In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. (Judg. 2:14)

Human nature wants affirmation rather than discipline. From toddlers to teens to rogue nations, none of us likes the negative consequences of our wrong choices. But the God of heaven who created the universe also placed into orbit certain principles by which he governs not only the natural world but also the outcomes of human behavior. The law of sowing and reaping cannot be sidestepped.

The new generation that arose in Israel forsook the God of their ancestors and “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” They followed the vile practices of the pagan nations around them who celebrated child sacrifice and gross immorality. Even with the disadvantage of their parents’ apathetic approach to faith, this generation nevertheless was responsible for the information and truth to which they had access. But they did not follow it.

God is not a passive parent. He does not overlook rebellion or excuse wicked choices. He gave his people over to their enemies. He allowed them to be “plundered.” He did not try to stop the marauders, predators, and invaders. Like the father who allows his son to be arrested and sit in jail for his behavior rather than bail him out, God knew strong discipline was the only way to bring his people back to relationship. The process was going to be painful, but getting them back was going to be worth it.

Remember that willful sin will cause you to be plundered.

Valorie Quesenberry is a pastor’s wife and mom who lives in Indiana and likes to recharge with coffee and time with friends.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.