Judges: Day 11

Israel’s Rebellion and Repentance

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Today's Text: Judges 10:1-18, Isaiah 30:15, Luke 15:11-32

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).

SRT-Judges-Instagram-Day11

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

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  • Laurie Walker

    So very rich are these words! Thank you

  • KC Derond

    The part I find myself drawn to is in Luke 15:20, when it reads “While he was still a long way off”; I can’t help but rejoice over that.
    I’ve wandered to and from God a lot over the past 3 years. I got to the point where I felt exactly how the son did. I had nowhere else to turn but to my Father. That part in the verse just gives me so much hope. Even though I’ve still got a long way to go, God can still see me. He’s been running out to greet me with open arms, ready and willing to bring me in. It just makes me feel so joyful. Isn’t it wonderful that we praise a Heavenly Father who will never turn us away no matter how bad we mess our lives up?! So amazing that He celebrates each homecoming.

  • Dominique Smith

    I needed this

  • Christine Schultheis

    So sorry to hear about Wynter. What great work she did for God.

  • Monica Davis

    Praying for the Pitts family.

  • Dorothy

    In today’s scripture I noticed that God heard their cry for help but in verses 11 – 14, “the Lord said to the Israelites, ‘When the Egyptians, Amorites, Ammonites, Philistines, Sidonians, Amalekites, and Moanites oppressed you and you cried out to me, did I not deliver you from them? But you have abandoned me and worshiped other gods. Therefore, I will not deliver you again. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them deliver you whenever you are oppressed.'” I hope to never have God this mad at me and I hope to never allow myself to “worship” anything more than I worship the Lord my God and Father. The Israelites in this scripture, you could say, “messed up royally” and God had had enough.

  • Rebecca Jo

    Wynter is celebrating today so WILDLY in the presence of her Heavenly Father… praying for those who are left behind who loved her. & thankful for her words in SRT.

  • Daniella Moore

    This has truly transformed my whole day.

    Tangible & Touch- We need to seek God in everything. By doing so we are transformed into the the “tangible and touch” to the world. From there God sometimes delights us in tangible/ touch ways.

    Recognition/Praise- My love language is affirmation. It is also my downfall. If I don’t receive affirmation my core understanding of love is eradicated.

    Recognition/Praise (Revelation)- I was moved to tears by the older son. He was with the father the whole time, yet wanted approval/recognition/praise. And when he didnt see it he acted in real emotion (something I do ALL THE TIME). What moved me was the following:

    “But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him”:
    Wow. The father followed him. He knew that he was hurt and didnt neglect him. Not only did he follow but he asked. I just viewed God doing this to me. He follows me. Even when I am stubborn or sassy. Why? Because his love does not always reflect in praise, but in his constant presence.

    “Son you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours”:
    The response the father has for the son just breaks my heart. The older son was with him the entire time and missed engaging with his presence. The son was looking for the praise not the relationship. We forget that we are found. We allow Satan to pervert our minds into thinking that we are lost and that God is not present. My goodness how this breaks God’s heart. We need to remember that fear, rejection, and shame are not from God.

    God doesn’t want to be known, he wants to be experienced. It’s a relationship that we seek not affirmation. What breaks my heart, even more, is that if I am looking for affirmation I find it. I find it in past actions and in the character of God. I have decided to not let the enemy pervert the truth.

    Long and unorganized way of writing down my thoughts. Not sure if anyone will read, but wow…incredibly impacted!

    • Katie

      This was encouraging and I needed to read this, thank you for sharing!

    • Katie Braun

      This was so good! I am a words of affirmation person as well. Your perspective really resonated with me & I agree with it all. Amen.

    • Sharon Smith

      Daniella- thank you for your words and wisdom here~ I can identify with your love language as affirmation and I , too, struggle with seeking affirmation in the wrong places , at times.
      Applying God’s words to my life and not just hearing them is difficult .

    • Nancy Dipprey

      That insight was amazing. Thank you!

  • Naomi LaBoo

    It’s so true having a knowledge of God and knowing Him personally are 2 different things. RIP Wynter…

  • Gema Muniz

    My condolences to the SRT family. Yet, so grateful for Wynter’s last devotional. What a great reminder to not allow our dreams, family, and careers take over Gods place. We most always remember to place him first and not build any idols on earth. Asking for prayer today, my husband and I are starting up two businesses and eventhough we want to succeed in them I don’t want them to become the focus of our lives. May we never loose the focus of what is most important which is to serve our God with everything we have. God bless you all ladies.

  • Naomi Reynolds

    Beautiful. So True. BLESSED ❤

  • Cynthia Johnston

    We all think we have more time to live as we should. But,God has numbered our days. He called Wynter home at her young age. I am saddened at our loss of her beautifully written thoughts. I am grateful for her life. May we live today as if it is our last and worship our Lord Jesus with gratitude for His love and mercy!
    Thank you,Jesus!

