The Lord replied, “Did I not rescue you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites? When they oppressed you, you cried out to me for help, and I rescued you. (Judges 9:11-12)
Relate: I’m not a big fan of ferris wheels. All you do is go up and down, up and down, in circles. You never really get anywhere. The perspective might change a little bit but nothing really happens. I don’t need to pay money to go on a boring ride for that, all I have to do is live life. Roller coasters are pretty much the same thing only faster. It might be a bit faster but again all you are doing is going up and down and maybe in circles only to end up right back where you started.
Judges is a great book to teach to young boys. If they think the Bible is boring, this is where you take them. You’ve got a guy so fat the sword gets swallowed up in his belly. The one who stuck him then escapes through the latrine. Another guy gets a tent peg through his skull while he’s sleeping. Another guy gets squashed under a big stone dropped from the top of the wall. Then there’s Samson tying hundreds of foxes tails together and lighting them on fire. This is story time heaven for young boys.
I was teaching Judges for Royal Rangers, a Christian version of boy scouts, and at the beginning of every lesson I would stand before them and move my hand like a ferris wheel or the turning of a clock. As I did so the boys would call out, “Rebel! Wrecked! Return! Repent! Restore! Rebel! Wrecked! Return! Repent! Restore! Rebel…” That is the cycle of Judges. Everything would be fine and then the people would rebel against God. When they did so some oppressor would come and their life gets wrecked. They would then turn and cry out to God. He would send a prophet or judge who would bring them to a place of repentance. God would restore them and everything would be fine… until they rebelled again.
React: Unfortunately my life all too often looks just like the Judges Ferris Wheel. I am prone to wander. I am unfaithful. I am rebellious and all too often I find myself straying away from what God has called me to and planned for me. I want to do things my own way and, sure enough, I make things a wreck. I mess things up. I find myself calling out to God about the unfairness of life. He sends a friend, a pastor, or shows me a word that helps me get back on track. I repent. He restores. And things are fine again… until I start to wander. How do I get off this ferris wheel of life?
God, I need You to rescue me from this cycle of life. On my own I am guaranteed to keep going up and down. On my own I will continue to fall and fail again. Only you can get me off this cycle. Only through Your strength can I rise above. I ask for Your help. Help me to continue to remember that I am always totally dependent on You for my victory. No other way is possible.