Scripture Reading — Romans 8:26-30
The Lord relented because of their groaning... — Judges 2:18
Seven times Judges tells us that God’s people did evil in the eyes of the Lord (2:11; 3:7, 12; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6; 13:1), and each time God sent saviors to rescue them from their misery. Thanks be to God that his mercy is everlasting, that it covers our endless dedication to sin and misery.
But God’s mercy does not give us a license to keep on sinning—and being forgiven— so that grace may increase (Romans 6:1-2). Rather, God’s mercy impels us to persevere in faith. We implore God to forgive us our sins, and through Jesus he has done that. But the power of our unrighteousness can be so overwhelming that we might believe God doesn’t want to forgive our same old sins, again and again.
The good news of Judges (and the whole Bible) is that God’s compassion is wide and deep enough to cover our repeated sins. When God’s people suffered for their sin, time after time, God sent Spirit-empowered judges (3:10; 6:34), repeatedly and unexpectedly, to rescue them, again and again.
Crying out to God, not covering up our sins or making excuses for them, says the psalmist (Psalm 32:3-5), brings undeserved, even unexpected, forgiveness on the challenging road of faith. And if we do not know how, or if we are afraid to bring our sins to God, the Holy Spirit does it for us in our weakness, in line with God’s will.
Thank you, Lord, for our compassionate Savior and Judge, Jesus Christ, who sent his Spirit to bring to you our groans of sin and sorrow. Amen.