Break the Cycle
April 29, 2009 • By Ed Wrather
And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. - 1 John 3:22-24 NKJV.
When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. - 2 Chronicles 7:13-15 NKJV.
What would you do if you had to repeat the same day over and over again? In the movie “Groundhog Day” that is what happens to Phil Conners (Bill Murray) who is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to do a story on the annual Groundhog Day festivities. Phil finds himself repeating the same day over and over and over again. Things go from bad to worse until he decides to take advantage of the time instead of wasting it. Phil spent months learning the art of flicking a card into a hat perfectly each time. But Phil’s heart changes, and eventually the day arrives when it is no longer Groundhog Day, but tomorrow.
In the Book of Judges the Children of Israel have their own Groundhog Day. No, it is not the same day repeating over and over, but it is the same cycle of life repeating itself over and over. After the death of Joshua, the Israelites had abandoned the worship of the One True God, and instead served the false God of Baalim (Judges 2:10-13). When the people sinned, God would allow their enemies to defeat them. In their torment, the people would cry out to God for help. Each time this happened God would send a leader, who was called a judge to deliver them. This cycle of sin, torment, repentance, and deliverance was repeated over and over again. It happened to the children of Israel, and it can happen to the United States, or to any country that turns away from God. We need to be crying out for God to deliver us before the judgment of God comes upon us.
This painful cycle of sin, pain, repentance, and deliverance occurs not just to countries, but in our lives as well. Until we learn the lesson, and break the cycle by walking in obedience to God, we are doomed to go through that cycle over and over again. We will never fully experience the abundant life until we break out of this cycle.
Phil Conners eventually learned his lesson. Will we?