7 When the Israelites cried to the LORD because of Midian, 8 he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 9 I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”
The Israelites had been oppressed by Midian for seven years. God allowed it because Israel had forgotten Him and done evil. They finally begin to return to the Lord God, so God sends a prophet to them. The Word of God is a retelling of the story… a reminder of what He had done for Israel and what He instructed them to do – the very thing they had not done. And then the observation: “You have not listened to me.” Israel was suffering because they disregarded their God.
We all need reminders, don’t we? We forget what God has done and what He has instructed us to do. We then suffer because we have not listened to the Lord. God will use suffering in my life to get my attention, to draw my heart back to him and to remind me of who he is and what He has done. What is better (and less painful!) is to establish rhythms of remembrance. These would be regular times to re-tell the story of grace and re-align my heart to God. Remembering is vital if I am going to listen and obey.
Father, You are so gracious! Even when I suffer due to sin, you provide the way of healing and restoration. You are God and I am Your son because of what Jesus has done. Thank you! I love you…