Lord's Day Liturgy

Impatient over Misery

Paul told the Romans that “whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction” (Romans 15:4). “Former days” in this case refer to Old Testament stories. We don’t have to think that the church has replaced Israel to learn from Israel.

In Judges 10 the “people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.” They served the gods of their neighbors and not the Lord. The Lord’s anger was kindled against them and “He sold them into the hand” of their enemies, who “crushed and oppressed” the people for eighteen years so that Israel was “severely distressed” (Judges 10:6-9).

At the end of the paragraph, not only was the Lord’s anger no longer hot, the ESV translates that the Lord “became impatient over the misery of Israel” (10:16). “He could bear the misery of Israel no longer” (NASB), “His soul was short with the misery” (NASB note). He “grew tired of seeing Israel suffer so much” (NET).

The Lord went from being provoked by their behavior to being provoked by behavior toward them. Don’t you want that? Don’t we long for Him to be more tired of how we’re being treated than we are?

What changed? It’s not hard to find. By the Lord’s mercy the people started seeing their sin as the problem. They turned to the Lord. “We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to you.” They put way their gods and served the Lord; there was fruit of repentance. God does not despise a broken and contrite heart, He sends deliverance.