Living in God's Presence
God's Grief Over Apostasy (Judges 10:6-16)
The entire era of the judges shows what happens in God's heart when his people repeatedly spurn him. In the psalms, God asked, "How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies?" (Ps 4:2). There will be a time, as in the time of Noah (Gen 6:5-7), when God's patience runs out. For the Israelites who inhabited the land of the judges, that time had come. God's verdict was, "Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you" (10:14). Israel repeated its plea for mercy (10:10, 15-16), but this time they rid themselves of the foreign gods who were powerless to help them and submitted to the Lord's justice.
The God of the universe is grieved by his people's misery (10:16; Hos 11:8-9). Even when repeatedly spurned, God's love is more powerful than his wrath, and his compassion exceeds his indignation. God's love does not negate his justice, however, "for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus" (Rom 3:26). He has taken upon himself the grievous weight of our sin (see Isa 53:3-12; 2 Cor 5:19-21).