Snapshots: Day 137
The Snapshot: “the people wept aloud, and they called that place Bokim.” (Jud 2:4,5) An odd verse and yet one that stands out. Israel have taken the Land although not fully and for this they are rebuked. We don’t like to talk about the Lord rebuking today, but that is what His word does (2 Tim 3:16). If we have hearts open to Him, sometimes He uses His word – in love – to rebuke us, to reprimand, to scold us, as a challenge to put things right. Bokim means ‘weepers’, a reminder for the future that here they had been rebuked and here they wept in contrition before the Lord. When we are reprimanded, we can either sulk or weep. Our response reveals the sort of person we are. May we learn to be those who respond to the correction of God’s love with open hearts.
Further Consideration: Judges is one of those books that, in some ways, I confess I would rather miss. It seems it is a book about failure and our starter verse is about just that. The Lord has spoken (apparently through an angel visitor) and reminded them of the their calling out of Egypt to go to take the Promised Land (Jud 2:1). But then He confronted them with the fact that although they were in the land they had not managed to clear out all the previous occupants and their false worship (v.2,3) as they had been told to do.
In the previous study in Joshua, we observed that correction is part of the package of us with the Lord. The truth is that the Lord has saved us out of the dominion of darkness (see Col 1:13), a life of sin (see Eph 2:1-3) and brought us into the kingdom of the Son where we learn all over again how to live, for now it is a life conforming to the will and design of God, a life that is very different, where we put off the old life (see Col 3:5-9) and put on a new life (see Col 3:10-17).
Thus, if we are aware of these things our lives will be a constant combination of praise and thanksgiving and worship as we realize the wonder of what He has done for us, as well as acknowledge a sense of weakness, inadequacy and failure as we look back on the past. Humility is always a balance of these two sets of things.
How we respond to failure is a crucial aspect of the Christian life, one that I suspect many of us are not aware of. The Israelites responded well to this chastising word from the Lord, they wept and offered sacrifices. Weeping is a sign of having realized the import of what has been said and the reality of our state. It is also a sign of repentance and repentance is a necessary precursor for change and growth. I believe it also reveals the nature of our heart and is a sign of maturity, yet I wonder how many of us allow the Lord to move our hearts to really feel the angst of failure which characterizes all of our lives at some time or other. We are not to remain in that state, but is should appear in us from time to time.