Summary: A sermon examining the need for a backslider to return to the Father.
The Backslider's Prayer
When you see a tree broken over in a windstorm, it’s easy to think that it was the wind. If you look closer, you will often see that insects have been at work a long time on the tree, making it weaker and weaker. It really wasn’t the wind that did it - other trees around it withstood the wind. It was the slow decline of strength, as insects nibbled away month after month that caused it's demise. (David Guzik: From Comments on Hosea 14:4). David Guzik)
So is the case when a child of God has fallen, in most cases the fall was not instantaneous. Chances are that sin had been at work in that individual's life for some time. Sin is a slippery slope that leads to devastation. One sin leads to another and then another and before you know it you are backslidden! How can you tell if you are backslidden?
Listen to the answer that Thomas Guthrie gives: If you find yourself loving any pleasure more than your prayers, (if you love) any book better than the Bible, (if you love) any house better than the house of the Lord, (if you love) any table better than the Lord's table, (if you love) any persons better than Christ, or (if you love) any indulgence better than the hope of heaven — be alarmed
Here is how the English dictionary defines "Backsliding" 1. a weakening of a Christian's commitment to Christ that is often manifested in a more worldly attitude and behavior. 2. to relapse into bad habits, or undesirable activities or sinful behavior.
The term "backsliding" in the Old Testament speaks of those who have been near to God but have allowed sin to take them away from Him. Notice what the Prophet Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 14:7 O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee.
Backsliding is ALWAYS a very serious matter, listen to what the Lord says in - Jeremiah 2:19 Your wickedness will bring its own punishment. backsliding will rebuke you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the Lord your God and not to fear him. I, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!
If you find yourself in a backslidden condition, forgiveness and restoration is available for you today! 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
As we examine our selected text in Judges 10 we find a description of a nation that had backslidden. We see Israel... God's chosen people as they cry out to God and beg Him for one more last chance! Throughout the book of Judges we find the people of God constantly in the midst of sin and oppression. They would serve God and things would be good! Then they would turn form God to serve false idols. The trouble would come and they would run back to God to fix everything. God would honor their request and things would be good for a while, Then Israel would once again turn to false idols. Then trouble would come and they would run back to God!
Chapter 10 records one of those occasions where they cried out to God for mercy and deliverance. verse 9 says that "Israel was sore distressed" 10 "And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim."
The response they received was not what they had expected! Listen to what the Lord says in verse 13- “ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. 14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.”
There is a warning for the child of God in this text today... God is not your own personal bail bondsman! He is not someone you can only call on when you need to be bailed out of trouble. But when your sin is revealed to you and you approach Him with a broken spirit and a contrite heart you can be restored. Today I would like to consider this thought... "The Backslider's Prayer".
Let's look for a little while at the condition of Israel in these verses and then we will see how this applies in the life of a backslidden Christian. First of all we will see that:
They Had Rebelled Against The Lord - v10a And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee,
What was their sin? They turned from God and began to worship idols - Judges 10:6 ¶And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.