    • Churchmouse

      Amen. Beautifully said. Praying for comfort for Wynter’s family and friends and all who had the blessing of meeting her through her writing.

    • Nads

      That really hits home for me! Definitely praying for Wynter’s loved ones and subscribers. We pray for her own girls and ALL the girls.
      God, send oceans of comfort to all. Help me to live as though You have the power and permission to take me whenever You see fit.

  • Lynn Johnson

    What a beautiful reminder of how easy it is for me to be a rebellious daughter yet He loves me and wants me to choose Him and not the world.

    Thanks Wynter for your last devotion. Praying for your family, friends and the SRT community as they grieve your passing with joy filled hope. ❤️ we will see you again!

  • Jennifer Martin

    Thank You Lord for Your compassion and mercy. I choose You. ❤️

  • So sorry for you loss :(

  • I thank God for my salvation! I was 17 years old when I made that decision to follow Jesus forever. Now, many years later through trials, good times, bad times, the unexpected, me backsliding for short time in my early 20’s, the Lord seen has me through many hard times, AND HE remained faithful even when I was not. I just can’t see my life without my Jesus. Still facing many unknowns, I will praise my Jesus because he continues to work in so many ways that I never thought could be. I praise him even in the little things such as providing shoes for my kids.

  • Oh no! Condolences to the SRT fam and her immediate family. Love and light to all of you. May every day be a day that we serve Him like it’s our last for it may very well be.

  • Brittany Blazier

    The part of Isaiah 30:15 that jumps out to me is the part, “But you are not willing.” So often I know intellectually that returning to the Lord and resting is the place where I need to be, but I am not willing. just like in Wynter’s devo, there is a huge difference between knowing about God and actually knowing Him…and not just knowing, but living in obedience and submission to His Spirit’s leading and desires. So often I am not willing to return to that place of salvation and rest that is constantly available in our Lord Jesus Christ. Other posts I have read highlight the fact we are in such a period of history that all the Israelites before Jesus never experienced. Lord Jesus, make me willing!

  • Honestly, I feel like saying I want to let go of the things that take my focus off of God is inviting disaster. Am I alone in that? Yes, I want to worship God more than I currently tend to “worship” my role as a mom. I don’t want to lose that though. I spend too much time feeling like my house could nicer,cleaner, less cluttered. It just feels like asking God to take away my idols is asking Him to turn my family’s life upside down.

    • Emily

      It might be inviting disaster. It will definitely turn your family’s life upside down. You are not wrong in thinking this or in being unsure of the outcome. But, is having an upside down life bad? God calls us to a life that looks different than what we can imagine. It will be hard but it will also be amazing. And, if you find that you were happier in your old way of life (holding onto your idols), then you can always return to it. You are an amazing mom, I’m sure, because you are really seeking answers.

    • KimN

      I appreciate your honesty Sarah!
      I have and continue to struggle with placing my husband as an idol. It’s not wrong to love him and place a high value on him. But if he becomes my idol, I then start having expectations of him to fulfill needs and desires in me that he isn’t meant to. That puts pressure on him and creates discontent in me. But if God stays at the top and I seek His kingdom first (Matt6:32-33)I’ve placed value on the best thing. The One who fills my every need. The One in whom I find my true identity. I become a better wife and mom and person when I put God first because apart from Him, I can do nothing. (John 15:5).
      So there’s nothing wrong with cleaning your house and caring for your family. That’s work God has given you in this season and to do those things at your best level, honours Him. But those things apart from God can’t fill and feed the deepest parts of your soul. Only God. Trust Him with the results of putting Him first!

      • Sarah

        Trust Him with the results of putting Him First. That speaks to my heart, thank you.

        • Kristen

          Hi Sarah, I understand. I took so much pride o cleaning and keeping up with things. My friend challenged me to get serious with God and to read my Bible everyday. I didn’t want to, because I already got up earlier to workout and go to work. There was so much I did. However, I
          listened to her. I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t have fathomed what was ahead of me, but I know I wouldn’t have handled it the same way. I found out my husband was having an affair. I was devastated. However, since I had been reading His Word, my heart was already realizing my part in breaking down the marriage. God was faithful through that terrible time. He sent people to me through texts, words, and prayers. I got to attend a Spiritual Breakthrough seminar that was closed! I needed the teaching and prayers of the people. Yes, just trust Him. Give Him your time and you will get more accomplished than before! He can be trusted!

    • Dorothy

      Sarah until about 3 months ago I thought I needed a lot of things to make my life happy. Last October I tried travel nursing and it didn’t work out. When I came back home in May and started to room with my niece I found out that life isn’t about things, it’s about happiness, family, friends but first and foremost it’s about your faith and the Lord will keep you happy. I have unit that when I started travelling was full, now it is only half full.

