Scripture Reading: Judges 10:1-18, Isaiah 30:15, Luke 15:11-32
My mother became a Christian when she was just a few months pregnant with me. I now realize she literally grew in her relationship with Christ while simultaneously teaching and leading me as she learned. In short, I grew up learning a lot about God. I participated in Bible memory contests, collected money for missionaries around the world, and had a part in both Christmas and Easter performances annually. My mother led me the best she knew how, yet I still rebelled.
I knew biblical principles,
but I did not apply them to my everyday life.
I knew the Bible as God’s Word, that He is the Creator of the universe,
but I did not honor Him as my Father.
I knew Jesus lived a perfect, holy, and blameless life,
but I did not know He loves me even though I cannot do the same.
I knew Jesus died to save the world from sin,
but I did not live as God’s forgiven daughter.
Having knowledge of God and choosing to live a life that honors Him are two very different things, and they will lead to two very different life experiences. This is exactly what is happening in today’s passage. There is no mistaking that the Israelites knew God. Judges 10:11 reminds us they had experienced His deliverance, His protection, and His love over and over again. Yet time after time they forsook the God they knew, preferring the comforts of what they could see and touch. They chose the false gods and cultural influences of surrounding nations over their faithful God.
Our struggles today remain the same. While we may not be tempted to worship the god of Baal, our false gods are just as dangerous. The tangible items we are so tempted to chase—money, people, success—are just as dishonoring when worshiped in place of the one true God. God did not want the Israelites to simply know of Him. He wanted them to know Him personally, to trust Him, confide in Him, and find their lives in Him. God wants the same for us now; He wants His people to choose Him.
It’s easy to look at the stories we read in the Bible and wonder how God’s people could experience His patience, love, and miraculous intervention and yet still put their trust in other things. It’s easy to point the finger in judgment, but it would be far more beneficial for us to reflect on our own idolatry. In doing so, we will likely find places in our own hearts where we need to repent, seeking forgiveness and healing from the God who longs to be gracious to us (Isaiah 30:18).
God is compassionate and merciful. He provides leadership, guidance, and personal opportunities to experience His love. But as His children, we must take action, choosing to surrender to Him and worship Him with our lives. The ultimate provision of His faithful love comes in the very person of Jesus Christ—the sure image of the invisible God the Israelites so longed for and the Savior we all need. He alone stands by ready to rescue. In our surrender to Him, we will experience the deliverance, forgiveness, compassion, and rest promised to His children (Isaiah 30:15).
It is with great sadness, yet greater hope still, that we share in the loss of Wynter Pitts, one of our She Reads Truth writers. As the founder of For Girls Like You, a resource ministry for tweens and their parents, Wynter’s mission was to empower and equip women of all ages to know, love, and serve Jesus. We are grateful to her for sharing her words and her voice with the SRT community (including today’s devotional, her final piece written for SRT), and we praise the loving, living God who she now knows fully, face to face in glory. “In [His] presence, we need nothing more, nothing but Him… His love fills us up to overflowing.” — Wynter Pitts