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God Delivers His People

Written by: John Sernaque

Call to Worship

Judges 3: 9

3:9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, [even] Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.

Othniel Made a Judge—

In their prosperity, Israel forgot God, as they had been warned that they would do. But reverses came. The Hebrews were subdued by the king of Mesopotamia, and held in severe bondage for eight years. In their distress, they found that their idolatrous connection could not help them. Then they remembered the wonderful works of God, and began to cry unto Him, and the Lord raised up a deliverer for them, Othniel, Caleb’s younger brother. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war, and the Lord delivered the king of Mesopotamia into his hand. {2BC 1002.1}

When Othniel was designated as the man whom God had chosen to lead and deliver Israel, he did not refuse to take the responsibility. In the strength of God, he at once commenced to repress idolatry as the Lord had commanded, to administer justice, and to elevate the standard of morality and religion. As Israel repented of their sins, the Lord manifested His great mercy toward them, and wrought for their deliverance. {2BC 1002.2}

For forty years, Othniel ruled in Israel. During this time, the people remained faithful to the divine law, and consequently enjoyed peace and prosperity. But when his judicious and salutary control ceased with his death, the Israelites again relapsed into idolatry. And thus the story of backsliding and chastisement, of confession and deliverance, was repeated again and again (The Signs of the Times, June 9, 1881). {2BC 1002.3}

He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God. But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols. How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written. O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Our Father, which art in heaven,

We come to You as little children in thanksgiving, praise, and prayer. We thank You for giving us this day and every day You give us, together with each other and with You. We thank You for Your breath of life. We thank You for watching over us, protecting us and keeping us safe. We thank You for providing for all our needs in abundance. We thank You for Your light and Word to live by. We are sorry we have sinned against You and pray for Your forgiveness. We are sorry we have strayed from You and looked to the world for happiness. We repent of our sins. We realize we need not happiness; rather it is the joy of having You in our lives. To have a relationship and bond that the world cannot break. Satan uses many devices, idols, to distract us, to take our eyes off Jesus. We thank You for healing us from our backslidings, as there have been many. Dear LORD, we cry out to You for deliverance. Deliver all from Satan’s bondage. We pray for all our brothers and sisters not to forget their God, as Your people have done in the past. We pray all always remember all the wonderful works and blessings from on High. Grant us Your strength to put away all our idols. Help us to elevate the standard of morality and religion. Help Your people to remain faithful to the divine law, and enjoy peace and prosperity. Help Your people not to relapse into idolatry and make the same mistakes as in the past. Though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake. Please heal our backsliding, love us freely, turn away Your anger, and bring us into beautiful, beautiful Zion, the beautiful city of God. We thank You for hearing and answering our prayers, in the name of Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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