Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Foreign Gods

by Annalene Holtzhausen

Then the Israelites put aside their foreign gods and served the Lord. And He was grieved by their misery.
Judges 10:16, NLT

The Old Testament has many accounts of the Israelites and their history of turning to the Lord and then again choosing to worship idols instead. In Judges 10:1-16 the Israelites once again turned from the Lord: ‘Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. They served the images of Baal and Ashtoreth, and the gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, Ammon, and Philistia. They abandoned the Lord and no longer served Him at all’ (Judges 10:6).

The result of their idol worship, led to them being oppressed by the Philistines and Ammonites for eighteen long years. They were in great distress and finally called out to the Lord for help, confessing their sin of turning away from Him (Judges 10:10). The Lord’s initial reaction was to remind them that He had previously also rescued them and that, this time, they could cry out to their gods they had chosen to rescue them.

But the Israelites pleaded with the Lord again and confessed their sin. And that brings us to today’s scripture where the Lord once again showed His compassion when His people turned to Him with sincere hearts. We might easily read this chapter in The Bible and think to ourselves: “Not again! Don’t they ever learn!”

When I read today’s scripture where the Israelites put aside their foreign gods, I realised that they must’ve known exactly what and who they had been serving. They knew which gods to put aside when they were in distress. They knew, deep down, whom they really needed to wholeheartedly serve: God alone.

How often do we act in the same way by also entertaining false gods in our lives? They could be the things that distract us, steal our time with the Lord, thoughts that accommodate the enemy’s lies or sinful attitudes, habits, and addictions that we choose to ignore and that do not bring honour to the Lord. We may compromise and rationalise, even though we know something is not quite God’s will and way.

We eventually think it doesn’t really matter, until we experience deep distress and realise that we desperately need the Lord. When we get to this point, we willingly give up and confess anything that could separate us from the Lord. Hard times make us shine a spotlight on to our own lives, confessing to the Lord where we knowingly made wrong turns and choices.

Our devotion to the Lord shouldn’t be dependent on the circumstances we are in. Even though there are times when we definitely need His guidance and comfort more than other times, our devotion to the Lord should not be in question. Those foreign gods in our lives need to be set aside for us to grow closer to His heart of love.

If maybe you are battling with a divided heart, ask the Lord to help you. Maybe your trust has been broken, or maybe your heart has grown cold. No matter what your circumstances may be, His heart of compassion will meet you where you are at. Turn to Him, confess where you have turned from Him and allow Him to guide you and heal you. As you journey with the Lord, you will learn to know Him more and experience His love for you. From a heart of love, devotion flows.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please shine Your light on areas in my life where I have not been trusting and honouring You. Please forgive me for harbouring ungodly attitudes and habits. Bring me closer to You, Lord, and help me to know You as my Father and closest friend. Amen.

Annalene Holtzhausen is on the Associate Team at Ellel, Africa. She is married to Renier, who introduced her to Ellel Ministries. She is a full-time mother to their two boys. Her passion is for the restoration of women’s hearts and for people to find their worth in the Lord.


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