    • Courtney

      So thankful for this group and for your honest words. I’ve been struggling with this very thing this past week. Balancing the many duties of wife and working mom are so challenging. Thankful for the responses as well. I have been trying to make a better effort with my relationship with God lately and could feel the difference in my attitude. But isn’t it when things are going as they should when the enemy tries to strike with negativity? Remembering that stress and negative emotions are not from God is key!

  • Kandice Barley

    Praying for Wynter’s husband and girls as well as the SRT staff at the loss of a friend. Praising she knew and is is now with our Creator. God is good, even in the hard times.

  • I was struck by the fact that when describing the Israelites’ repentance, it says “So they *put away* the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord”. They put them away, but they did not destroy them. And (spoiler alert) that proves to be a bit of a problem again later on. Lord, give me the courage to identify, uproot and DESTROY the idols in my life.

  • Churchmouse

    The Israelites’ sin was great and repetitive. They had done what was evil in God’s sight. They had abandoned the Lord and not worshiped Him. Their sin warranted death. Under oppression they cried out “do with us as you see fit.” A bold statement given what they deserved for their rebellion. BUT GOD, their God, our God, is full of mercy and love. They cry out. They confess. God comes running. He comes running to both rescue and welcome. How like the Israelites I am. I know Jesus. I love Jesus. I am an heir of all that my Father has. Yet I squander His estate. All that He’s given I reject when I rebel and sin. I deserve the consequences of my foolish choices. BUT GOD, my God, hears my cry and runs to embrace me. I squander His blessings and even still He calls me His child. “Do what you see fit.” He sees fit to be merciful and loving. How great is our God!! Feeling His love today and oh so grateful. Thank you Abba.

    • Dorothy

      Churchmouse I agree fully. I too have sinned and expected the worst and the Father received me with love and mercy. Oh how great a Father we have.

  • “I knew Jesus lived a perfect, holy, blameless life, but I did not know He loved me even though I cannot do the same.”

    It has taken me a lifetime to get that message from God. He has tried so hard to tell me that He loves me even though I am not and never will be perfect. I always shake me head in wonder when I read the Old Testament and see how the Israelites continually turn from God and begin worshipping idols again. Then I think about myself and how I do the same and I shake my head in shame.

    Now I think about the fact that God loves me even though He knows I will wander from Him on a daily basis. What He cares about is that I continue to come back to Him. These days I don’t wander as far before I turn back. My freedom came when I discovered that I had the choice to worship Him or wander lost and alone. It wasn’t out of guilt or shame that I came to Him, but out of the joy and love I receive in His presence.

    • Angela Isara

      ‘Out of the joy and love’ love this truth!!

    • Dorothy

      Bessie your last sentence, “It wasn’t out of guilt or shame that I came to Him, but out of the joy and love I receive in His presence.” just screamed at me. I will be writing that down in my journal I hope you don’t mind. God bless sister and keep on believing.

  • Kelly Chataine

    Since the summer of 1980, I have been a Christian. At times, I was an incognito Christian. Now, I want to tell everyone about God’s loving kindness, His plan, and the Hope that is for all through Jesus Christ.
    Not sure how my comment relates but there you go!

  • I have tears right now because as I began to read my mind wondered … I was thinking of Wynter Pitt… I read through the devotion to find she had written it…
    Praying God’s loving and comforting arms cover her family and all who mourn her loss..

    Choosing God today.. tomorrow… and for the rest of my days because I Can not do this thing called life without Him…
    Thank you Lord God that your Son Jesus stands waiting to rescue in my mistakes, in my sin, in my self made life disasters…
    Thank you that YOU
    And only you Lord God have the power to rescue, save , redeem..
    Thank you Lord God that no matter how far I roam, wander, let go… You are there, have been, and continue to be… my prayer, hope and desire is that I will remember… really remember that you are MY God who sees me and loves me and with grace and mercy you hold out your hand every minute of every day to me… Thank you Lord God ..Thank you …

    Thank you.

    Sending love and hugs to all.. every blessing for a great and God blessed day Sisters…xxx

    • Hilary

      Tina, I wonder how DO people do life without Him? I can’t imagine.

    • Dorothy

      Tina you are so right the Lord God and only the Lord God has the power to rescue, save and redeem. This is something i need to remember continuously. Bless you

    • amarose

      That’s what I always wonder too! How do people do life without God?? Sometimes it’s all I can do to cling to him and wait for the waves to calm. What do they do if they don’t have Him to cling to? And then all the more reason to be sharing what I know about him with others so they can have that hope too. Tina, you summed up exactly what I wanted to say about this devotion. Thank you

  • Kristen

    I watched the Evans’ family talk about the loss of Wynter Pitts. It was moving. It brought me to tears, but also encouraging. She seemed like a beautiful woman of God. Here’s the link from YouTube. https://youtu.be/Y9JBd0xqBGQ

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