infusion of hope
Judges 2:16-19 (JDV)
Judges 2:16 Yahveh raised up judges, who saved them from the power of their raiders,
Judges 2:17 but they did not listen to their judges. Instead, they prostituted themselves with other gods, bowing down to them. They quickly turned from the way of their fathers, who had walked in obedience to Yahveh’s commands. They did not do as their fathers did.
Judges 2:18 Whenever Yahveh raised up a judge for the Israelites, Yahveh was with him and saved the people from the power of their enemies while the judge was still alive. Yahveh was moved to pity whenever they groaned because of those who were oppressing and afflicting them.
Judges 2:19 Whenever the judge died, the Israelites would act even more spoiled than their fathers, following other gods to serve them and bow in worship to them. They did not turn from their evil practices or their obstinate ways.
infusion of hope
The judges were instruments of God’s compassion. He saw his people suffering for their sin, and intervened by sending an infusion of hope just when despair was at its peak. God did not send his judges to deliver his people at the point where they deserved it. We are often tempted to think that if we can just get our act together for a short while, God would reward our faithfulness with a miracle.
Nope. He sends his miracles to the undeserving — those who need hope to carry on just one more day. He responds to our groaning. If we want God to act in our lives, we need to recognize how badly we have failed, and cry out to him in prayer. The devil wants us to stop praying when we fail God. He tells us that God hates us because of our weakness and sin, so going to God is hopeless. But going to God in times of hopelessness is the only wise move. He is there and ready to infuse our hopeless situation with hope from above.
Commenters on this text often point out the cycle of sin, oppression, suffering, groaning, rescue, and then forgetting God and sinning again. They emphasize the people’s lack of faithfulness. But contrasted to that is a corresponding compassion from God and his faithful sending of rescuers when they are needed. When things are hopeless, look up. He stands ready to infuse hope into our hopeless situation.
LORD, thank you for your acts of mercy, always ready to help us.