something going for me that the people we just read about didn’t. I was serving the Living God. I had made Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord.
The Israelites turned from God and He turned from them. He rejected them. The Israelites had turned from their Creator God to serve other God. Why would they do that? They turned from God to serve other god’s for the same reason we do it today - self-centeredness. If you do a study of some of these other god’s you will find that they all, in spite of being very demanding and controlling, allow ego or self-will to remain. Many of the religions of the day allowed all kinds of sexual deviation and perversion and hedonism. Some had male and female prostitutes in the name of their god. They often demanded infant sacrifice and cutting yourself with knives and doing self- mutilation was very common. The ecstatic frenzy they would work themselves up to would induce the worshipper to do the unthinkable and the unimaginable. Baal worshippers would throw their babies in the fire; deviant orgies were common, as well as just about anything else the perverted mind could dream up.
God asked His followers to be holy and do what was right and good. He asked them to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and body. The self-centered fallen man has a problem with that. The fleshly man wants to give in to the yearnings of the flesh. He wants to do whatever ‘feels’ good to him. The result of giving in to the fallen nature is a very dark and frightening existence.
Our Scriptures says that God became angry with them. That’s not a good thing. You do not want God to be angry with you. He withdrew His blessing from them and they were sold into slavery – in fact, God caused them to be sold into slavery. God worked against them and not for them.
You need to understand that there are consequences to your choices. There are negative results to negative choices. Sin separates from God.
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2
“Then they will cry out to the LORD, but he will not answer them. At that time he will hide his face from them because of the evil they have done.” Micah 3:4