Judges 20:23 took me back in time to a place where the Israelites were actually weeping before the Lord. They wept before Him and inquired of Him. There wasn’t a whole lot of this going on in the time of the judges, so the fact that they did this really stood out to me. If you go back and read through the book of Judges, you’ll see example after example of Israel following God for a season and then forsaking Him.. time after time after time. They grew up entire generations who didn’t know the Lord or anything of what He had done for them [Judges 2:10].

And still God forgave them.. again.. and again.. and so on… His patience is so absolutely amazing. How much would I be willing to forgive someone who kept straying from what I specifically told them? I’m not sure.. but I know honestly that it wouldn’t be over and over and over like that.

It’s kinda one of those things like when I’m sitting engrossed in my book or movie and I find myself arguing with the character because I can see what’s coming. I remember sitting in the theater pleading with Anakin to not give in to his anger and turn to the dark side. Even though I knew perfectly well what was coming.. because I already knew the rest of the story.

Just like with Anakin, I find myself telling the Israelites what they need to do.. even when I already know what they did. I keep wanting to tell them to not be stupid and to remember those instructions to live in obedience and to be very careful to love the Lord [Joshua 23:5-11].

So.. when I found them weeping.. actually weeping before the Lord and inquiring of Him — their attitude caught my attention. The humility that comes with weeping before the Lord reminds me of Psalm 51. The contriteness.. the vulnerability.. the honesty. The simple plea for cleansing and joy. I love it.

I want that same kind of humility and honesty in my own heart towards God. Only.. I want it to be constant. Not just when I find myself at a loss for what direction to go or when I make a mistake. My heart needs to be dependent on Him.. always inquiring as to where my next step is to be.

more thoughts on the book of Judges.. part 1part 2, part 3 [not in any order necessarily.. just the order I posted them..]