Judges 8:34, Thus the sons of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side…
Man’s relationship with God has always been cyclical. He vacillates from the confessed need of salvation and forgiveness, to the outright rejection of God’s wisdom. You find this principle in the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians in chapter 10 and verses 1-11. From early Israel’s history to modern day humanity, our relationship has been one of moral struggle. While God is not harsh, man is broken and lost. As a result, man is called to have a faith that has to exceed his sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Consequently, Israel’s unfaithfulness resulted in the acceptance of defeat over God’s freely given victory.
The book of Proverbs speaks often of the foolishness of declining God’s wisdom and victory when it is offered. (Proverbs 1:20-33) God’s wisdom calls out to us in our darkest moments. Ultimately, wisdom will not answer our calls if she is constantly rejected.
God’s people were granted great victories over the Midianites. For 40 years Israel had peace and security. After Gideon died, Israel walked away from the stability offered through faith in God. Only when they were defeated by the Philistines and the Ammonites, do we find the Judaic-national realization that the only real rescuer would be the one they left – God. However, when they cried out, God, like every great parent, let them feel the consequences of their own unfaithfulness. He told them to find salvation in their idols. (Judges 10:14)
Eventually, after Gideon, God provides another deliverer. Thankfully, God’s love never leaves! His point to them, and to us, remains the same. Never fail to keep the victory God gives. We can actually throw it all away in some selfish and foolish effort to demonstrate a false sense of worth. God always leads His people to victory, but that circumstance implies a man who follows.
Whether God has shown you the path to victory and let you walk it, or if He has been before you to defeat the enemies who lie in wait – HOLD ON TO THE VICTORY! While God provides a way of escape, it is our part to take hold of it, and keep it! Never sacrifice victory to the false God of selfishness. Always allow God to lead and we will always be destined for, if not celebrating, victory!