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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
Thoughts on the Bible, Church, life and living to your full potential.
Why Should He?
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By Corey Landreth
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Day 56:  Exodus 6, Psalm 56 and 1 Samuel 7

In Exodus 6 God hears the groaning of the Israelites under the heavy burden of their slave drivers.  They aren't really crying out to God, since when God enters the picture through Moses and Aaron they are pressed harder in their work.

I have groaned to God before.  I probably shouldn't have though.  My problems are infinitesimal to those of others.  But it is still comforting to know that God hears me, even when I'm just whining.  And He also knows when I am truly in trouble.  He is God after all and can tell the difference between my belly-aching and when I really am feeling oppression.

Sometimes though, that oppression comes from God.  Not in a punishing kind of way, like it did with the Israelites, but in a corrective way.  God is allowing my life to get crazy to help me focus on Him and cut out the garbage.

That's what is happening in 1 Samuel 7.  The Israelites have once again sinned and started worshiping other gods and part of that worship was a whole host of sexually immoral acts committed under the guise of "worship."  To correct this behavior God allowed the Israelites to be punished, ravaged, oppressed and raided but he Philistines.

So when it gets bad enough they cry out, just like their ancestors in Exodus 6, except this time, they deserved the "correction."  So Samuel makes this statement to the people in verse 3, "If you return to the Lord with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and Ashteroh poles (the places where the sexual immorality would take place) from among you and direct your hearts to God and serve Him alone; He will deliver you."

I think that all too often we think that God should deliver us from our correction before we correct our behavior.  We cry out to God for help and say things like, "if you deliver me from                        then I'll serve you" (go to church more, give more, whatever).  But it doesn't work like that for followers of Jesus.  He expects us to give up those things that are bringing the correction before He steps in.  If He stepped in every time I whined without waiting for me to change my behavior, I would soon realize that a change in what I was doing was not necessary - God's gonna bail me out so why stop?

This is not alway how He works with those who don't already believe.  In those cases He is revealing Himself to them through some form of salvation so that they might learn to trust Him with their lives.  That happens on the front end, once your relationship with Him is established why would He allow you to continue to sin just so He has to continue to save your back side?

So, the next time you're feeling oppressed consider these questions first - In what areas have I left the Lord?  What am I worshiping instead of Him?  Is there immorality in my life?  How can I focus my heart back on God?

When you discover your sin, confess it and repent of it, He will get involved and deliver you.  And just like David in Psalm 56 you can say, "when I am afraid I will put my trust in You...what can mere men do to me?"

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